Los Angeles Dodgers Vs. San Francisco Giants: Clayton Kershaw Starts Series Opener

May 8, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) pitches in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The Dodgers lead the Giants by a half-game heading into their three-game series at Dodger Stadium.

First place in the National League West is on the line starting Monday night at Dodger Stadium when the Los Angeles Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants in a three-game series, continuing their long and storied rivalry.

Only a half-game separates the longtime adversaries going into the series. The Dodgers lead the NL West with a 67-55 record having won seven of their last 10 games, and the Giants are 66-55 and currently on a road trip.

The Dodgers' offense has picked up of late, led by of all players, Luis Cruz. The infielder has taken over the third base job and went 6 for 11 with two home runs in the Dodgers' three-game series at Atlanta over the weekend. Dodgers ace starter Clayton Kershaw (11-6) is on the hill Monday. Kershaw has won his last four starts.

The Giants counter with Madison Bumgarner (13-7), who had pitched well of late. He's facing a slumping Matt Kemp, who is 0 for his last 15. But Kemp is batting .385 against the Giants.

Buster Posey of the Giants is batting .300 against L.A. this season, but has struggled against the Dodgers. It's advantage to the Dodgers, who swept a series against the Giants in San Francisco the last time the teams played.

For more news and notes surrounding the Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA. For all of your Giants news, be sure to read McCovey Chronicles and SB Nation Bay Area.

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