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Dodgers vs. Giants game preview: L.A. faces Matt Cain in opener

The Los Angeles Dodgers will have to go through the San Francisco Giants if they want to see their playoff hopes realized in this season-ending three-game series.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

It looks like the season-ending series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants will have playoff implications after all.

With the Giants clinching the NL West early, the season-ending series lost a bit of its luster with the Dodgers no longer in contention for the division title.

But the Dodgers have won five straight games and are two games out of the second Wild Card spot in the National League, having to go through their division rivals in order to grab the spot.

The Giants are playing for playoff momentum and pride. The Dodgers are playing for their playoff lives. Both can ruin the other's respective goals with wins, starting on Monday at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers will put the ball in the right hand of Aaron Harang. Harang is 10-10 with a 3.68 ERA this season and this will be his first start against the Giants this season.

For the Giants, they'll put Matt Cain on the mound for what will be his last regular season start prior to his probable Game 1 start once the postseason begins. Cain is 16-5 with a 2.77 ERA this season.

The Dodgers' eyes will also stay on the St. Louis Cardinals series with the NL Central champion Cincinnati Reds as the Cardinals currently hold the final NL Wild Card spot.