Engaged in a tight race atop the NL West, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants have plenty more than just their longtime rivalry to play for over the final seven meetings.
The first-place Dodgers try to bounce back after getting no-hit for the second time in 10 days, while the Giants look to close the gap in the division race Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
Although Los Angeles (72-57) has been in first place for most of the season, San Francisco has refused to go away, never falling more than 5 1/2 games back due in part to it taking nine of 12 in the season series.
More from FoxSports
The Giants (69-61) are just 3 1/2 behind heading into this matchup despite dropping the last two of a three-game series with St. Louis. That's because the Dodgers were no-hit by the Chicago Cubs' Jake Arrieta on Sunday, nine games after Houston's Mike Fiers held them hitless Aug. 21.
''We can create a lot of distance or lose a lot of ground,'' Los Angeles outfielder Andre Ethier said earlier in the week. ''That series is the most important of the year. We don't want it to come down to the last one when we have to go up there (four games in San Francisco from Sept. 28-Oct. 1).''
The Dodgers, who had their five-game winning streak snapped Sunday, face Madison Bumgarner on Tuesday after drawing nemesis Jake Peavy on Monday.
Peavy (4-6, 4.21 ERA) is 14-3 with 2.30 ERA in 27 career starts against the Dodgers and 6-0 with a 2.51 mark over his last 10 at Dodger Stadium. Chase Utley is 0 for 8 off Peavy, while Ethier is hitting .143 with 11 strikeouts in 35 at-bats.
With Zack Greinke set to pitch Tuesday and Clayton Kershaw going Wednesday, the Giants look to get off to a good start against Brett Anderson (8-8, 3.36) in the opener of a 10-game road swing.
''We're not where we want to be but we're in the hunt,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ''This is a huge series for us. We're behind and I hope we go down there and get back on track.''
Anderson allowed two hits through six scoreless innings Wednesday and didn't give up an earned run over 6 2-3 in a 7-4 win at Cincinnati, his third straight quality start.
After going 0-4 with a 5.67 ERA in his first six career starts against San Francisco, Anderson allowed one run over six innings of a 10-2 win at Los Angeles on June 21.
Brandon Crawford is 5 for 7 off the left-hander and has batted .412 in his last 17 meetings with the Dodgers. He's expected to play after missing five games with a tight oblique, and Joe Panik could also return after missing 27 with a lower back inflammation.
Brandon Belt matched a season high with four hits in Sunday's 7-5 loss to the Cardinals, while Marlon Byrd and Buster Posey each had three. Posey is 5 for his last 8, while Belt has batted .400 in his past 10 overall - though he's hitting .188 with 14 strikeouts in 32 at-bats against the Dodgers in 2015.
The teams have split six meetings at Dodger Stadium this season.