A dandy pitching matchup will mark the end of the MLB odds series between the Dodgers and Giants, and San Francisco is the home underdog to complete the sweep.
Dodgers vs. Giants Game 3
By: Willie Bee
Here we are less than seven weeks into the season, and we're already getting a third look at Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner dueling each other on the baseball betting card.
It's certainly a helluva' pitching matchup to close this week's set in San Francisco between the Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. A lunchtime start on the Left Coast (3:45 PM ET), the MLB betting odds have the Giants as small home underdogs despite having their ace on the mound. Kershaw and the Dodgers are going off around -125, the take-back on San Fran +115 and a 6 run total juiced on the low side.
Will Third Time Be The Charm For Kershaw, Dodgers?
After meeting just twice before this season and splitting those two clashes, Kershaw and Bumgarner line up in their respective rotations a third time in 2015. The Giants won both times, each starter taking a no-decision in the process, and the two battles back in late-April lived up to their billing with a pair of 1-run San Francisco victories and a a grand total of eight runners crossing the plate.
Kershaw has been slow out of the gate as he prepares for his ninth start of the campaign, his 4.24 ERA well above the career 2.48 he entered 2015 with. Two of his better outings came against these Giants, however, and it's tough to argue with the success Kershaw has enjoyed in San Francisco where he has an 8-2 record and sub-1.00 ERA in 12 starts and a relief outing (LA 8-4 in his starts).
Bumgarner went into the previous two assignments vs. LA off consecutive poor outings, the Padres and Diamondbacks reaching him for nine runs and 16 safeties in 10 combined innings. The 25-year-old has since helped the Giants to four wins in five starts, lowering his ERA by more than two runs with a stellar 2.13 mark in those games.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Scott Barry started the season an 'under' bettors best friend, but the 'over' has been a better bet in the five games since beginning with three low-side winners. He has been primarily working games out west, two stops in Oakland plus games in San Diego and Seattle along with the Texas 2-step on his schedule, but it's the visitors in those games who have come out ahead on the MLB odds with five dubyas in eight affairs. That leaves Barry's games at 31-40 Home/Away the last three seasons.
The sun should peek through the clouds and various times today, and there's a 20% shot at a passing shower tripping through the area. There's also going to be the same west wind (10-12 mph) blowing out to center, but the way Dodgers bats are going, it might take gale force winds to push one of their balls out of the park. Yeah, put me down for San Francisco (+115) to pull off the broom job for my free MLB pick.
MLB Pick: Giants +115 at Bookmaker
Dodgers vs. Giants Game 2
By: Willie Bee
A year ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers felt right at home at AT&T Park, winning five of their last six. So far in 2015, the San Francisco Giants have turned the table on them and treated the Dodgers like the unwanted house guests they are.
San Francisco picked up its fourth consecutive home win over LA in Tuesday's series opener, Tim Hudson and four relievers blanking the Dodgers, 2-0. The rivals go at it again with the Giants aiming for their 5th-straight win behind Tim Lincecum who delivers the game's first pitch at 10:15 PM (ET). Los Angeles sends Brett Anderson to the mound as $1.20 chalk on the latest MLB betting odds, a 7 run total priced a little higher on the 'over' at most shops.
Giants 3-1 Behind The Freak In San Fran
It would be going against the norm if LA manager Don Mattingly didn't call on his bullpen by the sixth inning tonight. Anderson has only tossed six full frames twice this year, and topped 88 pitches just one. That's how many the southpaw used up last Thursday against Colorado, hitting the showers one out into the sixth after allowing two runs in a no-decision that eventually went to the Rockies.
The 27-year-old caught the Giants in both of the previous series, failing to get through five innings either outing with the Dodgers splitting the two contests. Anderson has now made five career starts against San Francisco, and made it through the fifth only one time.
All three of the Giants' wins with Lincecum on the hill this season have come at home, The Freak owning a 1.44 ERA in four goes at AT&T Park compared to 4.02 on the road. His two efforts vs. the Dodgers were split along those lines, the victory in San Fran and the loss coming in LA. Lincecum is yet another Giants pitcher happy to see Yasiel Puig on the DL, but a tough hitter for him over the years has been Juan Uribe (10-33, 2 HR).
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Angel Hernandez, one of the worst umpires in the biz, will be calling balls and strikes for the second game of the set. The only member of any crew with more service time than his chief (Ted Barrett), Hernandez will be under the mask for a ninth time this season, the last three going 'over' to leave baseball bettors 5-3 O/U this year. Home teams are also 5-3 (1-2 as the underdog) and the Giants have triumphed six of Hernandez's last seven plate assignments in San Francisco.
It's pretty much the same forecast as last night with the thermometer in the mid-to-upper 50s throughout the game. The previously hot lineups couldn't take advantage of the 10-15 mph westerly blow on Tuesday, and Dodgers hitters have gone completely cold which is why I'm firmly behind Lincecum and the Giants (+105) as small home 'dogs for my free MLB pick.
Dodgers vs. Giants Series Opener
By: Willie Bee
All things considered, the San Francisco Giants probably wouldn't have minded staying in Cincinnati for a little while longer. Led by Brandon Belt and the lineup bolstered by the return of Hunter Pence, the Giants plated 30 runs the last three games to bring hit bats home for the start of their series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Game 1 goes off at 10:15 PM (ET) Tuesday, the final game on the baseball betting card. Carlos Frias will start for LA opposite Tim Hudson of the Giants who are underdogs according to the latest MLB betting odds at GT Bets. Los Angeles is the road favorite at -118, and the final game on today's tote board is carrying a 7 run total that lists a little to the 'over' at some wagering outlets.
The adage about everything evening out over time certainly rings true in this rivalry. With more than 2,400 games played between them, the Giants hold a slight 1,214-1,186 lead with but a 74-run differential in all those matchups. They are, in fact, dead level in the 278 encounters this century, the Giants winning 139 and the Dodgers winning 139.
Six of the collisions took place in April, San Francisco sweeping three at home before LA took two of three at Chavez Ravine. The Dodgers had won six of the last seven played at AT&T Park before being broomed in April. Two of those three stayed 'under' the totals, the lone 'over' just skipping past a 7 run mark.
Dodgers Bullpen Bolstered By Return Of Jansen
Los Angeles (24-13, +4.5 units) has built the largest lead in any NL division, along with the 2nd-best record in the NL, largely behind an offense that leads the Senior Circuit scoring more than five runs per game. It's a lineup that leads the National League in homers and on-base percentage, all while operating with regulars Yasiel Puig (hamstring) and Carl Crawford (oblique), both on the DL and neither expected back for at least another two weeks.
That has provided a pitching staff with more than enough support as LA hurlers rank fourth in the league with a 3.28 ERA, achieving that mark despite some struggles for reigning NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. Manager Don Mattingly got a boost to the staff this with the return of closer Kenley Jansen who has struck out five of the first seven batters he's faced.
Frias stepped into the rotation following the loss of Brandon McCarthy to season-ending elbow surgery in late-April, and the skinny Dominican has responded well with the Dodgers winning two of his three starts. He saw the Giants out of the 'pen during the series at Dodger Stadium, tossing an inning-&-a-third of scoreless baseball, but got knocked around by their lineup in San Francisco during a long relief outing last September.
G-Men Home For Quick Series Before Hitting Road Again
San Francisco (20-18, +1.0 units) has turned things around after a slow start, winning 11 of 16 this month and towing a 3-game win streak following a 4-2 road trip through Houston and Cincinnati. The Giants need to enjoy these three days at home since they go right back out on the road this weekend with stops in Colorado and Milwaukee.
Hudson's last two outings ended in San Fran defeats, the soon-to-be 40 year old allowing nine runs and three homers in the 12 innings combined. The Dodgers chewed him up in three starts a year ago, his first with the Giants, collecting 21 hits off the righthander in just over 12 innings covering three assignments, and Hudson is happy to see both Puig (5-11, 2 HR) and Crawford (6-15) out of the LA lineup.
Rain shouldn't be an issue in this series, but bettors will want to pay attention to is the wind, a 15 mph blow from the west (out to center) showing up for the start of this evening's tilt, the thermometer in the mid-50s. Six of the last 10 Giants home games stayed 'under' the barriers, but with two of the four that did go past were times Hudson pitched. Combine that with the way the two offenses are going right now, and I can't help but like the 'over' (-110) for my free MLB pick in Game 1.