Best Picks for Dodgers vs. Giants Rubber Game

Willie Bee

Sunday, September 14, 2014 12:20 PM UTC

Sunday, Sep. 14, 2014 12:20 PM UTC

A pair of one-sided shutouts have taken place in the first two games of the MLB odds series between the Dodgers and Giants.  Can Clayton Kershaw repeat that in Sunday?

We see a lot of 3-game series go to the all-important rubber game during any given MLB season, but few are as crucial as Sunday's final in San Francisco between the Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.

The old rivals are two games apart in the NL West standings, the Dodgers owning that advantage with only two weeks left of the regular season slate.  Los Angeles has an excellent opportunity to increase it to three with ace Clayton Kershaw up next in the rotation, and the Giants would dearly love to spoil that to move within a game of the Dodgers behind Yusmeiro Petit in the 4:05 PM (ET) on the shores of McCovey Cove.

A quick check of SBR's live MLB odds suggests it will be tough for the Giants to get the job done.  Los Angeles is priced -180 on the moneyline, with 6 runs for the total.


Lopsided Shutouts Set Up Sunday's Rubber Match
There hasn't been any drama in the first two contests as the teams split blowout shutouts. Friday night was all Madison Bumgarner and the Giants in a 9-0 victory, San Francisco scooting out to a four-zip 1st-inning lead and never looking back as their lefty earned his fifth consecutive dubya.

Saturday belonged to Zack Greinke and the Dodgers who pasted a 17-0 decision on the Giants. Los Angeles raced to an 11-0 lead after four innings, and Greinke popped his fourth career homer to support his own cause.

Los Angeles' Game 2 victory left the teams level at 4-4 in the games played at AT&T Park this year, both games easily going 'over' the marks after five of the first six encounters on this field never made it to the totals.


Duel Screams 'Under' At AT&T Park
Kershaw's outstanding campaign continued this past Monday with a win over San Diego. The coon-to-be-crowned NL Cy Young winner went eight innings for the fourth consecutive start and allowed on earned run, two more Padres runs courtesy of a single play that saw the Dodgers commit three errors. The effort was the second consecutive assignment for Kershaw in which he allowed just three hits after a very similar overall performance against the Nationals on Sept. 2.

The Dodgers have split his two starts vs. the Giants in 2014, Kershaw no-decisioning in the loss down in Los Angeles and tossing a complete game shutout in the win at AT&T Park. He has made 10 lifetime starts on this mound, and owns a 7-2 record with a miniscule 0.69 ERA in nearly 78 innings.

Petit is making his fourth straight start in San Fran's rotation, the two at home going into the quality effort column while the one at Coors Field was a bit ugly. That follows a season-long trend for the Venezuelan, pitching to a 2.38 ERA at AT&T Park with a 5.27 ERA on the road. All four of his appearances vs. LA this year have come out of the bullpen, Petit yet to allow a run with only one hit against him in 6.2 innings.


Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
Many umpire crews are not following their usual rotations as most are traveling with five members as the season winds down.  The best guess for today's plate assignment is Doug Eddings.  Now in his 17th year at the MLB level, Eddings has been a good friend to 'under' bettors at 9-18-2 (O/U/P), and his one appearance of 2014 in San Francisco also never made it to the total.

A wild bullpen cost an AL Cy Young contender Saturday night when Seattle's Felix Hernandez saw his bid for a 15th win fall short in a 3-2 loss to Oakland.  This might be another low-scoring affair, especially given how the pitchers have performed in San Francisco, but I'm going to get firmly behind Kershaw and LA with a run-line play for my free MLB pick.

My Free NFL Pick: Dodgers -1.5 (-105) at 5Dimes

Willie Bee's Season: 118-116 (+1.15)

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