Los Angeles has been excellent away from home this season, and with Kershaw pitching it's no surprise to see them as high as -180 in the MLB betting odds. The Phillies can be backed in the +160 to +170 range.
Meanwhile, the total for tonight's contest is holding steady at 7.5.
Los Angeles Dodgers (Kershaw)
The Dodgers are wrapping up a lengthy road trip with a three-game set in Philadelphia over the weekend.
So far they've lost two of three in Arizona, then following that up with a 2-1 series win in New York over the Mets. That puts Los Angeles at 25-23 overall, 4.5 games back of the division-leading Giants.
There's a reason the betting odds are what they are for tonight, though. While Clayton Kershaw was beat up badly in his most recent outing, he's still one of the truly elite pitchers in the game and you have to figure he'll bounce back.
Kershaw couldn't even get out of the second inning in a road start against Arizona six days ago. He gave up six hits and seven earned runs, with his ERA rising from 1.74 to 4.43 in the process.
Consider that performance an anomaly. Kershaw owns a career win-loss record of 79-47 to go with a 2.63 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, with 1234 strikeouts in 1202 innings of work. The left-hander isn't going to let one start be the end all of his season.
Philadelphia Phillies (Hernandez)
The last few weeks have been a struggle for the Phillies.
Philadelphia just dropped two of three in Miami and has now gone just 5-10 over their last 15 games overall. The Phillies are at 20-24 this season, which puts them tied for last alongside the Mets in the NL East race.
Tonight's starter will be Roberto Hernandez, who's 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA and 1.48 WHIP on the year.
Hernandez has done well at home, allowing only five earned runs in 19 and 2/3 innings so far, though his control (17 K, 11 BB) has been questionable at best. Inconsistency has plagued the 30-year old throughout his career, but we have seen him put forth some special outings in the past. He'll need to be sharp against Los Angeles, that's for sure.
This will be the right hander's first start since May 9th, when he gave up only six hits and one earned run in a 3-2 win over the Mets. Hernandez has since been used out of the bullpen a couple times, but now he re-joins the rotation and immediately gets a tough assignment against the hard-hitting Dodgers.
The Dodgers are the play here.
Hitting a solid .275 against righties this season, we look for Los Angeles to make Hernandez work for each and every out. On the other side, you've got a determined Kershaw ready to redeem himself, which we think he'll be able to do. It's rare to see a pitcher of his quality disappoint in two straight starts.
Los Angeles has been terrific on the road (16-10), while Philadelphia has struggled to perform at home (8-12), so we'll take our chances with Kershaw and company on the run-line this evening.
Pick: Dodgers -1.5 (-105)