A recent 11-2 spurt has the Dodgers at their high-water mark for the season, closing in on a division title. This handicapper hopes LA continues with its recent winning ways vs. rival Angels.
Dodgers-Angels Monday Odds
As of mid-Monday morning the best line we could find on LA with Zack Greinke was the -159 offered at Pinnacle, while Anaheim and Nick Tropeano were getting +158 at Bovada. And the total on tonight's game sat at seven runs, with most of the MLB odds market grease sliding toward the OVER.
Los Angeles just took three of four games from San Diego over the weekend, winning Sunday 5-1. So the Dodgers have won four series in a row and 11 of their last 13 games.
At 78-58 LA leads the NL West by 7.5 games over second-place San Francisco, with 26 games to go.
Anaheim, meanwhile, just took two of three games at home from Texas, winning Sunday 7-0. So the Angels have won two straight series and four of their last five games.
At 69-67 Anaheim trails division-leading Houston by 5.5 games in the AL West, but only sits 2.5 games back of Texas in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.
This is the second edition of the Freeway Series this season; back five weeks ago the Dodgers swept three games from the Angels at Chavez Ravine, with two of those games playing OVER, even though the teams combined to score just 20 runs.
Monday's Mound Match-Up
Tropeano (1-2, 5.51) will be making his fourth spot start of this season, his first in over two weeks. Back on Aug. 20 he got bombed for six runs in less than five innings by the White Sox, while just before that he gave up four runs in six innings against Texas. So on the season Tropeano has allowed 20 hits through 16 1/3 innings, walked three and struck out 12.
Anaheim is 1-2 in Tropeano's starts, with the UNDERS going 2-1.
This will be Tropeano's first-ever start against Los Angeles.
A former fifth-round draft pick, Tropeano is 36-36 with a 3.57 ERA in parts of five seasons in the Minors, 12-11/3.77 at the Triple-A level.
Greinke (15-3, 1.59) is 23-for-27 on quality starts, working on a run of five in a row. Last Tuesday he held San Francisco to one run through 7 1/3 innings, and over his last five starts he's allowed just five runs through 34 1/3 innings. For the season the former Angel has allowed just 126 hits through 187 innings, walked 32 and struck out 169.
The Dodgers are 19-8 in Greinke's starts, with the UNDERS going 16-11.
In one start this season against the Angels, back on July 31, Greinke held them to two runs and five hits through eight innings, with one walk and eight whiffs, in a 5-3 LA victory.
Monday's Batting Splits
LA ranks eighth in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with both a .323 team on-base percentage and a .416 team slugging percentage.
Anaheim, meanwhile, ranks 23rd against righties with a .309 team OBP and 19th with a .398 team slugging percentage.
Also, the Dodgers get to use a DH in this series, although the way Greinke has been swinging the bat lately perhaps they should just leave him in.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at the Big A this season are 38-29 on the UNDERS, averaging 7.5 runs per.
Anaheim slugger Albert Pujols (35 HR) is dealing with a sore knee and foot, and is doubtful to play Monday night.
Dodgers-Angels Free Pick
Greinke owns a big advantage in the pitching match-up; LA owns an edge with the sticks; and Pujols probably won't play. Add it all up and we like the Dodgers against the run line tonight with our MLB pick for monday night.
MLB Pick: Dodgers (+110) on the run line at Pinnacle