Diamondbacks-Dodgers NLDS Game 1 Betting Preview

Mark Lathrop

Friday, October 6, 2017 10:19 AM UTC

Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 10:19 AM UTC

With the Dodgers waiting for the Diamondbacks rested and ready for Game 1 of this National League Division series, our MLB handicapper breaks down the pitching matchup and where the value lies in wagering the game.

With the Diamondbacks moving past Colorado in the Wild Card playoff game they now face a rested Los Angeles Dodger team waiting for them at home. With the Dodger rotation now reset, they have their ace on the mound in Clayton Kershaw. The Diamondbacks used Zack Greinke in their playoff game with Colorado, so they have Taijuan Walker starting here. In this spot, there is no surprise that the Dodgers are huge moneyline favorites. They can be found at as high as -256 at books such as Heritage, while the Diamondbacks can be found at +235 over at 5Dimes. The O/U total has been listed at 7.5 across the MLB odds board, with shades to the under such as a -125 line at Intertops.

Clayton Kershaw went 18-4 this year and had his worst season since 2010 in FIP (3.07) and accrued WAR (4.6). That’s how consistently good Kershaw has been in his career. The reason for his FIP regression was a spike in his HR/FB rate to 15.9% on the season, which is nearly triple his 2016 rate. Amazingly enough, Kershaw has allowed a dinger in five starts in a row coming into this game. However, he has dominated the Diamondbacks so far this season over two starts and has allowed only one earned run over 15.1 innings pitched while posting a 19/3 K/9 rate. He has the Diamondback’s number this year, that is for sure. His line drive rate of 16.9% and a groundball rate of 55.1% in the second half of the season are elite.

Taijuan Walker took a step in the right direction this year and limited his HR/FB% to 11.3% after it was an issue with the Mariners last year at 17.6%. However, his strikeouts were down over last year and his walks were up. Walker struggles mightily against right-handers on the road, giving up a .295 BAA, .353 OBP, and .462 SLG against. But like Kershaw, Walker has an elite line drive rate of 16.1% and a groundball rate of 50.7% in the second half of the season.

Both Walker and Kershaw have won their last three games pitched against the respective opponent, so obviously this is the first time they have faced each other. This makes it hard for me to find value on the side, even with the Diamondbacks at almost even money on the underdog run line. Instead, I will focus on the offenses of these two teams, which are absolutely blistering hot right now. The Diamondbacks have scored 6.6 runs per game over their last seven games and the Dodgers 6.1. With the O/U total at just 7.5 runs there seems to be some overlying value here on the Over, which I will take as my Game 1 MLB pick in this series.

Free MLB Picks OVER 7.5 Runs
Best Lines +115 at Bookmaker

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2017 MLB Record, 216-193-11, +8.49 units

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