Dodgers' Starting Pitching Woes Could Cost Them NL West Title

Doug Upstone

Friday, July 17, 2015 11:40 PM UTC

Friday, Jul. 17, 2015 11:40 PM UTC

All season the Los Angeles Dodgers have remained one of the favorites to win the National League at all sportsbooks and their odds have not wavered much despite having starting pitching woes.

Don Mattingly has used duct tape and caulk to piece together five starting pitchers and a bullpen, while San Francisco has been dealing with issues of their own. Arizona's been better than expected versus the MLB odds and San Diego's big thinking has gotten them in big trouble. Colorado, well, they're playing like the Rockies. How might these teams play in the coming weeks and what purpose will they serve for MLB picks? Just follow the rest of the words here to learn more.


L.A. Dodgers (51-39, -8.5 units)
Though it looks like a misprint it is not, Los Angeles might have the third-finest record in the NL, but they have not been a good wager, because they have lost eight times as -180 or higher favorites this season, causing their backers plenty if used for sports picks. Despite all the commotion, the Dodgers enjoyed their largest lead at the All-Star break in six years. With Clayton Kershaw way off his normal season, other the Zack Greinke, L.A. has been forced to utilize a dozen different starting pitchers already this season which is usually what happens to really bad teams. Yet somehow, even with a declining offense, Dodger Blue has found ways to win and are a stellar 33-17 at Chavez Ravine, however they only have 32 home games left of their remaining 72. Mattingly's club will be challenged with only five home games over their next 22 conflicts and might be just a .500 team over that time.


San Francisco (46-43, -1.5)
To say it has been a tumultuous season would be an understatement for the Giants. San Francisco has five losing streaks which have lasted at least five games this season and a trio of winning streaks also involving five or more W's. The Giants have shown poorly as favorites at 25-26 (-10.3 units) but have risen to the occasion as underdogs with a 21-17 mark (+8.8). For baseball handicappers the only aspect which makes sense about the Giants is when they are on a good or bad roll, follow it. With Matt Cain and Jake Peavy back, the starting pitching could move up from a middle of the pack ERA. Though San Fran has mostly away outings to start the second half, the first six series are all against teams presently who have losing records,which at least provides an opportunity for success.


Arizona (42-45, +0.2)
The Diamondbacks preseason win total at WagerWeb was 73, thus Arizona is far ahead of that number. The D-Backs will go as far as their offense will carry them, ranked first in the senior circuit and fourth overall at 4.5 RPG. With Paul Goldschmidt the main trigger-man, the Snakes have enough bats to beat mediocre pitching, unfortunately for them they are just ahead of Colorado and Philadelphia in runs allowed in the NL. Arizona is not completely out of the wild card conversation trailing the Cubs by five games, but they need to do a lot of damage on their 10-game homestand to be taken more seriously.


San Diego (41-49, -7.3)
Though we will likely never know, but for a guy who was brought up and groomed to be patient in being part of the Rangers organization, when A.J. Preller became the San Diego GM, he went all out. Maybe he was told by ownership to make a splash and the Padres were the talk of spring with all their moves to rebuild their roster, even if all the pieces did not seem to fit. Fast forward to today and the detractors are having a "I told you so" party at Preller's expense and he might have to start over in 2016 with bad contracts and a depleted farm system, which ultimately he is accountable for. The Padres have too many players that don't fit together, a slew of starting pitchers that are at best No. 3 starters on most squads and a bullpen which has its highest ERA in years. Over the next three weeks the Friars will face competition with talent similar to them and chances are they will end up with a losing record.


Colorado (39-49, -5.5)
Over the All-Star break I read an article that said not only are Colorado pitchers at a disadvantage at Coors Field, so are the Rockies hitters, who see more fastballs at home because of the thin air and swing accordingly, but have to adjustment on the road when they face a more traditional mix of pitches. This sounds like a bunch of malarkey to me, because for a team to score 5.3 RPG at home and 3.5 RPG on the road it makes no sense unless these hitters are realistically just a byproduct of their environment. The pitching difference is 0.9 runs (5.5 to 4.6) or half of what the offense has produced in overall results. The fact is the Rockies have seldom developed really good players with multiple skills that are not ballpark dependent and they will continue to lose because of this.

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