Dodgers the Pick on the Run Line to Close Out the 4th of July

Los Angeles Dodgers

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, July 4, 2017 3:47 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jul. 4, 2017 3:47 PM UTC

The two best teams in the National League will close the 4th of the July in style. Arizona makes the short trip over Los Angeles to face the Dodgers in a three-game series starting tonight.

Manager Dave Roberts club has been sizzling, winning 20 of their past 24 contests, yet, has only picked up two games in the standings on the Diamondbacks. Roberts will send out his ace Clayton Kershaw, looking to grab the series lead and with how these teams feel about each other, there could be fireworks during the game along with afterwards.

While I might not be as hot a firecracker for MLB picks, hitting 60 percent (24-16) at least should get me a free box of sparklers somewhere.


Pitching Matchup - Corbin vs. Kershaw

Tonight's tilt features a pair of left-handers, one still the best in the game and the other trying to rekindle the magic. For Patrick Corbin (6-7, 4.76 ERA), 2013 seems like a lifetime ago. That was his first full season as a starter and he was 14-8 with a 3.41 ERA. The following spring he was taking over as the ace of Arizona, then blew out his elbow and missed all of 2014. He actually threw fairly well in 2015 in 16 starts, but nothing close since. Corbin lacks that third pitch to be an ace, as his fastball does not have the movement it used to, while the slider is still deadly. Plain and simple, he gives up more than a hit an inning, unable to go through the batting order three times without getting batted around. Corbin is 3-8 with a 4.58 ERA against the Dodgers as a starter.

For those who have nothing better to do than nitpick, yes, Kershaw (12-2, 2.32) has already surrendered a career-high in home runs with 17. Nevertheless, let's look at the whole package. His ERA, WHIP and batting average allowed are all at or below career norms. Kershaw's walks conceded are typical (as in very few) and he's on pace for his second-largest strikeout total. Thus, when Superman is not perfect every day, some people wonder why. Kershaw is 13-8, with 2.66 ERA vs. Arizona.

 Two Offenses Who Know How to Ring Up Runs

Both these offenses have been sterling in averaging 5.2 runs a game and they sit right behind Washington for the most runs in the NL. Each has been a little off of late, averaging about a half a run less in their past seven contests, yet no real reason for alarm.

With all the talk about homers this season, these teams along with the Nationals, understand the importance of runners on base and not just waiting for the three-run bomb to happen and Dodgers and D-Backs are second and third in the all important on-base percentage category. This will also matter in this series.


Betting Odds, Head to Head and Bullpen Numbers

When looking into the MLB odds, almost any Kershaw pitched contest will be inflated and he and the Dodgers are chalk-laden -290 favorites with total of 7.5. The Dodgers hold a large 17-6 lead at home in the past three years over the Snakes, with the total a coin flip at 11-11-1. Good luck trying to win games late against these bullpens, with L.A. first in the league in ERA and 'Zona second.

 The Winner Is...

Of course the money line is out on the Dodgers and if you want to take a chance on Arizona with big number, be my guest. Though Corbin has a 2.41 ERA in his last three starts, two of those came against Philadelphia. On the road, Corbin is 1-5 with a massive 8.13 ERA. With Kershaw and his crew s 22-1 vs. teams who strand 6.9 or less runners on base per game and winning by an average of three runs per contest, I will choose the run line (-140) on the Dodgers for best option.

Free MLB Play: Dodgers -1.5Best Betting Line: at 5Dimes

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