Dodgers to Begin Series at Giants with Dubya

Willie Bee

Thursday, April 5, 2018 9:10 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 5, 2018 9:10 PM UTC

The Dodgers and Giants are getting together for the second time in the young season, and we have a free baseball pick for their series opener in San Francisco on Friday.

Los Angeles Dodgers (2-5 SU, 2-5 O/U) at San Francisco Giants (3-3 SU, 3-3 O/U)

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Free MLB Pick: Dodgers -131Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

Prior to last week’s series in Los Angeles, the Dodgers and Giants had played 20-straight games against each other – including the entire 2017 season – without any contest ending in a shutout. So naturally, the old rivals played four consecutive shutouts in their first of six meetings this season with the second set for this weekend in San Francisco.

A blanking by either side tonight (10:15 PM ET) would mark the first time the clubs engaged in five successive shutouts, and that’s saying something considering they’ve been butting heads for 129 seasons and nearly 2,500 games. The two starting hurlers who will try to make that happen are LA’s Kenta Maeda (1-0, 0.00) and San Francisco’s Derek Holland (0-1, 5.40), a rematch from last Saturday. SBR’s top sportsbooks favor the Dodgers in the low-to-mid -130s, and many have adjusted the total to 8 after initially setting it 8½.

AT&T Has Proven Unkind To Maeda In Past

Maeda came out on the winning end of his collision with Holland and the Giants six days ago, tossing five scoreless frames and whiffing 10 of the 21 batters he faced. The Dodgers, decided -190 chalk on the MLB odds, got to Holland for all the runs they needed in the first inning via Yasiel Puig’s sac fly and Matt Kemp’s RBI single.

The win was Maeda’s fourth in six starts vs. the Giants, all of the victories coming in LA. Pitching at AT&T Park, generally considered pitcher-friendly, has been a whole ‘nother ballgame. The Dodgers have lost both of his assignments on the San Fran mound, Maeda lasting a combined 5.2 innings and surrendering nine earned runs. Holland is not only making his first start at home in a Giants uniform, this will also be his first career start at AT&T Park. The southpaw’s only appearance here was during the 2010 World Series, Holland coming on in relief and walking the only three batters he faced. It is also the first time he has faced the Dodgers since his 2009 rookie season, that outing resulting in a loss at Arlington (5 IP, 4 ER).

Rivalry Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

While we couldn’t have anticipated the four shutouts a week ago, we could’ve easily foreseen a split in that series considering the Giants hold a very slight 1,242-1,213 lead in the rivalry. San Fran also has the slimmest of edges in this millennium, 167-166, and is up 87-78 at AT&T Park. Only one of last week’s four games in LA went ‘over,’ with totals splitting the 10 games on this diamond in 2017.

I know the Dodgers were just swept in Arizona and got whitewashed in a pair of 1-0 losses to the Giants a week ago, but I just don’t trust Holland in this one. Give me the favored visitors for my free baseball pick.

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Things that never go out of style:
Being an #SFGiants fan.
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It Doesn't Get More SF pic.twitter.com/JZgxBCjpTn

— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) April 5, 2018
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