Dodgers to Edge Pirates in Opener at PNC Park

Kevin Stott

Monday, August 21, 2017 12:36 PM UTC

Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 12:36 PM UTC

The Dodgers have been quite a story this MLB Regular Season and on Monday, Yasiel Puig and Los Angeles head to Pittsburgh to face Gerrit Cole, Andrew McCutchen and the struggling Pirates in Game 1 of a 4-game NL series from PNC Park.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates (Time Warner, 7:05 pm ET): Alex Wood and the Dodgers (87-35) continue their 7-game Road trip as they head to PNC Park in Pittsburgh to face Gerrit Cole (10-8) and the Pirates (53-62) in Game 1 of a 4-game series Monday night. Sportsbooks offshore have Los Angeles -162 favorites (BetOnline) over the Bucs with the Total at 8o -115 (Heritage) to 8½u -120 (JustBet), while in the Run Line market, the Dodgers -1½ runs is at -105 with Pittsburgh +1½ runs at -115 (BetOnline). Los Angeles has gone a pathetic 5-15 the L20 games against Pittsburgh the L3 MLB Regular Season (2-5 in 2014, 1-5 in 2015, 2-5 in 2016).


Los Angeles Dodgers

No hyperbole, this Dodgers (+450 to win World Series, Intertops) roster may be the best in MLB this millennium. An already loaded and deep baseball team that has gone 52-10 its L62 -- rewarding their backers at the betting window an unheard of 83.9% over that not so Small Sample Size -- and still winning despite losing ace Clayton Kershaw (Back) to an Injury, added SP Yu Darvish (Rangers), OF Curtis Granderson (Mets) and have seen veteran 1B Adrián González (Back) return from a long spell on the DL, making Los Angeles Manager Dave Roberts now have that rare and wonderful problem of having too many good players deserving to start and not enough positions on the diamond to accommodate that mathematical reality. Now anything but winning the World Series will seem like a failure for a team which was 51 games above .500 on Aug 20. That’s all.

On Sunday in Detroit against the Tigers in Game 3 of a 3-game Interleague series (LAD -140, 9u -115, BookMaker) -- and seeking a 17th series sweep and their 7th straight win (they failed) -- the Dodgers had a Starting Lineup of: LF Granderson, SS Corey Seager, 3B Turner, 1B González, RF Puig, DH Utley, 2B Forsythe, C Barnes, CF Hernández with LHP Kenta Maeda (7 Ks) getting the pill and actually pitching pretty well but allowing 4 ER on 5 Hits with a horrible 4-run Bottom of the 6th being the difference in a 6-2 loss in the Motor City.

The simple numbers show Los Angeles (+110 to win NL, Bovada) -- which sent OF Joc Pederson down to Triple-A after acquiring Granderson -- to be an MLB-best 51-14 at Home, tops in Run Differential (+215, 621 RS-406 RA) and the Dodgers Pitching Staff is #1 in Batting Average (.224), ERA (3.10) and WHIP (1.17). This team has already had two 10+ game Win Streaks but has definitely struggled against the Pirates the L3 year and has 1B Cody Bellinger (Out) nursing a sprained Right Ankle. Los Angeles is 35-18 L53 on the Road and 20-9 L29 Road games vs. RHP Starters.


Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates (150/1 to win World Series, have scored less Runs than their opponents and are under the .500 mark in mid-August, yet still Pittsburgh started play Sunday just 6½ games behind the defending World Series-champion Cubs in the NL Central, but with the Cardinals and Brewers still between themselves and Chicago. So, the next 20 games will dictate whether or not the Bucs are still “in it” or “out of it,” with the latter being way more likely. In Game 3 against the Redbirds on Sunday Night Baseball (STL -107, 9½, 5Dimes), Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle had a Starting Lineup of: LF Marte, 2B Hanson, RF McCutchen, 1B Bell, 3B Freese, RF Frazier, SS Mercer, C Stewart with RHP Ivan Nova getting the start.

The Pirates (66/1 to win NL, Bovada) are 6-1 L7 Mondays, 11-5 L16 Home games and 7-0 L7 Cole Starts with 4+ Days of rest but slumping Pittsburgh was 1-6 L7 overall into SNB and 2-6 L8 Cole Monday Starts. And these are the 2017 Dodgers. The Over is 4-0 L4 Bucs Home games but the Under is 16-7 Cole’s L23 Starts on Grass, 5-1 his L6 Home Starts and 4-1 his L4 on Monday and the Under is 16-7 in 23 Cole Starts.


Pittsburgh Weather, Series Trends, Side Pick

For Monday night in Pittsburgh, the TWC forecast is calling for a few Clouds, a lovely Low of 70° with SSW Winds at 5-10 mph, so, perfect Baseball weather in the Steel City. Dodgers LHP starter Wood (2.30 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) has been absolutely brilliant so far this season and in his last start, the 26-year-old allowed 1 ER and 6 Hits in 7.0 IP vs. the White Sox in winning his 4th straight Start, going at least 6.0 IP in all four outings. Pirates RHP Cole (4.04 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) was rocked in his last Start at Milwaukee, allowing 3 HRs in 6.0 IP on Wednesday. Cole has allowed 26 HRs this season, over twice his previous career-high.

Although the Pirates (8-1 L9 vs Dodgers in Pittsburgh) have been so dominant against Los Angeles the L3 seasons and hurler Cole being 4-1 his L5 Starts vs. the Dodgers (Over 4-1 those 5), this just seems like a bad spot to back those Trends with so much pressure on the hosts and them not playing well and facing the freight train that this Dodger club has become, making the visitors the Dodgers — an MLB-best 24-10 off a Loss —the pick. The Over is 36-15 the L51 meetings at Pittsburgh and with able veterans Granderson — who homered Sunday — and González now part of the daily Los Angeles plan and trying to assimilate themselves into flow, expect them to generate some Runs here and for one big inning (3+ Runs) — like which doomed them Sunday — to possibly end up being the difference with Turner, Seager, Puig and Utley (if he plays vs. LHP Cole) possibly also having good days at the plate

Predicted Final Score: Dodgers 5, Pirates 3Free MLB Pick: Dodgers -162Best Line Offered: Heritage

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