Stuck in a 3-game losing skid, the Dodgers are decided favorites to snap the streak Tuesday night in LA where they're hosting the Diamondbacks in a 4-game series.
Having already been eliminated from the MLB postseason, the Arizona Diamondbacks don't have a whole lot to play for. Still, they can at least slow the Los Angeles Dodgers' march towards a division title and have the chance to play a role in the AL playoffs when the Diamondbacks take on Houston in the final series of the regular season.
Arizona continues its series in Los Angeles on Tuesday (10:10 PM ET) when the clubs collide at Dodger Stadium with a battle of lefthanders. It's a rematch from 11 days ago as Robbie Ray climbs the hill for the Diamondbacks opposite LA's Alex Wood, only this time with much different MLB Odds. The previous meeting in Arizona closed as a pick 'em, but Wood and the Dodgers are hefty -170 favorites tonight. BetOnline has a 7½ run total that is priced evenly high and low.
D-Backs Belt 3 HR To Take Series Opener
Early on Monday night, it looked as if the Dodgers were going to reduce their magic number for the NL West title to six, but Arizona started to connect against LA starter Brett Anderson the second time through the lineup. Trailing 2-0, the Diamondbacks rattled off six unanswered runs thanks to three homers, and cruised to the 8-4 decision.
For three seasons from 2011-13, the D-Backs controlled this rivalry by taking 32 of the 55 matchups. That has swung entirely back around in LA's favor the past two years, the Dodgers taking 26 of the last 35 encounters. Arizona actually won the first two meetings this season before the Dodgers grabbed 11 of the next 13 prior to last night's loss.
It has been particularly one-sided recently when the clubs convene at Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles 15-2 at home following Monday's setback. Totals at Dodger Stadium this year have gone 4-2-1 O/U/P.
Snakes Roughed Wood Up 11 Days Ago
When these two pitchers matched up on September 11, Arizona hitters didn't find anything mysterious about Wood. The Diamondbacks struck quickly with four runs in the first, three on a blast by Welington Castillo, and chased the Los Angeles lefty two outs into the second when they were tacking on six more run en route to a 12-4 rout.
Ross tossed five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits to pick up the victory and halt what had been a 7-game skid for the Diamondbacks in his assignments. He fell back into his losing ways last Wednesday when he couldn't get through the fifth at home vs. the Padres, San Diego plating all of their runs by that time for a 4-3 triumph. The Dodgers beat Ross twice before this year, the Tennessee native combining for 12.2 innings and allowing six runs in the June and July starts.
Wood rebounded from that beating 11 days ago in spectacular fashion last Wednesday against the Rockies, limiting Colorado to one hit over eight scoreless frames of a 2-0 Los Angeles victory. He beat the Diamondbacks earlier this season while with the Braves, working eight innings and surrendering only one run, and is 3-1 in his four starts at Dodger Stadium this season, posting a sub-2.00 ERA and whiffing 21 in 27.1 innings.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Crew chief Jerry Layne was missing from this bunch of umpires on Monday and it's not clear when he might return. Assuming it's not Tuesday to possibly upset the current rotation, Hunter Wendelstedt will call balls and strikes in Game 2 of the series. Wendelstedt brings a 9-14-3 O/U/P record for totals into the contest, four of his last five plate assignments falling short of the baseball odds. Home teams are winning at a 17-9 clip, 13-4 when favored.
There is a slight chance of rain in the LA area during the day, but the clouds should clear out by game time and leave a muggy 74º for the first pitch. I like Wood at home, but will play both lineups to plate enough runs to send my free MLB Pick past the total.