Kershaw to Give Dodgers' Horrible Pitching Some Relief

Sunday, April 15, 2018 4:11 AM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 15, 2018 4:11 AM UTC

History tells us Los Angeles steps up against the better teams in the league, with the "under" cashing 50 of their last 74 games against teams with a win percentage of more than .600.

Sunday MLB: Diamondbacks vs. DodgersFree MLB Pick: 'Under' 7Best Line Offered: SkyBook

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Despite Arizona's 9-1 rout Saturday, Dodger Stadium has not been a friendly spot for the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers have won 29 of the last 41 meetings in Los Angeles. For the series finale today, right-hander Zach Godley (2-0, 0.64 ERA, 14IP, 8H, 1BB, 12K) will start for Arizona against Dodgers ace lefty Clayton Kershaw (0-2, 1.89 ERA, 19IP, 18H, 3BB, 19K).

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— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 14, 2018

The MLB odds board opened with Los Angeles a-240 favorite, which is a head scratcher even with Kershaw starting. Certainly you would like to bet the Dodgers but there is no way I’m laying -240 to back Kershaw. The Dodgers (4-9) shouldn’t be that big of a favorite against anyone at this point, especially the Diamondbacks who have gotten off to a great stat (11-3).

My focus will be on the total which opened an expected 7, shaded to the "over" -115. The "wise guys" don’t agree so they bet the number down to -120 (under). The professional bettors usually jump on opening numbers to get the jump on a perceived soft number. That was the case today and I agree with them, even if most are betting under because the name Kershaw appears.

The Dodgers took the Lemon Face Challenge Friday night to create awareness for brain cancer, a move that left much of the team with the same look on their face that many backing Los Angeles this season can relate to.

For better or worse the story of the early Dodgers season has been their team pitching. Problem is, much of the talk hasn’t been in a positive light. Heading into Saturday’s game the Dodgers have allowed 21 earned runs over their last 18 innings. The bright light through it all has been Kershaw, who threw 7 innings of 6-hit ball against the Giants last Sunday to follow up his 6-inning, 4-hit effort to start the season against Arizona. Kershaw got L.A. back in the win column after a bullpen collapse the night before. The Dodgers were in desperate need of a quality start and Kershaw came to the rescue.

Prior to his last start, Los Angeles’ team ERA was over 5.00 in their previous four games. The point is, the Dodgers need to lean on Kershaw again and I’m betting he comes through against the Diamondbacks who are starting to slump offensively. Over their last three games prior to Saturday the Arizona 5-9 hitters were just 7-52 (.135) with 22 strikeouts and now they’re being asked to do their part in pushing this game "over" the total against one of the best pitchers in the game. No one gets right at the expense of Kershaw, and with your MLB picks expect this game to stay "under."

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