Saturday’s Preakness Stakes – and the Triple Crown betting that goes with it – is at the top of the marquee for sports this weekend. Baseball is sort of on the backburner, especially a David & Goliath matchup like the one in Los Angeles between the Dodgers and Miami Marlins.
Miami Marlins vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Friday, May 14, 2021 – 10:10 PM EDT at Dodger Stadium
Los Angeles is playing the part of Goliath in the series, the defending champs topping MLB with about a $250 million payroll. Roughly $180 million behind that figure, the Miami Marlins rank 26th in the majors and would love to fell a giant like the Dodgers. That payroll discrepancy is certainly reflected in the betting odds for Game 1 of the weekend set.
Opening lines for the contest had the Dodgers -200 with Clayton Kershaw (5-3, 2.62) on the hill, and that number has since inched up to around -210 at most shops. Miami sends tough-luck Sandy Alcantara (1-2, 2.72) out in opposition, and a 7-run total is taxed to the low side.
Fish Coming Off Split with Snakes
The Marlins began this road trip with a 4-game series in Arizona, dropping the first two contests before beating the Diamondbacks in the final two. A 17-20 record has Miami just 4-games behind the New York Mets in the NL East race, and the Marlins own the highest run differential in the division (+14).
Despite a 2.16 ERA over his last four starts, the Marlins have only managed to split the contests with Alcantara winning just once. The 25-year-old has allowed more than three runs in a start just once on the season, and three of the eight assignments have ended up going extra innings.
One of those 10-inning affairs was this past Sunday in Miami against the Brewers, Alcantara leaving with a 1-1 tie after seven frames. The Brewers won 2-1 as +130 ‘dogs at Intertops (visit our Intertops Review).
Alcantara would love to atone for a poor showing the one and only time he has faced Los Angeles. The start came at Dodger Stadium in 2019, and he left trailing 6-0 after just five innings and allowing two long balls. Kershaw was also on the mound in that matchup, and the LA hurler even got in on the offense with a single in two at bats against Alcantara.
‘Over’ Cashes 8 of Dodgers’ Last 10 at Home
Dave Roberts and the Dodgers took Thursday off after sweeping two from the Seattle Mariners to begin their 9-game homestand. That Los Angeles won two in a row is a bit of big news for a club that last accomplished the feat nearly a month ago.
Continuing his long history of being outstanding at home on the Dodger Stadium mound, Kershaw has been one tough dealer to visiting hitters in 2021. Not that he’s pitched poorly on the road, like when he tossed five scoreless against the Angels in Anaheim last Saturday as -150 chalk at online betting sites. But he’s been aces at home with a 1.35 ERA and 0.80 WHIP in three assignments (20 IP).
Believe it or not, there was a time when Kershaw struggled against the Marlins, losing four in a row against them from 2016-18 with a 4.50 ERA. But the Dodgers won both of his outings in 2019, the last time he faced Miami, without the veteran allowing a run. Lewis Brinson, Jesus Aguilar and Adam Duvall are a combined 0-for-21 against Kershaw, with 10 strikeouts.
Series History, LA Forecast & A Free Pick
It has been about 21 months since the teams last saw each other, and the Dodgers will be looking to continue the domination they enjoyed by taking five of the six games on the 2019 schedule. It was a broom job for the Dodgers at home that year, and they’ve emerged victorious in eight of the last 10 in Los Angeles, totals running 7-3 O/U in that span.
The weatherman is calling for clear skies at the start of Friday night’s contest, a few clouds beginning to float in as the evening progresses and the thermometer in the low-60s. A gentle 5-8 mph SW breeze (out to center) is also in the forecast.
Beating the Mariners two games in a row is a good first step for the Dodgers in getting their woeful ways turned around, but it’s not a big enough sign for me to start laying big chalk on Los Angeles. Instead, I’m going to ride the trend of ‘over’ winners when the Marlins are in LA with my MLB pick.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.