Talk about your haves and have nots! Los Angeles and San Francisco have lapped the field in the National League West and it is Pepsi Clear to MLB handicappers which teams to play on. With this in mind, let’s break down how the second half should start for each particular team in the division against the betting odds.
Los Angeles Dodgers
After making up ground like Jimmy Johnson in a NASCAR race, the Dodgers have stalled with a .500 record this month (-0.8 units) and are tied in the loss column with the rival Giants. The Los Angeles offense has been stuck at pit row with eight runs in the past five games.
All season, myself and others pundits making sports picks have sang the praises of the Dodgers talent level, but collectively, it has seldom been on the field at the same time due to injury, which ultimately might be their undoing.
For those making MLB picks, L.A. will be tested out of the gate with three-game series in St. Louis, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. Against this competition, curious to see if the Dodgers can maintain stellar 27-19 road record (+6.5).
San Francisco Giants
Maybe, just maybe, San Fran has survived their precipitous fall, in winning two of their past three series. Giants fans sure hope so, after watching their team fail in all areas in various points the past five weeks. In random order, the starting pitching and bullpen was off kilter and the hitting and fielding were not typical of a Bruce Boche squad.
With Marco Scutaro back on Saturday, Boche is hoping Brandon Belt is fully recovered and Angel Pagan is not too far behind, though he’s not been cleared to swing a bat yet.
Maybe the biggest shocker of the Giants season to date among those working the MLB odds is Tim Lincecum is up +6.6 units, with his team 13-6 in his starts.
San Francisco has two scheduling obstacles with four trips into the Eastern Time Zone and nine skirmishes with L.A. still remaining.
San Diego Padres
After being shutout in their last two contests at Dodger Stadium, San Diego is now averaging less than three runs a game, which by any measure is abhorrent.
The Padres third base coach is like the old Maytag repairman – The loneliest man in town, seeing so few base runners. Unless the Padres receive outstanding pitching, they are susceptible to losing, with a 24-41 record in games determined by two or more runs.
San Diego will have a chance to return to winning ways, hosting the Mets and playing at the Cubs next.
The Rockies offense which was so lethal the first six weeks of the season, has nearly all of its working parts back and could well return to averaging five or more runs a contest again. (4.70 at the moment)
The problem is the pitchers are surrendering 5.3, which leads to have to scoring six a night to have a chance to win. This will lead to Colorado being a frequent underdog at sportsbooks and they are an undesirable 20-38 (-13.5) in that role.
Starting the second half with a home and home series with Pittsburgh and versus Washington, likely means more losing for the Rocks.
For most teams, being home is a relief, but not for Arizona, who is 17-31 (-18) in downtown Phoenix. The D-Backs have already moved a few players and more could be exiting the Grand Canyon State before the end of the month.
Take away Paul Goldschmidt and positives disappear like a $2 Corona at happy hour for the Snakes. This is a bad club headed in a different direction with Tony LaRussa slowing taking over in the front office.