MLB Picks: Cash on Right-Handed Pitchers Visiting Dodger Stadium

Jay Pryce

Thursday, June 18, 2015 6:10 PM GMT

The Dodgers destroy right-handed pitching. We offer two betting angles to take advantage of L.A.’s powerful hitters when playing at home.

If you have not noticed yet, the 2015 Los Angeles Dodgers can absolutely mash the ball. They rank second in MLB to the Toronto Blue Jays in OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) totaling .769, and are closing in on the league-leading Houston Astros for most home runs per game, bashing over 1.27 a contest this season. Weirdly, a lot of their hitting success occurs under certain conditions at Dodger Stadium, a well-known pitcher’s park. The knowledgeable sports investor is making a mint off Mattingly’s men, and there are two very simple scenarios we want to clue you in on to help you profit off the Dodgers’ big bats this season.

The over is cashing at a profitable rate in Dodger Stadium under very straightforward circumstances. The first scenario is as follows: bet the over when Los Angeles is a home favorite, facing a right-handed starter, and the game total is seven or more. Since 2014, the over is 43-13-3 with an average of 8.9 runs per game (RPG) against a closing 7.3. The Dodgers average 4.7 RPG as a group in this situation, and the team total grows when their win expectations increases. With an average line closing roughly at -155 MLB odds, the Dodgers knock in 5.2 runs when favored by less than this figure versus 4.3 when higher. Stash this away if wagering on team totals.

What is going on here? Well, for one, the Dodgers tee off on right-handed pitching. Since 2014, they rank first in MLB in weighted on-base average (wOBA). Created by baseball stats guru, Tom Tango, the catch-all metric attempts to filter out the inequalities and biases inherit in OPS and batting average (i.e. research shows OBP is nearly two times more valuable than slugging percentage, and a double doesn’t necessarily attribute more runs than a single), to present a statistic measuring hitting performance more in line with its actual run value. Throughout the 2000s, a wOBA of .320 is roughly the league average—though this number is dropping since 2010. Analysts consider .370 “great,” which is classified better than above average and slightly below an excellent score of .400. Courtesy of FanGraphs, since 2014, six current Dodgers with 100 plate appearances or more are hitting “great” or better against right-handed pitching:

 

Name

wOBA

Justin Turner

.410

Yasmani Grandal

.401

Yasiel Puig

.390

Adrian Gonzlaez

.390

Joc Pederson

.386

Alex Guerrero

.384

 

On any given day, this is nearly two-thirds of the Dodgers lineup! 

Dodger Stadium, which has always been revered as a pitcher's park, ranked 27th last year in runs scored when considering park factors. Ironically, the field typically sits as an average to above-average house for home runs in any given year, the most heavily weighted statistic in wOBA. In 2014, for example, aided by a talented L.A. lineup, the park figured 12th in homers as a stadium. In fact, for left-handed batters, who theoretically will hit better against right-handed pitching, Dodger Stadium has ranked above average for home runs as far back as analysts have measured park factors. With this in mind, we present part two of the angle: bet the over when Los Angeles is a home favorite, facing a right-handed starter, and is tossing a right-handed starter too. Since 2014, the over is 39-12-2 with 8.9 total runs and a closing 7.2. The gist here is that if the Dodgers do not explode for some runs, their opponents will against an average group of right-handed starters (minus Zack Greinke). Overall, these two angles have overlapped 45 times for a 75% win percentage, and maintain a similar rate when isolated as a single event. Similar to the total of seven or more scenario, the opponent’s runs per game increases as the betting markets’ odds of them winning balloons. With a line greater than the average-155, for example, opponents score 4.9 RPG against the L.A.’s right-handed starters. We can suspect the long ball might be at play here, coupled with Dodger Stadium's historically low runs scored park factor, in giving us an edge between runs scored and game totals, as betting models and public perception haven’t caught up to the dichotomy. Since 2014, in contests where the Dodgers’ starter is a righty as a home favorite, squaring off against a right-hander, opponents average .932 home runs while the home team averages 1.00—no Clayton Kershaw in this mix, folks.

 

How To Bet Tonight's Series Finale
Tonight’s Dodgers game sees this situation trigger. Zack Greinke is a huge favorite to beat former Red Sox first-round pick, Anthony Ranaudo. Look for the L.A. lineup to hammer the inexperienced righty, who enters the contest with a 5.93 career ERA in only eight career starts. Since 2014, for those wondering, the over is 13-5 (4-2 for 2015) when Greinke is on the hill in this situation.

As always, use this information to support your leans and best of luck.

MLB Picks: Take the Dodgers -240 and OVER 7.5 (-110) at 5Dimes 

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