MLB Picks Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers to Go 'Under' 7.5

Willie Bee

Friday, September 5, 2014 1:59 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 5, 2014 1:59 PM UTC

The Dodgers and Diamondbacks are in LA this weekend for their final meeting of 2014, and SBR is going to follow the whole series with previews and free MLB picks.

There's a little trouble brewing these days in Tinseltown where the Los Angeles Dodgers have watched their lead in the NL West shrink to two with 22 games to go.  A couple of weeks ago, the Dodgers enjoyed a 5-game gap between them and San Francisco, but a pedestrian 8-9 mark for Los Angeles since then has changed things.

Perhaps a visit from the Arizona Diamondbacks will be just what the doctor ordered.  The Dodgers have ruled the D-backs this year, and they're sizeable favorites on the MLB betting board to rule Friday's opener.

The 10:10 PM (ET) start finds a mound duel between Vidal Nuno and Dan Haren. SBR's live baseball odds show a consensus -160 chalk line on LA with 7.5 for the total.


Dodgers Have Dominated D-Backs In 2014
Arizona (59-81, -19.8 units, 62-72-6 O/U/P) won the final two of a 4-game series in San Diego to begin this road trip that continues in San Francisco next week.  Kirk Gibson's gang is certainly playing better than when they began the season 8-22, but the Diamondbacks are struggling away from home with only four wins in the last 14 while averaging under 2½ RPG in those affairs.

Los Angeles (78-62, +1.0 units, 66-68-6 O/U/P) enjoyed Thursday off after dropping the first series on this 9-game homestand to the Nationals.  The only game the Dodgers won was the middle game of that set Tuesday when ace Clayton Kershaw was on the mound, and they could really use the rest of the rotation to provide a lift this weekend while also getting Yasiel Puig back on track offensively.

This rivalry is pretty level in recent years, the Diamondbacks owning a 36-35 advantage since the start of 2010.  But it has been lopsided in favor of the visiting teams, the Dodgers winning 22 of the last 38 in Arizona while the Snakes sport a 20-13 record in Los Angeles.

It's been all LA this year, however, the Dodgers owning a 12-4 overall record and taking each of the two previous series played at Chavez Ravine.  All three June contests here hurdled the totals after two of the three matchups in April never made it to their marks.


Can Nuno Finally Earn 1st Win As A Diamondback?
Nuno is making his 11th start for the Diamondbacks after being acquired from the Yankees, and one might think that he'd have a least one victory among the previous 10 since he has pitched to a 3.23 ERA with Arizona.  The lefty remains winless, however, with the D-backs 1-9 in those outings and his two clubs a combined 7-17 when he begins a game (-10.6 units).

Friday will be his first-ever look at a Dodgers lineup that has gone 23-12 against southpaws on the season.

Haren is coming off an August in which LA split his six assignments while he recorded a 3.48 ERA.  The righthander has struggled with consistency since mid-May, but has quality starts in four of his last five trips to the mound.  This will be Haren's fifth go at the Snakes in 2014, one ugly outing in Arizona back in June contributing a big chunk of the fat to his 4.26 overall ERA against them with Los Angeles winning three of the previous four.

One thing we won't really have to concern ourselves with in this series is rain interrupting any of the proceedings.  There will be some fair SW breezes giving balls headed to right-center a little extra carry, and it's going to be very warm for Sunday afternoon's finale, but that's about it as far as the weather goes.

Tonight's lid-lifter in LA should play under the coolest conditions -- 76º, SW 5-8 mph at game time.  That combined with Arizona's recent road stats has me on the ;under' for my free pick in Game 1.

MLB pick: Diamondbacks-Dodgers Under 7.5
Season: 112-114 (-2.65)

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