The Dodgers lost a Kershaw start Tuesday night, and now must try to salvage a split of a series in Oakland with Alex Wood. Do we back LA today, or go with the underdog A's?
Dodgers-A's Wednesday Odds
As of this writing the best line we could find on LA and lefty Alex Wood was the -128 offered at Heritage, while Oakland and Jesse Chavez were getting +131 at 5Dimes. But that split wasn't going to last for long. Also, every book on our MLB odds board listed a total of eight runs on today's game.
Oakland took the opener of this series Tuesday night 5-4 in 10 innings, overcoming a late three-run deficit, cashing in as +220 home underdogs.
Even with the the loss LA has won five of its last seven games, while the victory snapped a seven-game losing streak for the A's.
At 67-52 the Dodgers' lead in the NL West is down to two games over second-place San Francisco, which picked up a game by beating St. Louis Tuesday night 2-0.
Meanwhile, at 52-69 Oakland is relegated to playing spoiler from here on out.
This is the second meeting between these two California outfits this season; three weeks ago they split two games down at Dodger Stadium, with both games playing UNDER.
Must Read: Check out our latest update on the NL & AL
Chavez (6-12, 3.84), by our strict standards, is nine-for-21 on quality starts this season, but just one for his last five. Last Thursday he gave up four runs in six innings against Toronto, although he also whiffed nine while walking none. But over his last five outings he's allowed 18 runs through 24 2/3 innings. For the season Chavez has permitted 134 hits through 131 innings, walked 37 and struck out 113.
Oakland is just 6-15 in Chavez's starts, but that's not all his fault.
In his only career start against Los Angeles, three weeks ago, Chavez allowed three runs through five innings of a 10-7 A's loss.
Wood (8-7, 3.74) is only seven-for-23 on quality starts, and 0-for-three since joining the Dodgers earlier this month in that trade with Atlanta. Last Friday he gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings against Cincinnati, which we don't regard as “quality” because it equates to a 4.26 ERA, which isn't “quality.” And over his last three starts he's allowed 10 runs through 17 2/3 innings. On the season Wood has allowed 150 hits through 137 innings, walked 44 and struck out 106.
Atlanta went 8-12 in Wood's starts, while LA is 1-2, with the totals leaning OVER by an 11-8 margin.
In his only career start against Oakland, last August while with the Braves, Wood limited them to two runs through six innings of a 7-2 Atlanta victory.
Wednesday's Batting Splits
The Dodgers rank 12th in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .256 team batting average, but No. 1 with a .330 team on-base percentage.
Oakland, on the other hand, ranks 22nd against left-handed pitching with a .245 team average and 19th with a .311 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at the Coliseum this season are 31-28 on the totals, even though they're averaging 7.6 runs per. So it looks like oddsmakers have been posting some low totals on A's home games.
Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig left Tuesday's game with a sore hamstring, and is questionable for today.
Dodgers-A's Wednesday Free Picks
We'll call the pitching match-up a wash, and the bullpens, too. But LA owns the edge with the sticks, so we'll go with the Dodgers to salvage a split of this quick two-game set. Also, we don't hold much regard for either of these pens, so we're thinking OVER.
MLB Picks: Los Angeles and OVER eight runs (-105) at Heritage