Dodgers & DBacks Game 1
By: Ron Patrick
Both teams are 6-3 heading into Friday's series opener; which way are we leaning for a free MLB pick?
Friday's Dodgers-D'Backs Betting Lines
Most books we consulted Friday morning opened LA with Clay Kershaw as favorites of around -150 over Arizona with Patrick Corbin, and that number had held steady in the early betting.
Also, TheGreek.com was listing the Dodgers as -120 MLB odds favorites to win this series, with the D'Backs “getting” +100 as home dogs.
Dodgers-D'Backs Series Set-Up
The Dodgers began this season by dropping two of three games at home to San Francisco, then swept three games from Pittsburgh. This week LA just took two of three games in San Diego, winning Thursday's series rubber match 3-2. Of course, the big news to come out of that game was the brawl that resulted in a broken collarbone for SP Zack Greinke.
Arizona opened this season by taking two of three games from St. Louis, then sweeping three games from the Brewers in Milwaukee. This week the Diamondbacks just avoided getting swept at home themselves by Pittsburgh, winning Thursday 10-2.
So Arizona and the Dodgers are tied for second place in the NL West at 6-3, a half-game back of the division-leading Giants.
Friday's Pitching Match-Up
It's a battle of lefties and Kershaw goes against Corbin.
After going 14-9 with a 2.53 ERA last season Kershaw opened this season with a four-hit shut-out of the Giants. Then last Saturday Kershaw held the Pirates scoreless on two hits through seven innings. Now, San Francisco and Pittsburgh are not exactly powerhouses offensively, but we've still got to say Big K has looked pretty nasty so far.
Kershaw went three-for-four on quality starts last year against Arizona, allowing seven ER and 21 hits over 25 1/3 innings. Somehow, LA managed to lose three of those games.
After going 6-8 with a 4.54 ERA as a rookie last year Corbin had a solid 2013 season debut, holding the Brewers to two runs through six innings last Saturday.
Corbin made three appearances last year vs. LA, and fared well, allowing just three ER and 12 hits over 14 1/3 innings, picking up a win and a save.
Dodgers-D'Backs Recent History
Arizona took the season series from LA last year 12 games to six. The totals leaned toward the UNDERS by a 9-6-3 margin, as those 18 games averaged seven runs per.
Free MLB Pick for Friday
Kershaw has been lights-out so far, and has had success against Arizona, while Corbin did a nice job last year vs. LA. And while the Diamondbacks have scored at least five runs in six of their first nine games, the Dodgers have been held to three runs or fewer in six of their first nine. So this pick is a little tougher than a first impression might indicate.
Instead of a side, we'll look to the total for our free MLB pick on Friday's game. In hoping both pitchers are on form, and in being reminded of all the low-scoring games these teams played last year, we're leaning toward the UNDER.
Hardball handicappers should check back at this page for updates and more free MLB picks as this series plays out.
Dodgers & DBacks Game 2
By: Ron Patrick
Arizona opened this series with a 3-0 victory Friday night, hanging a loss on Clay Kershaw. The Diamondbacks got six solid innings from young starter Patrick Corbin, three shut-out innings from the bullpen and a pair of bases-loaded walks in the eighth inning to put the game away.
With the win Arizona provided its financial backers with a payout of +140 on the MLB betting odds. And to our delight, the game easily played UNDER its total of 7.5.
So the D'Backs, at 7-3 on the season, can take the series with a win Saturday night (8:10 pm ET).
Saturday's MLB Betting Odds
Most baseball books we consulted Saturday morning were listing Arizona with Ian Kennedy at right around -125 over Los Angeles with Hyun-Jin Ryu for our MLB picks. Most books were also offered the OVER/UNDER at 8.5, although some shops had it lined at nine.
Saturday's Pitching Match-Up
After going 15-12 with a 4.02 ERA last year Kennedy opened this season by holding the Cardinals to two runs and five hits through seven innings. Then last Sunday Kennedy allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings vs. the Brewers. So he's one-for-two on quality starts this season, with 12 strikeouts and two walks.
Kennedy started three times against LA last year and was very effective, allowing just two ER and 12 hits through 19 2/3 innings. The D'Backs won two of those three games.
Ryu, in his ML debut 11 days ago, gave up 10 hits but just one ER in 6 1/3 innings vs. the Giants. Then last Sunday the 26-year-old lefty held the Pirates to two ER and three hits in 6 1/3 innings.
So Ryu is two-for-two on quality starts, with 11 whiffs and two walks.
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Free MLB Pick for Saturday
We had a winner with the UNDER on Friday's game, and these teams have a recent history of playing low-scoring games. So we'll ride the UNDER again for our free MLB pick on Saturday's game.
Dodgers & DBacks Game 3
By: Ron Patrick
These teams have split the first two games of this series, after LA's 7-5 victory Saturday night. The Dodgers got to Arizona starter Ian Kennedy for six runs in five-plus innings, on their way to victory as +115 underdogs on the MLB betting odds.
Saturday's game also played OVER its total of 8.5, even though the score was just 1-0 heading into the fifth inning.
So both teams are 7-4 going into their series rubber match Sunday afternoon (4:10 pm ET).
Sunday's Dodgers-D'Backs Betting Odds
As of Sunday morning most books we consulted were listing Arizona with Trevor Cahill as favorites of around -125 over LA with Josh Beckett. And the total sat at nine.
Sunday's Pitching Match-Up
After going 13-12 with a 3.78 ERA last season Cahill opened this season by allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the Cardinals 12 days ago. He then gave up four runs in five innings in a loss to Pittsburgh last Monday.
So on the season Cahill has been tagged for seven runs and nine hits, with five walks, through 10 2/3 innings.
Last year Cahill started five games against the Dodgers, and fared well, allowing 10 ER and 26 hits through 31 2/3 innings. The Diamondbacks won four of those five games.
Beckett, who went 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA for the Dodgers after coming over from the American League last August, began this season by giving up three runs in six innings in a loss to the Giants 11 days ago. He then allowed three runs through five innings in a loss to San Diego Tuesday.
So on the season Beckett has been nicked for six ER on 12 hits, including four homers, in 11 innings.
Beckett started once vs. Arizona last year and got a win, holding the Snakes to one run and five hits through 6 2/3 innings.
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Arizona OF Jason Kubel, who hit 30 homers last year and has two homers and six RBI this year, has been placed on the DL with a strained quad.
Free MLB Pick for Sunday
We've split our first two picks on this series, winning with the UNDER Friday, then losing with the UNDER Saturday.
Saturday's game was a bit of a fluke, considering these two teams played so many low-scoring games last year.
As for Sunday, neither starting pitcher has looked all that sharp so far this year, but both had success last year against these opponents, Cahill a little more than Beckett. So we'll stick with the UNDER theme for our free MLB pick on Sunday's game.
Free Pick: Take the UNDER nine runs at +107 offered at Bookmaker.