MLB Picks: Dodgers vs. Giants Series Coverage

Swinging Johnson

Friday, May 3, 2013 3:46 PM UTC

Friday, May. 3, 2013 3:46 PM UTC

GAME 3: Let’s see where the real MLB betting value lies when these two National League West divisional rivals meet for a 3 game set.


05 May
Sunday's Game

By: Swinging Johnson


Game 3:  The Giants look to sweep the Dodgers in the final game of this three game set between these NL West rivals.

Swinging Johnson – MLB Record (3-2, -0.36 units)

*Games assigned 1 to 5 units.


I wish I had a line on yesterday's game when I wrote the article because maybe I wouldn't have been such a wussy and bet it for only two units.  Hindsight is always 20/20 and the truth be told, we were probably lucky to have come out of that game with even two units in hand. 

Yes, I went to bed when San Francisco was comfortably in front 5-0 but little did I know while I was snoozin', so too were the Giants as they let a commanding lead slip away only to rally for their 11th comeback victory of the season - tops in MLB.

Let's see if we can put a modest win streak together and find the value in our MLB odds for the final match of this three-game set.

LA Dodgers -

Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-1, 3.35 ERA) may be a rookie in the major leagues but he was no rookie in South Korea which is why LA paid over $61 million to get him into Dodger blue.  The 26-year-old southpaw sparkled on Tuesday night when he allowed two runs on only three hits in six innings, punctuated by 12 strikeouts en route to a 6-2 victory.

Ryu will look to put the wheels back on the Dodgers wagon when he takes the bump for the second time against the defending World Series champs.  In his first start of the season, he allowed three runs (one earned) on 10 hits over 6.1 innings in a debut that saw his team bow to the Giants 3-0.  The Dodgers have now lost four consecutive games to San Francisco.

San Francisco -

What the hell is wrong with Matty Cain?  I call him Matty because we're tight, but I digress.  The Giants were able to secure a 6-4 victory over the Diamondbacks despite another subpar pitching performance by Cain in his last start.  Cain gave up three homeruns in that effort which contributed to the already nine dingers he's allowed so far this season.  Cain's 0-2 mark along with his startling 6.49 ERA has many wondering what's gone wrong.

Cain has yet to record a win throughout his six starts which is a first in his nine-year career.   But if there is any silver lining then we must look at how the Giants ace, coming into this season, has fared historically.  He's been a monster for San Francisco and he is still only 28-years-old.  Also, the Dodgers have averaged only 1.8 runs when Cain has been pitching so he would need to be pitching virtually shutout ball for him to have a chance at a W with such an anemic offense behind him.

Stay on the up and up with Willie Bee's Orioles vs. Angels coverage!


The Pick:

The first thought that crosses my mind is will Matty Cain return to the living?  He's been pitching like a zombie this season and I want to know if his struggles continue against the Dodgers because they've got a pretty good hurler in Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound.

The Dodgers are plagued by injuries and the Giants are rolling.  Moreover, Ryu rarely goes beyond six innings so that Dodgers bullpen will have to go back to work after five of their relief men were trotted out last night in what was ultimately a losing effort.  If we peruse the MLB odds, we will find that the Giants make a very tempting home favorite as our MLB pick.

Play San Francisco -135 for 3 units at Bet 365

04 May
Saturday's Game 2

By: Swinging Johnson

Swinging Johnson – MLB Record (2-2, -2.36 units)

*Games assigned 1 to 5 units.


I've got a sports hangover this morning.  Kerhsaw did exactly what we knew he would do and pitched a helluva game while Barry Zito had more lives than an alley cat, escaping a series of threatening situations with fortuitous bounces and then yielding after the 5th inning to a bullpen that closed the door shut.  Adrian Gonzalez was a late scratch for the Dodgers and Hanley Ramirez reinjured his hamstring and had to be helped off the field.  Really?  I mean what cosmic sports deity did I piss off last night?  Time to dust ourselves off and see what the middle game of this three-game set holds in store for us. 

LA Dodgers -

As of this writing the oddsmakers have dealt no line on this game because rookie hurler Matt Magill is a late entry for the recently injured Ted Lily and Adrian Gonzalez may sit out another day depending upon how he feels.  For those of you who don't know, Gonzo is "dealing" with neck pain sustained when he collided with an umpire last week.  An umpire?  Try to keep a straight face. 

We know Hanley Ramirez is out of the picture after injuring his hammy last night.  We also know that the Dodgers clubhouse resembles a big ol' MASH unit at this point in time.  As for the kid Matt Magill, we know he has made one major league appearance in his career which was exactly a week ago when he went 6.2 innings and allowed only two runs on four hits in a 6-4 loss to the Brewers.  Not bad.

The Dodger hitters are going to need to be more opportunistic if they are to get back on track today.  They repeatedly got the leadoff hitter on last night but taunted both their fans and backers by grounding into double plays and taking the proverbial wind right out of their sails. 

Let's look at Saturday's Baseball Picks of the Day. Joe C has been on fire; definitely one to tail right now.

San Francisco Giants -

I just don't give the Giants enough credit.  I still can't believe they won the World Series - twice - in three years.  The team just doesn't seem to have the firepower to hit with the big bangers but they always get the job done and they're doing it again this year. 

Buster Posey is a monster and he singlehandedly cost me and my disciples some big bucks last night.  He drove in the tying run and then proceeded to crush both the pitch and my bankroll when he went yard for a walk-off homerun to seal the deal for the Giants.  While Posey may be struggling to repeat his phenomenal numbers from last year, the Dodgers may just be the cure that ails him.  He has hit .408 against La La over the past 14 home meetings and sunk their ship last night.   

Ryan Vogelsong gets the nod in this one and he will be looking to redeem himself after getting torched by the Padres in his last appearance.  He lasted five innings and surrendered three dingers which contributed to six runs on eight hits.  He is currently sporting a 1-2 record with a 6.23 ERA.


The Pick:

I try to be objective in my MLB picks but my kneejerk reaction is to chase the Dodgers because they deserved the win last night.  No check that, deserved that win last night.  But we don't chase and we view each game independently.  Thus, I will shift gears and note that Ryan Vogelsong, though he looked like Courtney Love after a five-day bender in his last outing, has actually fared very well against LA.  He is 4-2 with a 1.80 ERA over his last seven against the Dodgers. 

The Dodgers can't win in spite of themselves while the Giants continue to prove why they are indeed, the World Champs.  In our MLB odds, let's back San Francisco in this one.

Play San Francisco (line unknown as of this morning) for 2 units at BET 365


03 May
Friday's Series Opener

By: Swinging Johnson


Swinging Johnson – MLB Record (2-1, +3.00 units)

*Games assigned 1 to 5 units.         


While I wouldn’t make a steady diet of backing huge money line favorites with your MLB picks, the fact is if you see one that looks like a can’t miss then you’ve got to make the plunge. Well plunge I did last week when I risked two units on the Red Sox at -245 over the Astros and got paid off with an 8-4 Boston victory.

We currently sit at 2-1 (+3.00 units) on the season and am happy to report that instead of getting scattered MLB assignments, my editor has entrusted me with giving my readers the lowdown on this entire weekend series between the Dodgers and the Giants. So make sure you come back tomorrow and Sunday for my analysis and free picks on each game in this pivotal Nation League West showdown. 

Friday MLB Betting Odds & Lines Report

LA Dodgers (13-14, -5.8 units)

With all the import of talent that the Dodgers acquired in the mega-trade with the Red Sox, last year’s midseason deal for Hanley Ramirez and the Zack Greinke coup in the offseason, I believed this team would steamroll their way to a division title. I said exactly that when I was interviewed by SBR’s Peter Loshak when discussing our preseason division predictions.

But they have once again stumbled out of the box and Zack Greinke is currently on the shelf with a broken collarbone. Leave the fighting to the UFC Zack. But let’s discuss tonight’s contest with Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw taking the bump in the opener of a three-game set with the World Champion San Francisco Giants. 

Kershaw is back after taking a leave of absence to deal with the death of his father. It will certainly be an emotional start but we must remove any pop psychology diagnosis on his state of mind because personally, I haven’t spoken to Clayton in a good long time. That being said, the kid has blistered opposition batters this season en route to a 3-2 record and a 1.73 ERA. Kershaw’s last performance was another gem when he shut down the Brewers on Sunday and K’ed a dozen, propelling the Dodgers to a 2-0 win over Milwaukee. 

San Francisco Giants (16-12, +2.00 units)

The Giants were in the midst of a 5-game tailspin until they had the good fortune of running into the Arizona Diamondbacks. Though they trailed in all three games, the Giants rallied and swept the D-Backs, culminating in a 9-6 decision on Wednesday night in Phoenix. Tonight they will return to AT&T Park where they have registered an 8-4 record and rewarded their backers at home with +2.6 units.

The Giants will turn the ball over to Barry Zito who has pitched admirably for the Giants this season but failed to make it out of the fourth inning in his last start against the Padres at Petco Park. Zito allowed six runs, five unearned, when he was given the hook by manager Bruce Bochy. 

Zito was 3-2 with a 2.64 ERA against LA last season but was even better when facing the Dodgers at home, posting a 1.93 ERA. He will have his work cut out for him when Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp steps up to bat. Kemp has historically tortured Zito, batting .436 lifetime and going yard on three occasions.


The Pick:

I know what I have in Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers ace has baffled Giants’ hitters with an 11-4 record and a dazzling 1.29 ERA over the course of his career. In his last start against San Francisco, he pitched a complete game and held them to only four hits as he and his team notched a 4-0 shutout victory on April 1st.

Yes, the Dodgers will be away from home and playing on enemy turf but Kershaw can pitch on the moon if you ask him to while Zito has a peculiar tendency of melting down when hit early. When assessing the value of our MLB picks, this game stands out amongst the entire slate this evening. The MLB odds currently list Kershaw and the Dodgers as -134 road chalk. We’ll lay it and like it.

MLB Picks: Play the Dodgers -134 for 4 units at
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