First pitch is set for 8:00 pm ET tonight at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. This game can be seen on ESPN or MLB.TV. Please, check for your local listings.
With Zack Greinke taking the mound, the Dodgers are a huge -150 betting favorite according to Bet 365 Sportsbook. The total for this game is 6.5 runs.
L.A. has the right pitcher starting tonight, but can they stop a surging San Francisco team who is coming off of a very disappointing season?
In His Prime
He might not be as established as Roy Halladay once was, but Zack Greinke is really starting to come into his own the way that Halladay did for the Toronto Blue Jays in the past.
In his last 2 seasons, Greinke has an eye-popping 29-9 record and his ERA was lowered to 2.63 ERA last season. With the much improved Los Angeles Dodgers hitting, that spells doom for his opponents. Look for Greinke to come out strong against the division leading Giants.
Much Improved Offense
The Dodgers were once known for being a very weak hitting ball club. Now, with players like Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp, and Yasiel Puig, this team is stacked.
I didn’t even mention the fast start that 2nd baseman, Dee Gordon, has gotten off to.
Gordon leads the team in hitting with a .429 BA, 2 doubles, 3 runs batted in, 10 total bases, and 3 stolen bases. He’s the perfect complimentary hitter that can get on base for one of the power hitters to knock him in.
Back to Business
The San Francisco Giants have been a title-contending team every year over the last decade, but last year was a major disappointment for them. It’s only been 6 games, but San Francisco has come out of the gates strong, leading the division with good pitching and the surprising performances of Angel Pagan and power hitter, Brandon Belt.
Pagan is off to a ferocious start with a .407 batting average in 27 at-bats. He has 3 doubles, 1 home run, 8 runs batted in, 17 total bases, and 3 stolen bases.
I wouldn’t expect Pagan to keep up this pace for the entire season, but if he had the type of season that James Loney had for the Tampa Bay Rays last season, this team will be difficult to beat. I mention Loney as both players get on base but are lacking in the power department.
As for Belt, he has all of the tools to be a star in the majors. Belt hit 3 home runs in his first 4 games, but has since simmered down. Look for Belt to be the breakout star as most of the pressure rests upon the shoulders of Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval.
The Giants are coming off of a 7-2 victory over the Dodgers yesterday in which Sandoval and Posey each went yard and were a collective 3 for 8 with 2 home runs and 4 runs batted in. Like the Dodgers, the Giants offense is much improved.
This game will come down to the pitching and although San Francisco has been unstoppable as of late, Zack Greinke should be the difference in this game.
I like Los Angeles in this spot. The odds say it all. Although the Giants have been the much better team, winning usually comes down to good pitching and that’s where the Dodgers have the edge.
Pick - Los Angeles Dodgers -150 at Bet 365