The biggest moneyline on Monday's baseball betting card is on Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers to take their series opener at home against the Colorado Rockies.
Nearly half of the National League has already been officially eliminated from the playoffs, and for all intents and purposes, we know which five teams will extend their season beyond the end of the regular season just three weeks away. The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of those five teams, and Don Mattingly's club will try to whittle down their magic number for a this consecutive NL West title this week when they begin a long 10-game homestand against the Colorado Rockies
The lid-lifter on this 3-game set is scheduled for a 10:10 PM (ET) first pitch Monday, that toss being delivered by Clayton Kershaw. Jon Gray is the unlucky Colorado hurler to oppose Kershaw, and the lopsided pitching matchup is certainly reflected in the MLB odds which have the Dodgers favored in the -350 to -380 range on the moneyline after opening officially at -325.
The contest went out with an overnight total of 6½, but we're seeing the scoreboard tally drop at several shops such as 5Dimes where the number is an even 6, the 'over' priced at -125.
It's the final series of the season in LA between the division rivals, the Dodgers owning a 114-70 advantage vs. the Rockies over the years at Chavez Ravine. They've added to that record by taking five of the seven played in Los Angeles this year, and 11 of the last 13 on this diamond. Kershaw owns two of the five wins in Los Angeles, one of those dubyas also coming as better than a 1/3 favorite on the moneyline. The 'over' has been the way to go when the clubs play at Dodger Stadium, totals running 5-2 O/U so far in 2015.
Gray Facing Dodgers For 1st Time
Colorado (60-83, -12.1 units) is ending a 10-game road trip with this stop in LA, the Rockies splitting four in San Diego last week before taking two of three in Seattle over the weekend. Offense hasn't been much of a problem for the Rocks, their 4.46 RPG second to the Diamondbacks in the NL ranks while their 168 long balls also ranks second in the Senior Circuit behind the Dodgers.
They will be without catcher Nick Hundley for this series and the remainder of the season after the backstop was diagnosed with a strained cervical last week. Colorado also played the entire weekend set in Seattle with shortstop Jose Reyes on the bench with a strained left Achilles, and his status for Monday's matchup is up in the air.
Gray, the third overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, made a pretty rapid ascent through the Rockies farm system to make his big league debut in early August. The former Oklahoma star has only made it past five innings once, and is still without a decision on his stat sheet. The righthander tossed five scoreless frames in San Diego last week and is facing the Dodgers for the first time in his career.
Dodgers Perfect 4-0 When Kershaw Faces Rockies
Los Angeles (82-60, -5.3 units) just completed a 10-game journey by winning the final two in Arizona to go 7-3 on the trip. The Dodgers have been on a tear since late August, capturing 15 of their last 19 games and outscoring their opposition 85-63 in that span. They won't have shortstop Jimmy Rollins on Monday, but have rookie Corey Seager to fill in and provide more punch at the plate.
Kershaw is once again in the running for the NL Cy Young, his chief competition for what would be the southpaw's fourth such award coming from teammate Zack Greinke. He has won three in a row, and the Dodgers are 4-0 this season when he faces Colorado, Kershaw owning a 3.91 ERA in those games and striking out 34 in 25.1 innings.
Believe it or not, there is some rain in the Tinseltown forecast this evening. Most of the rain is expected after midnight, so the game shouldn't be threatened. Even the run line is a little rich for me in this one, so let's play the 'under' for our free baseball pick.
MLB pick: Rockies & Dodgers Under 6 (-105) @ 5Dimes
Season Record: 81-78-4 (+3.45)