Arizona’s problem comes from their perception of the Dodgers arrogance. Los Angeles thinks of San Francisco as an equal and will go out of its way to tweak the D-Backs whenever possible, like last year when they won the division title at Chase Field and several players went and jumped into the pool in right-center field, which did not sit well with Arizona players.
This just adds to the intrigue for backers of both clubs who might be making MLB picks.
Dodgers Sum of Parts not Delivering Results
Los Angeles players did not want to go Australia to open the season and more than one player has privately said this helped throw the whole team off kilter.
However, the Dodgers would merely one game over .500 team had they not picked up two wins on the Barbie.
Since the start of the Giants series last week, a hot topic of discussion about the boys from La-La Land has been their focus and togetherness. Players and coaches alike are acknowledging a “disconnect” with this team until they had lost the first two games to the Giants and suddenly there has become a different urgency and camaraderie in the dugout.
Outside of Yasiel Puig, Dee Gordon and Juam Uribe, the rest of the everyday players are registering below average results and the combination of meager performance and indifference has made the Dodgers a rugged call for MLB baseball handicappers.
This team is still the favorite according to sportsbooks to win the NL and it might be time they start destroying the betting odds.
Arizona Just Not Very Good
While the Diamondbacks have been better of late with a 5-4 record, this club is being outscored by 1.7 runs a contest, which is the worst in baseball and routinely makes them play against potential versus the MLB odds not only against the money line but the run line as well.
The simple fact of the matter GM Kevin Tower and to a certain degree manager Kirk Gibson, miscalculated the skill level of their team, believing too much in the everyday lineup players outside of Paul Goldschmidt and generously overestimating the quality of pitchers they had.
Maybe San Diego will actually give them a run, but this sure looks like the worst team in the NL West.
Pitching Matchup for Saturday
Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 1.74 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) was not perfect in his second start off the DL against San Francisco, pitching seven innings and allowing three runs. Nonetheless, his numbers are still remarkable, with 18 punch-outs and ZERO walks since returning to the starting rotation. Johnny Cueto’s start aside, Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball with a complete arsenal of pitches to retire batters.
Josh Collmentor was the original starter, but Gibson has decided switch to Chase Anderson (1-0, 1.69), who yielded a home run and one other hit while striking out six and walking a batter in 5 1/3 innings of a 5-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday in his major league debut. At 26 years old, Anderson is older than Kershaw, and is known for a superior changeup; however, that pitch only works best when his other pitches are being thrown for strikes.
This has been another painful week for Arizona’s bullpen. Against Washington they had a blown save on Monday which led to a loss and Wednesday, with the game tied at 1-1, they conceded four runs in the ninth inning leading to another defeat. Given the Snakes record, their ERA of 4.01 is marginally better than how the team has performed, but each of the 14 home runs allowed (T-12th) has seemed to come at the worst possible moment.
The Dodgers pen is no prize, tied with the Cubs for the most losses at 11. For Los Angeles, the wounds are self-inflicted, leading the NL in walks, which in turn has them at next to last in on-base percentage conceded.
Head to Head Combat and Betting Odds
The Dodgers have owned Arizona with an 8-1 record this season, making them an easy choice for sports picks. Add in Kershaw tonight and a pitching change and is easy to understand why L.A. has jumped from -155 to -167 with a total of Un8.
Though Kershaw has a 2.17 lifetime ERA against Arizona, he’s just 8-6 and in his 18 total starts the team is .500. Nevertheless, the D-Backs are a troublesome 4-16 as the home team this campaign.
The Winner Is…
While the Dodgers prized lefty is not going to win every game, it would hard to bet against him here. After Los Angeles won the opener 7-0 last night, the Snakes are 0-8 after scoring one or fewer runs this season.
MLB Free Picks – Los Angeles wins