Our MLB handicapper breaks down this important National League West matchup and finds some betting value to be had as he makes his Monday MLB Pick.
Giants vs. Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers welcome the San Francisco Giants to town on Monday in an important series for the NL West Division race. Maybe they were looking ahead to this game instead of playing last night, because the Dodgers got no-hit at home against the newly relevant Jake Arrieta and the Chicago Cubs. It was the second time in nine games that the Dodgers were no-hit and Arrieta struck out twelve batters in a show of dominance. Last time they were no hit they were only able to manage 3 runs in the next two games, a trend they hope to break tonight at home. Coming into this series, the Dodgers only have a 3.5 game lead over the Giants in the NL West. They could put some needed distance between themselves and their in state rival with a series win this week. They are favored to win this opening game with the money line currently sitting at -156 at 5Dimes. The run line can give you an extra +1.5 if you wanted to back the Giants at -155 at the same book. The O/U run total is listed at 7.5 runs at multiple books and has seen little line movement regardless of the fact that there is strong public action on the Over.
It is actually quite surprising that Dodger starter, Brett Anderson, has pitched enough innings this year to earn himself an 8-8 record. His 147.1 IP thus far are the most he has pitched since 2009, when he spun 175.1 innings as a member of the Athletics. Anderson has avoided injury in 2015 and has posted a 3.36 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 99/39 K/BB rate, and .272 BAA. These numbers are almost identical to his 2009 campaign with exception of a slightly better ERA. The one glaring difference; however, is Anderson’s ground ball rate, that is at its highest in his career at 66.7%. That current GB% is well over his career average of 58% and leads the major leagues. At only 27 years old, the Dodgers have the potential to reclaim a very serviceable starter in Anderson if he really is back to full health.
San Francisco Giants
Starting for the Giants in this game is veteran, Jake Peavy, who is coming off of a win last week against the visiting Chicago Cubs. He pitched 6.1 innings of two-run ball in that game, even though he walked three batters and only struck out three. Peavy has just twelve starts and 68.1 IP this year after missing considerable time in the spring with a back injury. He likely wished all of those starts were against the Dodgers, as his career statistics against them are incredible. Over 27 starts and 180.1 IP, Peavy is 14-3 against the Dodgers with a 2.30 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 164/44 K/BB rate, and .200 BAA. Sometimes you just have someone’s number and that appears to be the case with Peavy and the Dodgers.
Baseball Betting Verdict
Hiding within Brett Anderson’s major league leading GB% rate is a dinger problem, as 15.9% of fly balls off of the left-hander are leaving the yard. Coinciding with this issue is a bevy of left-handed batters who are scorching hot right now for the Giants in Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford. Of course, Buster Posey has been consistently punishing baseballs all season long. I am going to back Peavy and the Giants in this one, but I expect a competitive matchup so I am going to take the run and a half available on the board. Take the Giants +1.5 at -155 at 5Dimes to start your Monday MLB picks.
MLB Picks: Giants +1.5