Poor Dodgers O-Line Makes Rays The Right MLB Pick

Drew Martin

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 7:32 PM GMT

Wednesday, May. 4, 2016 7:32 PM GMT

The Dodgers' offensive struggles against left handed pitching combined with Alex Wood’s issues on the road makes tonight's game vs. Rays a valuable MLB pick on the latter.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays
The Los Angeles Dodgers will attempt the two game interleague series sweep tonight against the host Tampa Bay Rays behind the left arm of Alex Wood. Last night the Dodgers had key hits with runners in scoring position, and had one of their best offensive performances of the season, scoring 10 runs. Tonight though they will face the tough challenge of repeating those outlier numbers against Rays’ southpaw starter Drew Smyly.

 

Drew Smyly
Smyly, a former Arkansas Razorback, has allowed two or fewer earned runs in his last four starts while striking out 36 combined. Still, he has flown a bit under the mainstream radar, managing just one victory over that span. Coming from the left side, Smyly has issued only six walks in 34 2/3 innings during his first five starts of the season, while letting up just 18 hits. Considering that Los Angeles has really struggled against lefties this year, posting a team OPS of just .661 vs lefties coming into this series, it appears that the Dodgers are in for a rough night according to this and the MLB odds boards.

 

Alex Wood
Dodgers’ starter Alex Wood has the potential to be a solid middle of the rotation arm in my opinion, but he has been up and down over the last calendar year. He is coming off a solid Friday outing against the San Diego Padres, where he allowed only one run over seven innings while striking out nine. Still, it’s tough to take those good numbers seriously as they were posted against what is arguably the worst offense in all of baseball. Therefore, it would be imprudent to think that the young lefty has worked out all of his issues.

 

Pitching On The Road
Considering that Smyly is pitching on the road, across country, in a dome, against an AL team with a DH instead of the assumed out that is the pitcher in NL tilts, I would not suggest putting too much credibility into his last outing. The 25 year-old former Georgia Bulldog has struggled with control, having walked 12 in 28 innings while posting a 1.54 WHIP year to date. Wood now faces Tampa Bay for the first time, and is 0-2 with an 8.36 ERA in three road starts. His opponents’ OPS was also .250 points higher when pitching in a dome last year.

 

The Game Being Played In Tampa
The fact that this game is being played in Tampa under American League rules strongly favors the Rays, and the Dodgers’ lineup construction when playing in an American League park leaves a lot to be desired. Take last night for example. The Dodgers’ DH was their leadoff hitter Enrique Hernandez who currently sports a microscopic .243 OPS the last 7 days. When considering that Los Angeles has continually struggled when facing a left handed starter as well, the stars are aligning in Tampa’s direction.

 

Conclusions
Los Angeles lacks the ability at this point in the season to take advantage of the designated hitter, and with the Dodgers offensive struggles against left handed pitching combined with Alex Wood’s issues on the road and in a dome like he will be pitching in tonight, I recommend a wager on the home favorite in Tropicana for this MLB pick.

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Free MLB  Pick: Tampa Bay Rays
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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