Splits Favor Offenses For Giants-Dodgers Primetime Matchup

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Mark Lathrop

Sunday, April 1, 2018 4:22 AM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 1, 2018 4:22 AM UTC

With the entire series going "under" listed totals so far, our MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, gives reasons for why the winds will change for "Sunday Night Baseball" on ESPN.

Sunday MLB: Giants (0-3 O/U) vs. Dodgers (0-3 O/U)Free MLB Pick: Over 7.5 RunsBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Los Angeles Dodgers finish up a season-opening series against their division rival San Francisco Giants on Sunday evening in front of a nationally televised audience on ESPN. The Giants have been and will be underdogs in each game of the series even though they won the first two games by identical scores of 1-0. The Giants opened as +200 moneyline underdogs in the series finale, but the odds have moved in their favor since then, settling in at +160 at Bovada on Saturday evening. The O/U total opened at 8 and has also seen some immediate movement on the MLB odds board, which now has it listed at 7.5 runs across the board.

Tonight's starter for the Dodgers will be 38-year-old lefty Rich Hill, who has had an amazing few years as a late-blooming starter after being relegated as a bullpen arm for nearly a decade. He was devastating to right-handed batters last season, allowing a .187 BAA in that split and a 11.33 K/9 rate. Hill put up a 3.72 FIP in 2017 with a 12-8 record but was limited to just 135.2 innings pitched. Two of those wins were against the Giants, and he limited San Francisco to just one earned run in each of his three starts against them in 2017.

The Giants will put Chris Stratton on the mound. Stratton found a moderate amount of success in his late season call-up with the Giants last year, and only once allowed more than three earned runs in a start. His stuff isn’t exactly lights out, but he does keep the ball in the park with a 9.4 percent career HR/FB rate. His walk rates are a bit elevated and Stratton put up a 4.30 BB/9 rate in 2017. Like Hill, Stratton enjoyed a nice split against right-handers and allowed just a .237 BAA over 32.1 innings pitched against them last season. Lefties do hit Stratton very well, however.

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That top of the NL West feeling.#SFGiants pic.twitter.com/pcHMs9SiVE

— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) March 31, 2018
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Inspecting the possible lineups for these teams, I see that even though Hill had some success against the Giants last year, they do have a roster that can stack a lineup on the left side of the plate. The Dodgers also have five very competent batters that can bat left-handed in Corey Seager, Chase Utley, Cody Bellinger, Yasmani Grandal, and Joc Pederson.

The weather also appears to be Southern California perfect, with a slight breeze going out at game time. The splits indicate that the lineups could have some success, so I will take "over" 7.5 runs as my MLB pick.

2018 record: 2-1-1, +0.70u

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