Take A Shot With Underdog In Giants-Dodgers Clash​

Giants' pitcher Madison Bumgarner getting ready for action

Willie Bee

Monday, September 19, 2016 3:08 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 19, 2016 3:08 PM UTC

The best pitching matchup on Monday's shortened baseball betting card is in LA where the Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw to the bump against San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire go the San Francisco Giants. After a rather pitiful 2-5 homestand, the Giants now spend the next week on the road beginning with a stop in Los Angeles against the Dodgers who would love to shave their magic number in the National League West Division down against their longtime rivals.

The final regular season series in LA between the two should have a playoff feel for all three games thanks to solid pitching matchups, and Game 1 of the set gets things started with a bang as two of the game's best left-handers go at it. The 10:10 PM (ET) start at Dodger Stadium pits Clayton Kershaw for Los Angeles opposite San Fran's Madison Bumgarner, and it's the home side playing the role of decided favorites on the baseball betting board.

5Dimes has the best current price either way with the Dodgers -168 and Giants +161, the same top-rated sportsbook charging -105 on both the high and low sides of a 6 run total.

Having played each other since 1890 and nearly 2,500 times in the regular seasons, this has been a very even rivalry over the last decade-&-a-half. The Giants are up 153-151 since the start of the 2000 campaign, and leading 7-6 this year having won both of the previous series in LA. The 'under' has been the best bet when the clubs collide at Chavez Ravine, cashing four of the six games in 2016 and six of the last nine.


Giants In Danger Of Losing Wild Card Position
Once owners of the best records in baseball and in control of the NL West, the Giants have all but fallen apart with a 22-37 record in the second half. San Francisco is clinging to a 1-game lead over St. Louis for the second NL wild card spot, having just split a weekend set with the Cardinals. The crazy race finds the New York Mets with the No. 1 slot in the standings, a game ahead of the Giants.

San Fran's suffering has been to Los Angeles's liking as the Dodgers enter the final two weeks of the slate with a 5-game lead in the division. They haven't exactly been tearing it up lately, but then, the Dodgers haven't needed to with the way the Giants have been playing. Dave Roberts and his gang still have to feel good about completing a long, cross-country trip 5-5, and hope to trim their magic number of nine down while possibly knocking the Giants out of the playoff picture at the same time.


LA Looking To Take Down Bumgarner 4th Time In 2016
It's the third time this season that Bumgarner and Kershaw have dueled, and seventh since the start of 2015. Los Angeles has won both prior meetings and beaten Bumgarner 3-straight times dating to last September. Kershaw worked a combined 15 innings and allowed five runs (4 earned) in the April contests, winning as -140 chalk in San Francisco and as a -160 favorite in the follow-up game in LA; Bumgarner went 11 IP and allowed eight runs (5 earned).

The LA ace has been on a pitch count since returning from a 2-month stint on the DL, and may not be extended past 80 offerings tonight. Like the rest of his team, Bumgarner hasn't been his usual dominant self since the break with a 3.87 ERA compared to 1.94 before the midseason split, but the end results have been there with San Francisco winning five of his last seven assignments.

Muggy and cloudy is the current forecast, the thermometer with the upper-70s at game time with almost no breeze to speak of. My free baseball pick is going to be simply to roll the dice and take Bumgarner for a juicy return.


Free MLB Pick: Giants +161 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes
Season: 43-37 (+8.80)

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