After an spectacular performance by Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday in a shutout of the Atlanta Braves, Zack Greinke takes the ball and looks to carry the momentum today. See who we like as our MLB pick.
Joe C. Record 26-5 +21.02 Units
First pitch is set for 10:10 p.m. ET tonight at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.
The Great Greinke
He's not a magician, but in essence, Zack Greinke has been a magician on the mound as he's been simply masterful. So much that that the MLB odds at 5Dimes Sportsbook lists the Dodgers as a -190 betting favorite. The question is with the offense that the Dodgers possess. Is it worth the risk to choose the heavy favorite as your MLB pick?
A #1 Pitcher As the #2 Starter
On mostly any other team, Greinke would be the ace, but with Clayton Kershaw on the roster, Greinke takes a backseat. Although this is true, Greinke has been the best starter in the Dodgers rotation this year.
For the season, Greinke is 5-1 with a 1.48 ERA. Greinke has stifled opposing hitters, holding them to a mere .187 BA; that's dominance.
Greinke is a pitcher that can pitch over 100 pitches quite easily and take the Dodgers bullpen into the last couple of innings of the game if needed. The only issue that I see with Greinke is that he hasn't won a game in his last 3 games and it certainly hasn't been his fault. The Dodgers offense has let him down and he needs an offensive explosion to support him like the one that L.A. gave Kershaw yesterday.
At least in this series, the bats for Los Angeles have been out in full force as the Dodgers have outscored the Braves 14-3 in the first two games. Although the Dodgers have realized that picking up Jimmy Rollins has been a big mistake, Rollins has actually started to hit the baseball as of late. He's on a modest 4 game hitting streak, going 5 for 17 with a homer and a run batted in. They certainly miss Dee Gordon, but Rollins adds a little more pop to the lineup than the homerless Gordon of the Marlins.
The X- Factor
Leadoff man, Joc Pederson, has really been the x-factor of the team as the Dodgers know that they'll get run support out of veteran Howie Kendrick and Adrian Gonzalez.
Lately, Pederson has been the difference as he's 10 for his last 29 at bats with 2 HR and 2 RBI. Pederson provides some depth to the offense, has been getting timely hits, and will only get better. Rollins hasn't had a good history against opposing pitcher, Alex Wood, therefore, a contribution from Pederson could make a difference in a game like this. I expect Greinke to hold the Atlanta bats in check, but Los Angeles needs some production on the offensive end.
Pederson (5 for 9), Kendrick (3 for 7 ,1 RBI), and Gonzalez (3 for 8, 1 HR and 3 RBI), have all had their way against Atlanta pitching and while Alex Wood (2-2, 3.83) has been respectable, there's no guarantee on what we'll see out of him tonight.
Atlanta will rely on the nucleus of Nick Markakis, Freddie Freeman, and Kelly Johnson, but Markakis lacks power and Freeman is the only legitimate star in this lineup.
Thus far this season. Freeman is hitting, 5 HR, 23 RBI, and a .295 BA. Even though Freeman is a major threat at the plate, he took the golden sombrero against Dodgers pitching last night and I'm not confident that he'll do much better tonight as he's a career 1 for 9 against Zack Greinke.
Zack Greinke has given the bettor every reason to have confidence in him and the Dodgers offense has been more than adequate. Lay the juice and take Los Angeles as your MLB pick.
MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -190 at 5Dimes