Diamondbacks at Dodgers Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 6/10/2013
I have written a lot about the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, pretty much all negative. Written so much to the point that I had essentially barred myself from writing Dodgers copy until after the all-star break. But then along came Cuban rookie sensation Yasiel Puig.
I don't think you can ever call someone underpaid when they are getting $42 million on a contract, but Puig is underpaid right now. He has been nothing short of magnificent in his first week in the majors, drawing comparisons from the likes of Mickey Mantle to Roberto Clemente to Bo Jackson. Will Puig save the Dodgers' season? I can't really say that. They are still last in the National League West and enter Monday's series opener against Arizona having lost two straight. But Puig is making L.A. exciting to watch and taking the spotlight off manager Don Mattingly and whether he will be fired.
Diamondbacks at Dodgers Betting Story Lines
Puig was 3-for-5 in Sunday's 8-1 loss to Atlanta but again got little help from his teammates. The 22-year-old, who still doesn't speak any English, is the first Dodger to have five multi-hit games in his first seven games. He's hitting a cool .464 with four homers and 10 RBI in his first big-league week. He's also made a few spectacular throws from right field, thus the Clemente comparisons. Will Puig keep this up? Obviously not, but remember that he was the best player in the Cactus League this spring.
Puig was only called up when Matt Kemp went on the disabled list. Kemp wasn't very good when healthy and apparently suffered a setback in rehab on his right hamstring and will not return to the team this Friday as was first hoped. L.A. is going to have to make a move whenever Kemp returns because, clearly, Puig isn't coming out of the lineup. It probably means Andre Ethier and his $85 million contract will be headed to the bench.
The Dodgers just can't get healthy. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez just returned from the disabled list but is having his own hamstring issues and has been relegated to pinch-hitting duties the past three games. Ramirez had an MRI over the weekend and might be headed back to the DL. Ted Lilly was supposed to be L.A.'s starting pitcher on Sunday, but he was put on the disabled list for the third time this season, this time because of a neck strain.
Arizona, meanwhile, remains in first in the NL West but enters off losing two straight to San Francisco. One could argue that the Snakes are a bit of a fluke -- their plus-20 run differential is by far the worst of any division leader. However, it appears you don't need to be a great team to win the weak NL West this season.
Los Angeles starts ace Clayton Kershaw in this one. With his 1.94 ERA, Kershaw should be approaching double-digit wins but is just 5-4 because of lousy run support. In his five wins, he has given up a total of one run. L.A. is averaging 2.68 runs per start for Kershaw, fourth-worst run support in the league, according to ESPN. Kershaw has actually just been OK by his standards the last three starts, allowing at least three runs in each. L.A. has lost two of them. The lefty is 0-1 with a 2.51 ERA in two starts against Arizona this season, with the Snakes hitting only .216 off him. NL MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt is the only Diamondback with a homer off Kershaw but is batting only .188 in 17 at-bats. Catcher Miguel Montero has struck out 10 times in 23 at-bats.
Arizona counters with left-hander Wade Miley (4-5, 4.92). He gave up a season-high 11 hits last time out but held the Cards to three runs over 6.2 innings in getting the win. Arizona had lost his previous four starts. Miley faced the Dodgers in L.A. on May 8 and allowed two runs and seven hits over 7.2 innings in a 3-2 victory. Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis loves seeing Miley as Ellis is 8-for-18 with three homers in his career off him. Ellis is a bit banged up too but should start Monday. Puig has, of course, never seen Miley. He's hitting a cool .571 with two homers off lefties so far.
Diamondbacks at Dodgers MLB Betting Odds and Trends
At WagerWeb, Los Angeles is -185 and Arizona at +162 with the total at 6. Arizona is 27-34-2 “over/under” this season (18-14 on road) and 32-31 on the runline. Los Angeles is 32-27-3 O/U (21-14-1 at home) and 29-33 on the runline.
Arizona is 4-1 in its past five road games against a lefty starter. It is 4-0 in its past four after scoring two runs or fewer in its previous game. The Snakes are 5-2 in their past seven series openers. Arizona is 3-7 in Miley's past 10 as a dog. It is 0-4 in his past four series-opening starts. The Dodgers have won their past four series openers. They are 6-1 in their past seven against lefty starters. L.A. is 8-3 in its past 11 as a favorite. The Dodgers are 7-1 in Kershaw's past eight Monday starts. L.A. is just 1-5 in Kershaw's past six starts against NL West teams. The over is 6-0 in Arizona's past six road games. The under is 5-1 in Kershaw's past six Monday starts. The under is 4-0 in Kershaw's past four home starts against Arizona. However, Los Angeles is 0-5 in his past five starts against the Diamondbacks.
Diamondbacks at Dodgers Picks and Betting Predictions
Obviously, I can never recommend betting against Kershaw. That six-run total is easily the lowest in the majors on Monday night -- I actually like over. I'd also take Arizona at -140 on the runline.
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