Arizona Diamondbacks +120 at Los Angeles Dodgers -130 (Total: 7.5)
Trevor Cahill vs. Aaron Harang
The trade deadline made a huge splash out on the left coast when the Angels, already one of the most formidable all-around teams in the league, went out and added a third ace to the staff picking up Zack Greinke. My World Series pick looks better than ever when you look at that awesome lineup and the fact they can now throw Jered Weaver, CJ Wilson and Zack Greinke at you in a shot series. Wow.
But somewhat lost among the excitement was a pickup that may turn out to be just as influential in constituting the post-season picture. The Dodgers acquisition of shortstop-turned- third baseman Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins might be just the spark this Dodger offense needed. Hanley had struggle mightily this season after a career-worst season in 2011, however his talent and potential are undeniable. For the four years prior, he was considered one of the two or three best young players in all the game. Since his arrival in LA he is 7 for 20 with 7 RBI, and more importantly, the Dodgers can’t seem to lose. The Dodgers outscored the Giants 19-3 in their weekend sweep of the former first-place club.
They begin another important series tonight, a homestand against Arizona, who has continued to hover just close enough in the NL West to be relevant. The Dodgers can all but end that threat with another sweep. Aaron Harang takes the hill for LA, and he has been fantastic this season. He is just 7-5, but his 3.36 ERA is top-15 in the National League and he has only allowed more than three runs in one of his last eleven starts. He has been especially sharp in his last three outings, with a WHIP of just 0.93.
The Diamondbacks send Trevor Cahill to the mound, hoping he can snap out of recent rough stretch. He has a plus-five ERA and a WHIP of 1.64 in his last three outings, which has to have the sizzling (and finally healthy) Dodger lineup salivating.
The Dodgers have woken up their bats, Matt Kemp appears to finally be really healthy, Hanley Ramirex gives another batter to fear, and James Loney is hitting over .330 for the month of July. Things are finally looking good again in LaLa Land, and I think the Dodgers keep rolling this series. I like them to win tonight at home behind yet another strong outing from Aaron Harang.
Free Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers to WIN -130