The Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers finish up their three-game series at Dodger Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Following a hard loss to swallow on Friday night, the Dodgers responded for a 4-0 win last night.
The Dodgers were clinging to a 2-0 lead throughout Friday before the Diamondbacks erased that and then on in extra innings. Kenley Jansen blew the lead in the 9th Friday, but Dave Roberts stuck with him yesterday and was rewarded.
Jansen allowed a hit, though he got out of the night with no damage inflicted. It’s never easy these days getting through a 9th inning even with a 4-0 lead. Tensions and nerves are going to be super high in the postseason in tight 1 or 2-run ballgames late.
And I don’t think all Dodgers’ fans are fully confident with Jansen being able to hold leads down. The Dodgers cannot expect to blow the doors off teams with their offense every night, especially in the postseason when they have to face great pitching.
In any case, the Dodgers are in excellent shape with their record of 78-41, which is good for an 18.5-game lead over the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers are likely the only team in the division to reach the postseason, but the Diamondbacks, and to a lesser extent, the Giants are still alive for a wildcard.
The Diamondbacks still have to pass the Phillies, Mets, Cardinals, and Brewers if they want in. That sounds like a daunting task. They’ll try to leave Dodger Stadium on a high note behind newcomer Mike Leake.
Leake was acquired from the Mariners in a trade before the deadline. He faces a tall order against the Dodgers and Cy Young favorite Hyun-Jin Ryu. Head below for our free Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers pick.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. L.A. Dodgers Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The baseball gods were looking out for Mike League in his debut with the Diamondbacks against the Phillies. Despite allowing 11 hits and yielding a walk in 5.1 innings, Leake got out of the game with only 2 earned runs allowed. It may not have been the baseball gods, but simply playing a team like the Phillies who tend to blow opportunities like that a lot.
Leake ultimately exited the game with a WHIP of 2.25 and .444 OBA. 98 out of 100 pitchers allowing that many baserunners would have gotten drilled and allow far more than 2 earned runs. The Dodgers have been able to drill Leake in the past, with a .324 batting average and .340 OBP in 173 at-bats. Before joining the Diamondbacks, Leake was adequate with an ERA of 4.27 in 137 innings of work.
Ryu has been just about nearly unhittable this season for the Dodgers. So long as you don’t put Ryu in Coors Field, he’s been mowing down the competition at the plate. The lefty heads into Sunday with an outstanding ERA of 1.53 and 0.94 WHIP. Barring a major collapse, he is destined to win the Cy Young in the National League.
After allowing 7 runs against the Rockies in Denver, Ryu fired back with five superb outings. He hasn’t allowed more than 1-run in a start since that game, which was held on June 28th. In three out of his last five outings, he’s allowed no runs. Moreover, Ryu has surrendered 1 or no runs in ten of his last eleven showings.
Also note that the Diamondbacks are hitting just .198 against Ryu in his career. If the Dodgers’ bullpen doesn’t blow up here, they should have a comfortable win on Sunday. I was expecting the runline to be juiced, so at -110 it’s worth a look Sunday afternoon.