It appears the only thing that can cool down our hot start to the season is rain. We were on the Dodgers last night as they were scheduled to play the Giants in San Francisco. I liked Kenta Maeda a lot for the Dodgers and felt that this team almost has to play better than they have so far to start the season.
What can you do, as a wise man once said about baseball, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. We will stay right here in San Francisco and take a look at game two of the series between the Dodgers and the Giants.
The Dodgers are in San Francisco today hoping their game doesn’t get rained out again. The teams were scheduled to play yesterday, and that game was postponed and has been rescheduled for an April 28th doubleheader.
The Dodgers are off to their worst start in twenty years and are hoping to turn things around in this series. The boys in blue will send veteran starter Rich Hill (1-0 0.00 ERA) to the mound to square off against the Giants Chris Stratton (0-1 5.06 ERA). The Dodgers are -132 money line favorites. The game total over-under is set at seven and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 PM PST from AT&T Park.
I like the Dodgers in this game for all of the same reasons I liked them in yesterday’s game before it got rained out. Seven games isn’t a tiny sample size, and I can see why the faithful in Los Angeles are getting a little worried, but there is just no way this team is really this bad. The starting pitching has actually been very good, it is the bullpen and the lineup that is holding this team back right now.
This Dodgers lineup is twenty-seventh in slugging percentage, twenty-eighth in on-base percentage and just twenty-fourth in batting average. Based on what we know about this roster those numbers are sure to turn around, and soon! This team is just much too talented to struggle for too long. Guys like Cody Bellinger, Cory Seager, and Joc Pederson are good, solid hitters, and they will break out of this funk at some point.
In the meantime, the Dodgers need their starting rotation to carry them, and that’s what Rich Hill did in his first start for L.A. Hill pitched six shutout innings against this very same Giants team in his first start of the year and led the team to one of its two victories against San Fran in that opening weekend series.
Hill has enjoyed his short stint in the National League as he has a 16-10 record with an ERA of just 2.91 in his time with the Dodgers. L.A will need another vintage Rich Hill performance tonight if they want to pick up a win on the road.
Chris Stratton is the exact opposite of Rich Hill. Hill is a veteran that has pitched for many years, and his team knows they can count on him to produce results. Stratton? This is his first full season as a starter and he has been inconsistent at times. We saw this in his first start of the year against this Dodgers team. Stratton lasted just five and a third innings and gave up three runs while walking four. Stratton struggled with his command all day long, and the Giants got blown out 9-0.
This is a replay of a matchup that we just saw last week. In that game, Rich Hill completely outclassed Stratton, and the game wasn’t even remotely close. I suspect we will see similar results tonight. This Dodgers team is overdue for a breakout performance and tonight feels like it could be the night. The only real question for me is, do I take the run line or the money line?
The money line is offering us a -132 price on the Dodgers outright. The run line is giving us a very solid +125. That almost sixty cent premium, is a solid bump, and it must be considered. But for me to take the run line in a game, I have to have two things going for me. One, I must be getting the best of the starting pitching matchup.
I think you can easily argue that is the case tonight. Rich Hill is the much more experienced and talented arm, and I feel we have a big advantage there. And two, I have to have an offense that I know is going to score a bunch of runs.
That is where the Dodgers lose me tonight. While the pitching matchup is favorable, I just don’t trust this Dodgers offense enough yet to back them laying a run and a half. This team has gotten shut out three times already this year and scored just one run in another game. That type of production scares me off backing them on the run line today.
It is just too hard to cover that extra run and a half when the team you are backing might only score a couple of runs. So, while I like the Dodgers in this matchup a lot, I will steer clear of the run line and take the much safer money line today. Give me the Los Angeles Dodgers on the money line at -132 today!