Haven’t heard the name Clayton Kershaw tossed around much this season, have you? Maybe because he hasn’t been very Kershaw like this season. His numbers aren’t Kershaw like, but in his last few starts he has been turning it around. So don’t get ahead of yourself, Kershaw is still a great pitcher, and will probably be right up there among the best at the end of the season. After the campaign he had last year, it easy to expect him to go out there and throw complete games every outing. However, he seemed to have a bit of a hangover after earning the Cy Young last season. It has only been the first month of the season, and he is still the best pitcher in all of baseball. I expect him to play solid baseball the rest of the season. Will he play good in the playoffs is the big question. Kershaw got hit pretty hard and really let the team down in his play. He’ll really need to excel beyond the regular season and lead them to a World Series.
Kershaw has a matchup against the Brewers today who responded nicely against the Cubs in their final two games of the series. There is still work to be done for Milwaukee though, and I don’t think the two wins change much on the outlook for the rest of the season. I still think we’re going to see them finish at the bottom of the heap and will need to go through a rebuilding phase before they are back playing competitive baseball. The Brewers enter tonight with a record of 7-19, playing against the 16-8 Dodgers. The Dodgers have had a wealth of injuries, but have still been playing well. That list includes Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, and Hyun-Jin Ryu. We’ll see if Kershaw will have his way against the Brewer lineup tonight.
L.A. Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers
Clayton Kershaw (1-2, 3.73 ERA) vs. Kyle Lohse (1-4, 7.28 ERA)
I have already talked about Kershaw, but what about the other pitcher in this matchup, Kyle Lohse. Lohse has honestly been one of the most frustrating pitchers to bet on in my baseball handicapping career. I can’t win with the guy ever. He has had some good starts to his credit, but every time I take him he ends up getting blown up. Everybody has that one team or pitcher they can never win with, Kyle Lohse is that guy for me. If you’ve bet on him frequently this season then you have been losing money. It is easy to see why, Lohse enters against the Dodgers tonight with an ERA of 7.28. He also has a 1-4 record to top it all off. In four of five starts for Lohse, the right-hander allowed 4 or more runs.
He has his work cut out for him against Kershaw, who has been responding lately after he didn’t start off so hot. In his last three starts he has an ERA of 2.37 along with a 0.97 WHIP. Kershaw allowed less than 3 runs in each of those games. His worst start was against the Diamondbacks where he got tagged for 5 runs. I don’t know what it is against them, but they always seem to hit him well (I remember being on the Dodgers against the D-Backs last season and he lasted only 2 innings). Kershaw is going to benefit today against a team that has struggled against lefties. The Brewers are hitting only .179 against them. You aren’t going to find Kershaw at a good price like this against an untalented team often. I’m going to bypass the ML and just take the Dodgers on the RL to save the juice.
PICK: DODGERS -1.5 (-103)