The L.A. Dodgers make a rare trip out to Cleveland, where they will begin a three-game series against the Indians. The Dodgers are trying to keep pace with the top teams in the majors, and doing a pretty good job of it lately. After bitter disappointment in the postseason a year ago, ultimately choking away a golden opportunity, the Dodgers back at it again in 2017.
They are always going to come off as a contender, but they will be put under a microscope in the postseason again. The Dodgers really don’t want to go down as a team who had star-power but could never translate it into being a winning team.
The Dodgers have been running hot lately, amassing four consecutive wins heading into Cleveland. The Dodgers are exiting a six-game home stand in L.A., with their losses coming against the Washington Nationals. The Nationals are going to be a team they’re probably going to need to go through to reach the World Series, and right now, the edge has to be given to the Nationals. The Dodgers actually don’t have the lead in the NL West, that belongs to the Colorado Rockies, who have 41 wins compared to the Dodgers 39.
With the Dodgers only 1 game back of the Rockies, the lead doesn’t really mean much at the moment. I think if you ask a lot of people, they believe that the Rockies will fade while the Dodgers will eventually take control of the division. This logic was used plenty last season with respects to the Cleveland Indians. They never faded, and they went on to play in the World Series.
The saying that nobody remembers 2nd place is especially true for the Indians. Other than Indian fans and diehard baseball fans, does anyone else really remember who the Cubs beat to win the World Series? That historic World Series for the Cubs most certainly overshadowed the Indians’ effort. They let one slip away, though, because I don’t foresee them getting back to that point in the near future. We slipped up last night with our pick on the Angels. Let’s get it back tonight. Head below for our free Dodgers vs. Indians pick.
L.A. Dodgers vs. Cleveland Indians Pick
Clayton Kershaw (8-2, 2.20 ERA) vs. Trevor Bauer (5-5, 6.10 ERA)
Clayton Kershaw has arguably been one of the best pitchers in baseball since 2009. He’s already cemented his legacy, but Kershaw has never been a postseason pitcher. For him to have a complete career, he must get that World Series. He’s never seen his ERA above 3.00 since his rookie year in 2008. The worst Kershaw did was in 2013 when he posted a 2.93 ERA. Those are the kind of numbers that make other pitchers envious. Kershaw is at it again this season, as he enters Cleveland with an ERA of 2.20, along with a 0.90 WHIP and .234 OBA.
He goes against the trend of most pitchers playing their best at home. Kershaw holds a 1.96 ERA and 0.92 WHIP on the road. He had one bad start against the Rockies in Colorado, allowing 4 runs, but that’s all to report on the negative side. I think Trevor Bauer will have to pitch near perfectly to keep up with Kershaw tonight. However, he hasn’t shown the ability to do that. Bauer boasts a 6.10 ERA overall, with a 5.25 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, and .389 OBA in his last three starts. I’m not sold on the Indians against the Dodgers tonight. I like the Dodgers to take this matchup by at least 2 runs.
PICK: DODGERS -1.5 (+100)