The Los Angeles Dodgers avoided a letdown spot in Baltimore last night, as they opened their three-game series against the Orioles with a win. They have to avoid these trap spots and play their game down the stretch. Baltimore aren’t a team who should give the Dodgers much issues, but if they take them lightly losses are possible.
The Dodgers got started early last night, as they tagged Ty Blach right out of the gate with 4 runs in the 1st inning. Blach lasted 2.1 innings with 9 hits and 6 earned runs allowed. After taking a 6-0 lead in the 3rd inning, that’s all the Dodgers would need to cruise for an easy 7-3 win. Corey Seager had a big night as he went deep twice.
Walker Buehler was responsible for an impressive showing on the hill for the Dodgers. He was sharp with 4 hits and no runs allowed in 7 innings. The Orioles didn’t get on the board until the 8th. Casey Sadler provided a discouraging performance, as he was tagged for 3 runs in 1 inning of work.
That might not matter in a 7-0 game, but a tight postseason game might have been thrown away there. In any event, the Dodgers are certainly not the only team who have watched their relievers get punched in the mouth easily. Expect a lot of bullpens to bring out starters who didn’t make the postseason rotation.
With the win last night, the Dodgers advanced to 94-52 and clinched the NL West. The Astros and Yankees both lost, so that gives the Dodgers some help in the race for homefield. However, they still have one less win than the Astros and Yankees. It was especially a bad loss for the Yankees, who fell to the Tigers in Detroit.
Ross Stripling has made two appearances since coming off the IL and hasn’t allowed a run thus far. We’ll see what kind of effort he gives Wednesday against the Orioles at Camden Yards. John Means is expected to counter for the O’s. His start was pushed back to today for an extra day of rest. Head below for our free Dodgers vs. Orioles pick.
L.A. Dodgers vs. Baltimore Orioles Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The main thing for the Dodgers on Wednesday is keeping their focus after winning the NL West. They had their time to celebrate last night, so it’s entirely possible that they come into this game without their full attention on the Orioles. Having said that, the Dodgers knew they’ve been winning the NL West for ages now.
There isn’t much to celebrate knowing a foregone conclusion. Winning the division is nothing to get too excited about to begin with. It’s win the World Series or bust for the Dodgers. There is no in between for them at this point.
Ross Stripling is back and hopes to play a critical role for the Dodgers in the postseason. When he’s healthy, Stripling is most definitely a valuable asset. He’s pitched 5 innings since returning and hasn’t allowed a run thus far. Stripling has yielded 5 hits, but hasn’t allowed a run yet.
Prior to going on the IL, Stripling was on point with 2 or less runs allowed in three straight outings. In his most recent three starts, he’s posted a 2.77 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. The Orioles haven’t faced Stripling much, with only 7 at-bats in his career. They recorded just 1 hit for a .143 batting average.
John Means has positioned himself to go into next season as the ace of the club. Means is the reason that the Dodgers aren’t more heavily priced tonight. He enters with an ERA of 2.18 and 0.68 WHIP in his previous three outings. My only problem with Means is that he hasn’t played anyone since the Yankees, and when he did, the Yankees scored 10 earned runs in 7.1 innings against him.
Since then he’s played the Royals twice, along with the Rangers and Rays. The Rays are the only postseason team in that group, and he had an awful performance against Tampa in July. Expect him to have some issues against the Dodgers in this spot. Getting the Dodgers at this price against a team like the O’s isn’t going to come around often. I like the Dodgers to win by 2 runs or more Wednesday.