Last night didn’t go exactly according to plan. We took a shot on a home underdog when we backed the San Francisco Giants at home against the San Diego Padres. I expected a lower scoring and tightly contested game, and that is what we got. But in the end, the Padres were too much for Dereck Rodriguez and the Giants.
Chris Paddack had his best start in over a month as he tossed seven strong innings of one-run ball. And the stagnant Padres offense, that has been one of the worst in the game in the last several weeks, found a way to score some early runs and the bullpen held on to the lead.
The loss was a devastating one for the Giants as they must find a way to string together wins, and soon if they want any shot of sneaking back into the playoff picture in the National League. With the loss, the Giants fall to seven games back of five different teams for the second wild card in the NL. While a comeback isn’t impossible, they aren’t going to be able to pull it off if they can’t beat bad teams like the Padres at home.
For the Padres, they enjoyed playing the spoiler role last night and would love to sweep the Giants right out of the playoff picture in this series. For today’s bet we will head to Arizona where the DBacks host the Dodgers.
The Los Angeles Dodgers take their major league-best eighty-eight wins with them tonight as they play in Arizona, against their division rivals, the DBacks. The Dodgers got pounded in the series opener last night, losing 11-5. Hyun jin-Ryu had his second straight awful start for LA as he got blasted for seven runs last night.
After leading the major leagues in ERA, basically the entire season, Ryu has now allowed a whopping fourteen runs in just nine innings over his last two starts. His ERA has gone from 1.64 to 2.35 with his recent struggles. It hasn’t seemed to bother the Dodgers too awful much through as they are still forty games over .500, and have an insurmountable lead in their division, the NL West.
The second-place team in the NL West? That would be the Arizona DBacks. While Arizona is in second place, they trail the Dodgers by nineteen games and have no realistic shot at all of getting back into the race for the division title. They are in the mix for the wild card though as they trail the Chicago Cubs by just four and a half games for the final playoff spot in the league. You can expect a playoff atmosphere tonight in Arizona as these two teams are both playing for something, and they hate each other.
Starting tonight for the Dodgers is Tony Gonsolin (2-1 2.74 ERA), and for the DBacks it is Zac Gallen (2-4 2.56 ERA). The game total over-under is set at nine runs. The Dodgers are -118 road favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM PST from Chase Field in Arizona.
It is a foregone conclusion that the Dodgers are going to win their division and make the playoffs. But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t love to find a way to knock the DBacks out of the playoff picture. These two teams have built up a healthy rivalry over the past several seasons, and while the Dodgers are seemingly getting the best of it recently, it is the Diamondbacks that have a World Series title this century, not LA.
LA will start Tony Gonsolin tonight in game two. Gonsolin made his major league debut in late June, against this very same DBacks team. And he got roughed up quite a bit. In that one, Gonsolin lasted just four innings, and gave up six earned runs and lost the game. But it didn’t take Gonsolin long after that to start figuring things out in the big leagues.
He followed up his bad first appearance by picking up the very rare four-inning save in Colorado against the Rockies. He was then brought back to the Dodgers rotation here in August and has been lights out. In three August starts, Gonsolin is 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA. And he has faced some very tough competition as he has faced the Cardinals, Braves, and Yankees.
Not that the Dodgers needed even more starting pitching help, they already own the best staff in the league, but all the sudden it looks like Gonsolin could be a repeat of Walker Buehler last season that could end up pitching meaningful innings in the postseason. Gonsolin would love to pay back the DBacks tonight for ruining his first big league start.
Arizona will answer Gonsolin with a rookie of their own in Zac Gallen. Gallen was acquired by the DBacks earlier this season form the Miami Marlins, and has been great since joining the team. In his four starts with the DBacks, he is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA. While Gallen has done a great job of keeping runs off the board, he does play with fire quite a bit as he struggles to throw strikes consistently. Gallen has twelve walks in just twenty innings pitched with Arizona.
If Zac Gallen hands out a bunch of free passes tonight to this Dodgers team, he is going to get lit up. The Dodgers have the best hitting lineup in the National League, and really, it’s not even close. They also have the highest on-base percentage in the league and are sure to take advantage of Gallen if he can’t find the strike zone.
This is a fun matchup between two teams that would both love to beat each other tonight. Both teams have young promising starters on the mound, and I expect a lot of intensity is the air tonight in what should be a tightly contested game. But I just can’t pass up on being able to back the best team in baseball, in my opinion, as such small favorites.
Usually, if you want to back the Dodgers you are forced to lay -200 or more. Sometimes that can get as high as -300 or even -400. So, when I see them as just -118 favorites, it feels like a steal. I see this starting pitching matchup as a wash. Combined these guys have just sixteen total starts in the majors. And both of them have looked great as of late. So, I can’t imagine seeing one of them as prohibitive favorites.
But when you look at the overall strength of these two teams, the Dodgers are clearly, the better overall squad. LA has a nineteen-game lead over the DBacks. If I can find a spot where I get to back the significantly better team, and not have to lay a bunch of wood to do it, I am going to jump all over it every time. And that is just what I will do tonight. Give me the Los Angeles Dodgers as small road favorites tonight in game two at -118!