We picked up another win last night when we backed the Arizona Diamondbacks against the San Francisco Giants. I really like Zack Godley, and I feel he has the stuff to be a top of the rotation type of guy, and he did not disappoint last night. Godley was dominant, throwing seven shutout innings, giving up just four hits and striking out nine. Shockingly, Derek Holland was actually serviceable for the Giants, and this game was a tight one. In the end, the D-Backs held on for the 2-1 victory and are now 8-2 on the year.
I have been riding the Diamondbacks a lot early in the season as they have been either underdogs or small favorites in each game, despite their elite record. It will be very curious to see how much longer it takes for the books and the public to realize this is a really good team and value them as such. They have a great rotation and a solid lineup and are quickly emerging as the favorites in the National League West Division as the Dodgers continue to struggle. Speaking of the Dodgers, today I will break down their matchup with the Oakland Athletics.
The Oakland Athletics are in Los Angeles Tuesday night for a matchup with Dodgers. The A’s are coming off of a three-game series with the other L.A. team, the Angels, that saw them lose two out of three to the Halos. The Dodgers snuck out of San Francisco with a win in their last game to snap a four-game losing streak and are just 3-6 so far on the year. Your starting pitching matchup features Sean Manaea (1-1 1.15 ERA) for Oakland squaring off against Hyun-jin Ryu (0-0 7.36 ERA) for the Dodgers. The Dodgers are -125 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST from Dodger Stadium.
If I would have told you coming into the season that the Athletics would have a better record than the Dodgers coming into this series, you would have called me crazy, yet here we are. It’s not that Oakland has been all that good, they have a losing record at 4-7, it is that the Dodgers have been downright terrible. The A’s have been forced to play the Angels seven times already this season and have been on the wrong side of the Shohei Ohtani show, as the Angels have run out to an 8-3 record, so their struggles have been understandable.
For L.A., this team just can’t seem to find a way to hit. The Dodgers were one of baseballs best offensive teams last year and this year are off to a very slow start, to put it mildly. The Dodgers are 27th in runs scored, 28th in on-base percentage, 29th in batting average, and 27th in slugging. Cory Seager is hitting just.206, Yasiel Puig is hitting .205, Joc Pederson is slashing .133, and Chris Taylor is stroking just .205. Those guys were all players that had a breakout season last year and were expected to carry the Dodgers this year. Instead, they are all struggling, and this team is losing, a lot.
The one thing the Dodgers have done well with this year is their starting pitching. For the most part, Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, and company have been pretty good. The one starter that hasn’t looked great this year is tonight’s starter, Hyun-jin Ryu. Ryu couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning in his first start of the season against the Diamondbacks. Ryu gave up three runs and walked five batters. He struggled with his control all day long, and his pitch count got out of hand early. Ryu had a great start to his MLB career, but after missing significant time with an injury he has just never looked the same. Since missing all of 2015, Ryu is just 5-10 with an ERA hovering around four. Only time will tell if Ryu can get back to his once dominant self.
Oakland starter Sean Manaea is just the opposite of Ryu. He is just starting to come into his own as a starter and has dazzled so far this season. Manaea is starting his third full season as a starter and has a lifetime ERA of under four and a 20-20 record. And that is while playing for an Oakland team that has been really bad. Many expected Manaea to be shipped off last year at the trade deadline as Billy Beane loves to trade away his best players. But he has remained in Oakland and is off to a great start this year. Manaea is 1-1 with an ERA of just 1.15. He has gone deep into both of his starts and has given up only two runs in fifteen and two-thirds innings.
I can’t believe I am saying this right now, but I like Oakland in this game. This Dodgers lineup couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat right now and Manaea is looking really sharp this year. I like this game to be low scoring and expect it to go under as well, but I can’t pass up on taking the value pick and backing the Athletics. I get to snatch up dog money while backing a very strong starting pitcher against what has been one of the worst offenses in the majors. I expect at some point the Dodgers are going to snap out of this funk and get their act together. They are just too talented not to, but they have been favorites in just about every game this season, and have just three wins to show for it. So, I will follow the current trend and back the Athletics getting dog money. Give me the Oakland Athletics +105 tonight in Los Angeles!