The Los Angeles Dodgers came to Cleveland having lost only two games in the month of August. The Dodgers and Seattle Mariners entered the week as the two hottest teams in baseball, soaring in the standings in the National and American Leagues, respectively. The Cleveland Guardians took the field Tuesday night in the first game of this series seven games under .500. Cleveland knew that time was running out in the battle to catch the Minnesota Twins in a takeable American League Central. Even though the Twins have not put the division away and have played mediocre ball this season, the Guardians and the rest of the A.L. Central have been much worse. The Guardians have to get to the .500 mark to entertain any notions of possibly catching the Twins. That is frankly the more immediate goal, not catching Minnesota. Cleveland just has to win games and worry about the Twins later on.
Cleveland trailed the Dodgers 3-0 in the early innings, with a Will Smith homer and a Freddie Freeman RBI hit giving Los Angeles an early boost. However, the Guardians shut out the Dodgers over the final six innings and scored five runs in a go-ahead seventh inning to score an 8-3 win. That's the kind of baseball fans in Cleveland have rarely seen this year. Maybe this is the start of a true Guardians push toward respectability.
Here are the Dodgers-Guardians MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Dodgers-Guardians Odds
Los Angeles Dodgers: -1.5 (-128)
Cleveland Guardians: +1.5 (+106)
Over: 8.5 (-118)
Under: 8.5 (-104)
How To Watch Dodgers vs. Guardians
TV: SportsNet LA (Dodgers) / Bally Sports Great Lakes (Guardians) / MLB Extra Innings
Time: 7:10 p.m. ET/4:10 p.m. PT
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Why The Dodgers Could Cover The Spread
The Dodger offense always has the capability of going off and scoring in bunches as long as Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are in the batting order. Betts and Freeman are the best 1-2 punch in baseball. The Atlanta Braves have the best quartet in the sport — Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, and Matt Olson — but Betts and Freeman create a dynamic duo which has been on fire since the All-Star break. Freeman has been relentlessly consistent for the whole season, but Mookie has been really strong over the past several weeks, a central reason the Dodgers have lost only three games in August.
Clayton Kershaw, healthy once again after one of his familiar midseason injuries (which has the unintended but real effect of keeping him fresh), should be able to contain the Cleveland lineup.
Why The Guardians Could Cover The Spread
The Guardians' pitching has been good this year, but their hitting has been largely awful. This offense has been anemic on a relentlessly consistent basis. That's not the kind of consistency the Guardians were hoping for. However, on Tuesday night, Cleveland shredded Dodger pitching for eight runs, delivering the kind of performance fans were expecting a lot more of this season. Cleveland knows its season is on the line. The Guardians need a huge finishing kick, something like a 25-10 record over the last 35 games, to have any chance at the postseason. Playing with urgency — whereas the Dodgers have their division pretty much salted away — gives Cleveland a real edge here.
Final Dodgers-Guardians Prediction & Pick
The Dodgers lost to Cleveland on Tuesday. With Kershaw on the hill, they probably won't lose on Wednesday. Take the Dodgers.
Final Dodgers-Guardians Prediction & Pick: Dodgers -1.5