The Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks begin a three-game series on Monday night as the Dodgers continue to gains some ground in the NL West. It’s time to continue our MLB odds series and make a Diamondbacks-Dodgers prediction and pick.
Los Angeles currently stands at 91-53 and is 49-23 at home. If you put $100 on every single Dodgers game so far this season, you’d be down $393 on the moneyline.
Arizona currently stands at 47-96 and is 19-53 on the road. If you put $100 on every single Diamondbacks game so far this season, you’d be down $3,219 on the moneyline.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the Diamondbacks-Dodgers odds.
MLB Odds: Diamondbacks-Dodgers Odds
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Arizona Diamondbacks ML (+250)
Los Angeles Dodgers ML (-280)
Over 8 Runs (-110)
Under 8 Runs (-110)
Why The Diamondbacks Could Win This Game
The Diamondbacks return to Los Angeles fresh off a series win over the Seattle Mariners with a starter on one of his better stretches of the year.
Zac Gallen has been excellent over his last four starts, holding a 2.19 ERA over the span. Gallen has pitched at least five innings in each start in his last four appearances and allowed no more than three earned runs.
There are two major positive signs for Gallen heading into this start: His recent stretch of giving the Diamondbacks length and his history against the Dodgers’ best bats.
For one, Gallen has pitched no less than five innings in over a month, and he’s gone six-plus innings in more than half of the games in that span. This is hugely important tonight, as keeping the shaky Diamondbacks relievers in the ‘pen as long as possible gives Arizona the best shot of winning.
Secondly, the Dodgers’ top hitters have seen limited success against Gallen. Max Muncy, Justin Turner, Will Smith, and Chris Taylor have combined to go only 6-34 at the plate against the righty. That’s not including Cody Bellinger’s miserable 1-10 history against Gallen either.
At the plate, the Diamondbacks face a familiar foe in Clayton Kershaw. While the name alone is intimidating, we have not seen Kershaw pitch in two and a half months.
Of the Dodgers aces, Kershaw is probably the least scary at the moment. He enters the game holding a 3.39 ERA, and he’s allowed three or more runs in eight of his 18 starts this year.
When you take into account that the Diamondbacks lineup has been significantly better against lefties (.746 OPS against left-handers vs. .670 OPS against right-handers) and the fact that we don’t know what we’ll get from Kershaw tonight after a long hiatus, don’t count Arizona out just yet.
Why The Dodgers Could Win This Game
Dodgers fans will welcome Clayton Kershaw back to the rotation tonight as he attempts to round in to form before the postseason.
By his standards, Kershaw is having a down year with an ERA of 3.39, the highest ERA he has posted since his rookie season. Realistically, the lefty is still a dominant starter, probably the ace of most team rotations.
The Diamondbacks might struggle to jump on the few weaknesses Kershaw does have in his game. The future Hall of Famer holds the second-highest HR/IP rate of his career, but the Diamondbacks don’t have much pop in their lineup. They have hit the second least home runs of any team in the major leagues.
Additionally, Arizona’s offense has been poor on the road. They’re batting only .221 away from Chase Field with a team OPS of .662. Even if Kershaw isn’t his sharpest, he has the ability to produce a quality outing against this team.
The Dodgers offense has looked formidable of late, scoring 5+ runs in half of their last ten outings. They’re coming off a sweep of the Padres where they scored 16 runs in three games, and Mookie Betts has looked particularly dangerous. In his last four games, the Dodgers star is in the midst of an eight-game hitting streak and is 7-12 at the plate.
Zac Gallen’s biggest weakness has been his control, and the Dodgers are primed to take advantage of this. In just 98 innings of work, Gallen has walked 41 batters. In 13 of his 19 starts, Gallen has allowed at least two walks.
The Dodgers have drawn the second most walks in the league, and their patience at the plate can wreak havoc on a pitcher that doesn’t have pinpoint control. If Gallen comes out without his best stuff, it’s unlikely he pitches more than five innings.
The Diamondbacks bullpen owns the second-highest ERA in baseball, and this one will get messy if their starter can’t deliver at least five or six innings. Look for the Dodgers to attempt to grind down Gallen early and get deep into counts.
Final Diamondbacks-Dodgers Prediction & Pick
The Dodgers line has been massively inflated for a few reasons: They’re the Dodgers, and Kershaw is a name few like to bet against. However, you can’t justify laying on a -280 line for a pitcher we haven’t seen throw the ball since early July. It’s a massive longshot, but the Diamondbacks do have value on them tonight. Their odds of winning aren’t extremely high, but they’re certainly better than the +250 line indicates. Take a swing on Arizona and hope they can catch a rusty Kershaw off guard in Los Angeles.
FINAL DIAMONDBACKS-DODGERS PREDICTION & PICK: ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS ML (+250)