Another close game with a ton of drama came our way last night with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. It was also another late Giants win and widened the lead in the division race to three games.
We’ll see if the Giants can work some magic again on Wednesday in this matchup between Walker Buehler and Anthony DeSclafani. We saw a line move on Buehler last week, but we haven’t really seen any indication of where this line will go as of yet. The Dodgers are road favorites in the -140 range at Bovada Sportsbook with a total of 7.5.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers and Giants have given us some outstanding games in their head-to-head season series. We’ve seen a lot of one-run games and a lot of bullpen mishaps and late-game blunders that have decided a winner. That makes a lot of these games pretty close to a toss-up situation.
When we compare the two teams side-by-side, it makes sense. The Dodgers are slightly better offensively by a lot of metrics, due in large part to their higher walk rate and greater success with men in scoring position. The Dodgers went into yesterday’s game first in wOBA with men in scoring position and also had the most plate appearances in that split. The Giants were 11th.
It was the Giants that doubled up the Dodgers in at bats with RISP last night, but the Giants were only 1-for-8, missing out on the chances that they had. The Dodgers were 1-for-4 and it led to their only run of the game. The Dodgers sure seem to have met their match offensively, defensively, and on the pitching side with the Giants this season.
Walker Buehler gets the call today for the Dodgers. Buehler was outstanding last week in this matchup, throwing 7.1 innings of one-run ball with nine strikeouts. Kenley Jansen blew the win for him, but Buehler lowered his ERA to 2.31 and his FIP down to 3.20. He has done that in 128.2 innings of work with over a strikeout per inning and solid peripherals across the board.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants are going to be called scrappy or opportunistic based on what has happened in recent games against the Dodgers, but the reality is that this team is virtually every bit as good as Los Angeles. Many bettors, scribes, and pundits have not given this Giants team enough respect throughout the season. That is why they will use those cutesy buzzwords to describe what has happened.
The Giants are a top-five offense. They do have a solid pitching staff and one of the best rotations in baseball, especially with the return of last night’s starter, Logan Webb, who threw six brilliant innings for the home team. San Francisco deserves to be in this race and will be in it for the long haul.
This is a team that has mastered hitting at Oracle Park through intensive study of the roster and the park factors. What used to be a hindrance for the Giants is now a strength. San Francisco heads into this game fifth in wOBA at home, up there with teams like Colorado and Boston, who have home parks that we traditionally think of as being like softball fields.
Anthony DeSclafani allowed three runs on six hits in six innings last week against the Dodgers. That 4.50 ERA was enough to raise his season mark to 2.87 with a 3.61 FIP. DeSclafani is certainly something of a regression candidate with a lot of positive results on the hard contact that he has allowed. His .239 BABIP is a bit fortunate compared to his Hard Hit%.
Much has been made of the Dodgers as DeSclafani’s “kryptonite”, as he has allowed 18 runs in 18.1 innings of work against them. He allowed 10 runs in one start. His other three starts, while not great, have at least been passable. Like most things about the Giants, sensationalism reigns supreme.
Dodgers vs. Giants Free Pick
That being said, Buehler should have the Dodgers in a position to win today. DeSclafani is a regression candidate in general, not just because he is facing Los Angeles. Buehler is about as steady and reliable as they come. The Dodgers and Giants have played a lot of coin flip games, so it may appear tough to lay this kind of number, but Los Angeles is the side. The matchup simply favors them.
Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers