MLB Odds & Pick for Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers: NL West Pitching Duel Gives Total Value (Wednesday, September 15)
Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images. Pictured: Julio Urías
- The Dodgers are a heavy favorite on Wednesday night over the Diamondbacks.
- Julio Urias will start for the NL powerhouse opposite the steady Merrill Kelly.
- Kenny Ducey breaks down the matchup and delivers his pick below.
D-backs vs. Dodgers Odds
|Time||10:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Dodgers were among the first teams to clinch a playoff spot with a second straight win over the Diamondbacks on Tuesday, but their work is far from done. L.A. is currently on the prowl, trying to chase down the first-place San Francisco Giants in the NL West to avoid being relegated to a one-game playoff.
Can L.A. win a sixth straight to keep the pressure on San Francisco? More importantly, is there any value in betting on the more motivated of the two teams?
Let’s have a closer look at the matchup.
Arizona will be facing left-hander Julio Urías in this one, and as we’ve seen over the past week, the Diamondbacks can hit lefties. Their 100 wRC+ within the split ranks 15th in baseball — which is very good considering a poor offensive output for the season — and a .750 OPS is an incredibly respectable number.
Arizona has been able to limit strikeouts against southpaws to the tune of a 21.8% strikeout rate, and has just been able to make contact with success, carrying in the 10th-best batting average in the split here.
So, there are two questions that we really need to answer here. Can the Diamondbacks find some sort or edge offensively they don’t have in every game? Yes, they can. Is Merrill Kelly good? Well, that’s an incredibly loaded question.
It surely depends how you define “good.” Kelly has made 24 starts, and by my count and judgment, eight of them were bad. Seven of them were objectively good. The other nine were incredibly average. He’s certainly not turning in a high percentage of great outings, but he’s also rarely a liability.
Kelly has been pretty consistently average, and might even be teetering on the above-average with a 4.30 ERA backed by a 4.17 xERA and a decent .366 xwOBA on contact. The issue would be a lack of strikeouts, which can get him into trouble against talented offenses.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are certainly that, a talented offense, but the question certainly has to be asked as to how well they’re really hitting at the moment. With the money on the table, L.A. has hit .222 over the past two weeks, sporting a lower-than-usual 9.3% walk rate and .302 on-base percentage.
The Dodgers are still hitting a hefty bunch of homers, but it’s been a struggle to build big innings without much traffic on the bases.
The Dodgers have survived on the back of their pitching over that 14-day span, posting a league-best 2.26 staff ERA and carrying the third-best bullpen ERA into this one.
One guy who has certainly contributed to that staff ERA is Urías, coming in fresh off a dominating outing at home against the Padres last week. He went seven scoreless, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out seven.
The 25-year-old left-hander has not racked up seven or more punchouts in each of his last three starts, and has only allowed 18 hits in his previous five starts, spanning 28 2/3 innings.
While I want to believe in the Diamondbacks against a lefty, Urías might not be that guy. He’s been one of the most rock-solid starters in all of baseball in the past month or so, and should be expected to dominate here, particularly with a great track record against Arizona. He’s faced the Snakes twice, allowing a run on seven hits over 11 2/3 innings with 15 strikeouts.
On the other side of the coin, Kelly has been good enough this year (and has had success against the Dodgers) to give me faith he can help this staff hold the Dodgers to five or fewer runs. At that point, the under should be a comfortable cash.
Pick: Under 8 (-110)