Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks Odds, Preview, Prediction: Back Desperate Los Angeles (Friday, September 24)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin.
Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks Odds
|Over/Under||10 (-105 / -115)|
|Time||9:40 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Life’s never been tougher on a 98-55 team. While teams with far worse records are resting after winning their divisions, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still fighting, and they enter a weekend series against the Diamondbacks trailing the San Francisco Giants by a game in the NL West.
With that, the Dodgers will have everything to play for and should be expected to start their studs and go all-out for this one. So, is there any value backing them as relatively short favorites against one of the worst teams in baseball? Let’s have a look at the matchup.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Despite a soft six-game stretch against Colorado and Arizona, it didn’t seem to be going too well for the Dodgers less than a day ago. After falling to the Rockies on Wednesday, the Dodgers trailed 5-3 heading to the eighth, but they staged an inspired comeback to avoid losing the series and take Thursday’s rubber match, 7-5.
The Dodgers head into this one having some modest success at the plate with a 110 wRC+, which ranks 11th in the league over the past two weeks, and an impressive 19.1% strikeout rate.
Despite those positive numbers, their walk rate is at one of its lowest points it’s been at all year at 8.3%. While that’s technically above average, it’s nothing to one of the kings of base on balls. It’s likely due to the fact that L.A.’s best hitter all season long, Max Muncy, has fallen into a bit of a slump.
Over that same span, Muncy has walked in just 6.1% of plate appearances, punching out in 28.6% of them. While he’s hit four homers to lead the team over the past two weeks, his inability to get on base has really killed Los Angeles.
The Dodgers will throw Tony Gonsolin here, who hasn’t really gone too deep into games this year. He did shut out the Diamondbacks over five frames just a couple of weeks ago, but he also walked five and lasted just 1 2/3 innings in Arizona a couple of months ago.
Free passes have been a massive problem for Gonsolin this year. He has posted a 15.9% walk rate which is one of the very worst numbers in the league.
Luckily, the Dodgers can lay claim to the best bullpen in baseball over the second half of the season with a 2.68 ERA, so Gonsolin will have some solid backup.
We’ve just gone deep on the Dodgers, but let’s give the Diamondbacks their due here. They did just come back on the Braves with a five-run seventh on Thursday, stunning Atlanta with a 6-4 home win. It was much needed after a dreadful month of September.
The Diamondbacks have won just five times in 19 games this month, registering an 82 wRC+ at the dish to grade out as the fourth-worst offense in baseball.
Despite decent strikeout and walk numbers, Arizona simply hasn’t made much quality contact, ranking 27th in hard-hit rate over the month and second-to-last in barrel rate. A 76.4% contact rate is pretty decent, but it’s not going to be very fruitful if you’re not making good contact and giving yourself a chance to turn those batted balls fall into hits.
Humberto Castellanos is your starter for the Diamondbacks, and he actually hasn’t been so bad this year. The right-hander hasn’t struck many people out (16.1% strikeout rate), but he also hasn’t allowed many hard-hit balls (34.5% hard-hit rate).
There’s more to a pitcher, of course, and the sample size is small with just five starts in 12 appearances, but those are numbers to build around for the 23-year-old, particularly a sinker-baller.
On top of that, in essence, he’s had just one bad outing, giving up five earned to the Mariners earlier in the month. You almost get excited for a second until you look at this Dodgers offense.
Los Angeles’ lineup has remained afloat despite Muncy’s aforementioned struggles, and things could get even better on Friday night. The Dodgers have ranked third-best in the league this month against sinkers, and they will go up against a young sinker-baller whose walk rate sits ever so slightly higher than league average.
The Dodgers should take advantage of this matchup with Castellanos and get on the board early, at which point Gonsolin and this dominant Dodgers bullpen should hang on to this lead for the duration.
Pick: Dodgers First Five -0.5 (-150)