Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks Odds, Pick & Preview: Arizona Looks To Play Spoiler Against Kershaw (Saturday, September 25)
Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: Clayton Kershaw
- The Dodgers are heavy favorites again tonight on the road against the Diamondbacks.
- Clayton Kershaw is on the bump for LA as it continues to chase the Giants for the NL West crown.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the game, including a betting prediction.
Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks Odds
|Over/Under||9 (-105 / -115)|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Dodgers’ race to the postseason continues on Saturday night, with every game of the utmost importance.
L.A. needs to make up one game in the NL West to avoid a one-game playoff, and can help itself mightily by simply winning out. The task shouldn’t be too difficult this weekend, anyway, with two more games remaining against the lowly Diamondbacks before the schedule gets tricky.
Should it be business as usual here with Clayton Kershaw on the hill? If so, how do we attack this matchup? Let’s get into it.
Muncy Getting Hot For Dodgers
There were plenty of encouraging signs in the Dodgers’ 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks on Friday, but I think the most promising would have to be Max Muncy’s night. Muncy, who’s been the best hitter on the team all year, had slipped into a bit of a rut. Seeing him go 2-for-4 was a delight.
Simply put, it has been weird seeing Muncy strike out as much as he has, and even weirder to see one of the league’s most apt players at drawing walks take a free trip to first base so infrequently.
As a result, it’s been odd seeing the Dodgers walk just in 8% of plate appearances over the last two weeks, even though they’ve combined it with a 18.4% strikeout rate. The power and base on balls have fallen by the wayside a bit, but at least the Dodgers are making enough contact to kill the opposition with singles.
Things have been rather ho-hum for Kershaw since he was activated off the injured list, but he’s gone just 9 1/3 innings in his two starts, pitching to a 1.93 ERA with 13 strikeouts. The Dodgers’ bullpen has been the best in baseball over the second half, so that shouldn’t make a huge difference, but they’ve been worked hard in the last two games. Longevity would be nice.
Diamondbacks Look To Play Spoiler
To state the obvious, the Diamondbacks are just here to play the role of spoiler. After playing a great game and beating the Braves at home on Thursday, they turned around and put a charge into the Dodgers on Friday before eventually falling.
As it stands, Arizona owns the fourth-worst offense in baseball over the past two weeks judging by wRC+, striking out 27.3% of the time. The Snakes have been decent against sliders this year, the signature pitch of Kershaw, ranking 19th in weighted runs per 100 pitches, but they’ve been bad against curveballs and fastballs, ranking in the bottom three of the league. Still, that offers a little hope. The Diamondbacks also haven’t been the worst against lefties, ranking 13th in OPS.
Finally, there’s Zac Gallen. The righty was supposed to be the best pitcher on Arizona’s staff but has not enjoyed himself with a 4.53 ERA across 21 starts. The peripherals would indicate he’s pitched a bit better than that, with a 3.81 xERA and a .358 xwOBA on contact.
He’s struggled with hard-hit balls and walks, but perhaps against a Dodgers team struggling in that same area, he can have success. It’s also worth noting that he did have one great outing against the Dodgers, spinning six innings of two-run balls with eight strikeouts, and one bad one, with four earned on eight hits in 5 1/3.
I’m not the biggest run-line guy, particularly on underdogs, but the Diamondbacks have been playing too many close games lately to ignore. They’re in a great spot here against a lefty, which is about the only time you’d want to back the offense, and they’re throwing about the only D’backs pitcher you’d bet on in Gallen.
Given Arizona’s success against lefties and against the slider, and Gallen’s previous success against the Dodgers and his strong peripherals, I think Arizona could shock L.A. here.
Pick: Diamondbacks +1.5 (+120)