MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Dodgers vs. Giants: Will San Francisco Win Back-to Back Games? (Wednesday, July 28)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images. Pictured: Steven Duggar.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers take on the San Francisco Giants in an NL West matchup on Wednesday night.
- The Giants have started to pull away ever so slightly in the division, as they hold a three-game lead over the Dodgers heading into tonight's game.
- Kenny Ducey breaks down the game below and shares a betting pick and prediction based on his analysis.
Dodgers vs. Giants Odds
|Over/Under||7.5 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||9:45 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday afternoon and via BetMGM.|
The Dodgers continue to struggle, losing their sixth game of the past nine last night, and now find themselves slipping in the NL West standings.
With one of their stronger starters taking the ball in Walker Buehler, will the bleeding finally stop? Is there still value left in the Giants as home underdogs? Let’s find the answers to those questions and more as we go through the numbers for both sides.
Dodgers Continue to “Disappoint”
It’s weird to say about a team that’s 20 games over .500 and right in the thick of the division race, but the Dodgers are a sorely disappointing ballclub at the moment.
Their wRC+ over the last two weeks sits at a pedestrian 102, thanks to a gaudy 24.7% strikeout rate and an abnormally low 7% walk rate. This team has lived off of walks and big blasts, but without the former, the latter really doesn’t mean a whole lot.
It’s crazy that the Dodgers have hit 19 home runs over that span to rank fifth in the league, yet have been so bad at producing runs. They just haven’t had many baserunners.
That’s compounded some lackluster starts, errors in the field and some blown saves from Kenley Jansen.
The team will at least hope that Walker Buehler can make life a little easier on the offense in this one. The righty has been effective for the Dodgers on the surface with a 2.31 ERA, but it’s concerning that he’s seen a downturn in a few areas.
Buehler’s spin rates have taken a massive hit since the league’s crackdown on foreign substances, and even before that, he was just a bit off the pace he set for himself in 2019 and 2020. He’s now seen his strikeout rate dip for a second straight year to 26.4%, and his hard-hit rate has risen for a second straight year.
His overall profile isn’t a bad one, and he’s even limited his walks. But those figures, combined with a 3.08 xERA, hint that there’s just something less dominant about Buehler.
Are the Giants Pulling Away
The Giants are beginning to really take the NL West race with force. After taking 3-of-4 in Los Angeles just last week, they’re back with a series-opening win to push their lead in the division to three games over L.A. and San Diego.
The opportunity to grab a second consecutive series win over the defending champs looms large, and it sets them up well for the next month. Momentum will be key with Houston coming to town this weekend, and if the solid play can continue just until Sunday, the schedule is about to get much easier. San Francisco has 10 games against the Diamondbacks and Rockies and a three-game set with the Brewers mixed in.
In that way, it does seem like taking at least two out of three here could prove to be a big blow to the Dodgers with so many winnable games on the horizon heading into the last month of the year and just one more series against L.A. remaining. This series means a lot more than a late-July three-game set normally would.
Anthony DeSclafani will take the ball for San Francisco against a very familiar opponent. It’s true that DeSclafani allowed 10 runs against the Dodgers in April, but it’s also true he’s been lights-out since that start and has limited the Dodgers to eight runs across 15.2 innings in his three starts following the clunker.
DeSclafani profiles well against Los Angeles because of his low walk rate, which should really be lethal given the lack of free passes for the Dodgers lately. He walked just one Dodger to go along with seven strikeouts in his last start, and that type of ratio will play perfectly.
San Francisco has hit as many homers as Los Angeles over the last week, and has a nearly-identical ISO (.209 vs. .210). The difference is a walk rate that’s 1.8% higher, which has led to slightly more fruitful innings.
Still, there aren’t many things separating these two offenses, meaning the pitching matchup will likely dictate the outcome. Buehler led L.A. to a victory over DeSclafani last week, but I’m not sold he’ll do it again.
The lack of walks lately for the Dodgers is very concerning, and against a pitcher who’s expertly prevented walks and limiting barrels to a decent extent, things probably won’t change for the better here.
There are also concerns for L.A. on the defensive side of things, and the bullpen has slipped up just a little bit. Too much is working against the Dodgers, and I can’t pass up DeSclafani and the Giants at this price.
Pick: Giants ML (+115)
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