MLB Odds, Picks, Prediction for Dodgers vs. Giants: Does Los Angeles Have Value with Trevor Bauer? (Friday, May 21)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Trevor Bauer.
- The Giants and Dodgers square off for the first time this season, as they open a three-game series on Friday night.
- Trevor Bauer will start for Los Angeles opposite Alex Wood, who has been very impressive this season for San Francisco.
- Matthew Trebby breaks down where he sees betting value and delivers a pick for the game.
Dodgers vs. Giants Odds
|Time||Friday, 9:45 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Thursday and via BetMGM|
Just as we all expected, the San Francisco Giants are the early team to beat in the National League West.
San Francisco faces the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time this season on Friday night, with seven of their next nine games coming against their Southern California rivals.
The Giants have won five straight and eight of their last 10 games. On the other side, the Dodgers have shaken off some key injuries to their lineup and gone on an impressive hot streak.
Two thriving starters face off in the series opener. Let’s try to find the betting value.
The Dodgers Are Who We Thought They Were
The Dodgers’ lineup is without Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager at the moment, but it doesn’t seem to have slowed the unit down.
The thought that Seager’s injury could leave Los Angeles without some depth in its order was unfounded. Max Muncy has moved into the two hole between Mookie Betts and Justin Turner, with a plethora of players behind that trio.
Newcomers Albert Pujols and Yoshi Tsutsugo have already hit cleanup since joining the club at the start of the week. With a southpaw on the mound for San Francisco, it’s safe to assume Pujols will be somewhere in the middle of the Dodgers’ lineup.
Los Angeles ranked fourth in MLB in OPS over the past week entering Thursday night’s series finale against the Diamondbacks.
Turner has struggled over the past two weeks after a smoldering start, but Betts and Gavin Lux each have an OPS over .900 during that span, while Muncy and Chris Taylor are both over 1.000. This organization is obviously willing to spend money unlike any other, but its depth is unmatched in its position-player pool.
On the mound is Trevor Bauer, who has been as good as advertised through nine starts. He’s averaging about 6 1/3 innings per start and has a 2.20 ERA and 3.08 xFIP. In his last outing, Bauer struck out 10 Marlins over seven innings of two-hit, shutout ball.
He’s damn good.
There’s Been No Knocking Giants’ Wood
Alex Wood has been pitching like a Cy Young Award candidate this season. That may not continue to be the case, but the metrics back him up. Wood has a 1.75 ERA through six starts and 36 innings this season with a 2.89 xFIP.
Wood’s strikeouts per nine innings are down, but his walks and home runs per nine are also down in a significant way. He has thrived by keeping the ball on the ground this season with a 61.5% groundball percentage and .253 BABIP.
The strategy of letting the Dodgers put the ball in play is a dangerous one. Los Angeles can mash, and Wood better be on his game if he’s going to contain his former team’s lineup.
Offensively, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey have all turned back the clock and are thriving this season. The likes of Mike Yastrzemski, Austin Slater and Alex Dickerson give San Francisco’s lineup solid depth.
The Giants might not be a great matchup against Bauer, though. San Francisco leads MLB in strikeouts against right-handed pitching this season, and that’s something that Bauer’s stuff makes happen a lot.
Aside from the Mets, who have played seven fewer games than the Giants, the Padres are the only team entering Thursday night’s slate that has allowed fewer runs than San Francisco this season. Wood is a big reason why, and he’s going to have to be on his game against a thriving Bauer.
Given the strong matchup for Bauer, I’m looking to the five-inning line to back him and the Dodgers. You can get Los Angeles -0.5 in the first five on BetMGM at +100, which I see as the best bit of value in this game.
Pick: Dodgers -0.5 First Five Innings +100