Friday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Dodgers vs. Giants: How Bettors Should Fade Anthony DeSclafani (Sept. 3)

Friday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Dodgers vs. Giants: How Bettors Should Fade Anthony DeSclafani (Sept. 3) article feature image
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Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony DeSclafani.

  • The Dodgers and Giants begin their final regular-season series Friday in San Francisco.
  • David Price will start for Los Angeles, while Anthony DeSclafani will face the Dodgers for the sixth time in 2021.
  • Michael Arinze breaks down the matchup below and deliver his pick.

Dodgers vs. Giants Odds

Dodgers Odds -120
Giants Odds +100
Over/Under 8.5
Time 9:45 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings.

The National League West is up for grabs this weekend when the San Francisco Giants host the Los Angeles Dodgers in their final meeting of the regular season.

Not only are both teams tied with the same record at 85-49, but the season series is also tied at 8-8. These two teams are extremely similar to one another and based on Friday’s betting odds, the bookmakers would agree.

This game is essentially a coin flip, so we’ll need to dig even deeper to find any value in this matchup.

Los Angeles Dodgers

After beginning the year in the bullpen, David Price is back pitching as a starter after multiple injuries to the Dodgers rotation. The left-hander will make his 12th start of the season, having accumulated a 4-2 record and with 3.88 ERA so far.

Price’s advanced numbers are also in line with his level of success so far this season when you consider his 3.86 xERA and a 3.94 FIP. However, it’s worth noting that none of his four of his victories came as a starter.

Price has done a decent job in limiting hitters to less than one home run per nine innings. His 1.73 GB/FB ratio has also been a success, and it’s the second-highest mark in his 13-year career.

One thing that’s interesting about Price is his Called Plus Swinging Strike Rate is below average at 27.1%. However, he’s often put himself in a good position by getting ahead of hitters with a first-pitch strike rate of 69.2%. While there are certainly good things you can take away from his numbers, he tends to pitch with traffic on the basepaths, as evidenced by his 1.32 WHIP.

This year, opposing hitters are batting .257 against him, which is in line with. a .258 mark from 2019. Both numbers are higher than his .235 career mark.

If you’re looking for a leak in his game, a good place to start would be to look at how frequently Price allows runners on base. This is often where he uses his sinker to get out of trouble, and that has led to an impressive ground-ball rate of 51.9%.

There is, however, a tradeoff with the pitch since it’s also one that opposing hitters have their highest batting average (.292) and xWOBA (.369) against. Nonetheless, without it, we can still surmise that his ERA would be much higher without it.

Price will face a San Francisco lineup with 54 at-bats against him with a .405 wOBA, 3.15 ISO and .296 average, though he’s still managed to post a 2.94 ERA in six games (five starts) against them. This further strengthens my claim that Price has been able to weave himself in and out of trouble with his sinker.

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San Francisco Giants

Anthony DeSclafani will get the start for the Giants on Friday night. The 31-year old has put together a nice campaign with an 11-6 record, 3.38 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.

However, DeSclafani’s advanced numbers suggest there could be some regression in his future when you consider his 3.83 xERA and 3.85 FIP. Both are almost a half-run higher than his ERA.

If we compare both starters, his 1.19 HR/9 ratio is higher than Price’s (0.94 HR/9), and his 1.25 GB/FB ratio is almost 40% lower.

Identifying DeSclafani’s leak is much tougher than with Price. After all, he throws more strikeouts per nine innings (8.43 vs. 7.35), and his walk rate is also lower (2.39 BB/9 vs. 2.67 BB/9).

The difference with DeSclafani is he has a tremendous advantage in pitching the majority of his games at Oracle Park. Per ESPN’s Park Factors, the Giants’ home ballpark is fifth in the league in terms of fewest home runs allowed. And while DeSclafani actually has a higher ERA at home (4.04) vs. on the road (3.01), he’s only allowed three home runs at Oracle Park compared to 12 on the road.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a disparity in the home-away splits of a pitcher’s ERA and home runs allowed. That helps to support my analysis of the regression that possibly awaits DeSclafani. He’ll face a Los Angeles team that’s very adept at beating their opponents in various ways.

The Dodgers are ranked 11th with a .242 batting average, second with a 10% walk rate, sixth with a .326 wOBA, seventh with a .180 ISO and fourth with 188 home runs. Against DeSclafani in 125 at-bats, Los Angeles has a .328 batting average, .397 wOBA and .192 ISO.

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Dodgers-Giants Pick

Somehow, it’s always Desclafani’s turn to pitch when these two rivals meet. The right-hander has started in five of the 16 games already this season. He’s 0-3 with a 9.43 ERA in those outings and 1-8 with a 6.47 ERA against the Dodgers in 11 career starts.

While I wouldn’t begrudge anyone who wanted to fade him, I’m not sure I want to push my chips to the middle to back Price.

I think the oddsmakers are on to something by setting this total at nine.

My model actually projects a total of 9.52 runs. We also have winds blowing out to the center-field as high as 8.5 mph.

The Dodgers have scored at least six runs in their last four road games against Desclafani. With a team of 4.5 runs at DraftKings, I think the over is worth looking at in this spot.

Pick: Dodgers Team Total  Over 4.5 (-110)

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