Dodgers vs Orioles Odds & Prediction: Bet Los Angeles as an Underdog?
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Pictured: Emmet Sheehan
Dodgers vs Orioles Odds
-110 / -110
-110 / -110
The Dodgers look to rebound from a walk-off loss to the Mets when they take on the red-hot Baltimore Orioles on Monday night.
After a tough start to the season, the Dodgers have regained first place in the NL West, taking advantage of the Diamondbacks going on a skid over the past month. They will send Emmet Sheehan to the mound for his fifth start in the big leagues. He's been solid through his first four starts, but we will see how he fares against the Orioles' offense.
Tampa Bay's lead to begin the season in the AL East seemed insurmountable for the rest of the division. Suddenly, though, the Rays are dealing with a ton of injuries and the red-hot Orioles have now won eight straight games and closed the gap to just one game. Baltimore recalled its top pitching prospect, Grayson Rodriguez, in hopes that he has more confidence this time around than in his early-season debut.
Sheehan is the Dodgers' sixth-ranked prospect, and after being incredibly dominant in Double-A, the Dodgers decided to call him up to the show. He's been good through his first four starts, posting a 3.25 xERA, but his last time out he did get lit up for five runs by the Pirates.
Sheehan is a heavy fastball pitcher, and for good reason — scouts have graded it as a 65 on the 20-80 scale. He averages around 96 mph on it with good movement, which is why it has a 115 Stuff+ rating.
While Sheehan's fastball is good, he isn't getting the swings and misses like he did in the minors. He had a 14.85 K/9 rate in Double-A, but now in the big leagues he's only at 6.97.
The problem for Sheehan is he needs to utilize his two off-speed pitches more often. His changeup was graded out at 60 by scouts and was almost unhittable in the minors. However, he's only thrown it 41 times so far in the big leagues. Once teams are able to key on his fastball, he's going to run into problems.
The Dodgers' offense has been hitting the ball well over the past month, putting up a .340 wOBA and 115 wRC+. Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and J.D. Martinez have been the keys for this lineup, especially against right-handed pitching, where the Dodgers have the fourth best wOBA. All three of them have over a .380 wOBA against righties, and they have combined for 103 extra base hits.
The Dodgers' bullpen has also been solid this season, ranking in the top 10 in both xFIP and Stuff+.
Rodriguez got called up just after the beginning of the season and things went catastrophically bad. He made 10 starts and ended up with an ERA well over seven, with all of the expected metrics indicating that he truly was that bad. He was the 11th overall pick in 2018 and was pegged to be the future of the Orioles' rotation, but Baltimore sent him back down to the minors until he was deemed ready.
He seemingly has his confidence back, because in his seven starts since getting sent down he put up a 1.96 ERA and a 12.15 K/9 rate in Triple A. However, when you dig a little deeper, the concerns that existed in the majors still are there. He's still struggling with his command with his BB/9 rate above four in those seven starts, and his xFIP was also up at 3.78, indicating some negative regression.
The Stuff+ numbers for Rodriguez were pretty good, sitting at 103, but again, his location and control were very poor, especially on his fastball where opposing hitters had a .440 xwOBA against it. The Dodgers have a .356 xwOBA and +21.6 run value against right-handed fastballs this season.
The Orioles' offense could not be hotter at the moment. Over the past two weeks they lead MLB with 64 runs and a .368 wOBA. For the season, they are 10th in MLB in wOBA.
Dodgers vs. Orioles Betting Pick
If this starting pitching matchup were happening in April with all the anticipation of Rodriguez only a few starts into his big league career, I think you'd see the Orioles pretty decent favorites, but that is not where we're at. In fact, the Orioles are getting a little inflated due to their eight-game win streak. With everything seemingly not completely fixed with Rodriguez, I think the Dodgers should be fairly significant favorites.
Los Angeles has advantages in the starting pitching matchup and a better offense against right-handed pitching. I have the Dodgers projected at -134, so I like the value on them at -110.
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