MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Giants vs. Dodgers: Why San Francisco Has Value as Underdog (Tuesday, July 20)

MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Giants vs. Dodgers: Why San Francisco Has Value as Underdog (Tuesday, July 20) article feature image
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Justin K. Aller/Getty Images. Pictured: Buster Posey.

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants will hit the field in California tonight.
  • The Dodgers will send Josiah Gray to the mound to make his MLB debut, but it will be tough for the Los Angeles bats to back him up.
  • Check out Kenny Ducey's betting guide for the game, including odds, a pick, and a prediction below.

Giants vs. Dodgers Odds

Giants Odds +125
Dodgers Odds -145
Over/Under 8.5 (-120 / +100)
Time 10:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Tuesday afternoon and via DraftKings.

It’ll be an exciting night at Chavez Ravine on Tuesday night as the Dodgers’ No. 2 prospect, Josiah Gray, makes his Major League debut.

That’s just about where the good things end for L.A., which will likely be without some crucial members of its lineup and will now face adverse conditions for offense judging by the season-long trends.

Is the value all on the Giants here yet again as road underdogs? Let’s take a closer look at this matchup.

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Can the Giants’ Bats Keep Rolling?

The first-place Giants are rolling, and they continue to build back their lead in the NL West. With a commanding 7-2 upset win over the Dodgers on Monday, they’re now two games clear of the defending champions and will have the opportunity to secure a series win on Tuesday.

On the whole, this team has won nine of its last 13 games and has remained one of the best at the plate with a 119 wRC+ over the last two weeks, good for eighth in baseball.

The issue is that the Dodgers have been even better over the last 14 days, but the solution should be a lefty. More specifically, it should be Alex Wood.

The Dodgers’ struggles against lefties are well-documented, and we will get to them in a minute, but Wood is a good option regardless of opponent. His strikeout rate has risen to 25.3% this season, and his walks have leveled, bringing him back up to the level we saw him at with the aforementioned Dodgers.

Wood experienced a bit of a rough patch in early June, at one point allowing 15 earned runs in the span of three starts, but things have worked out well for him of late. He hasn’t allowed more than two runs in his past three outings, and he’s tallied 22 strikeouts in 17.1 innings over them.

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Dodgers Remain In a Slump

It feels silly, on the day one of the top 50 prospects in baseball debuts, to lead off talking about the struggles of Los Angeles’ offense, but that’s exactly what we need to do.

The bats defined the Dodgers on Monday night, and they will probably dictate how Tuesday’s game goes as well.

L.A. is likely going to be without Gavin Lux again due to a hamstring issue, and Mookie Betts was a late scratch on Monday night with a hip injury that’s now held him out of two straight games while putting his status up in the air.

It’s likely going to be up to players like Zach Reks and Zach McKinstry to keep things going for the Dodgers after their big boppers, and it just accents the fact that this team does not scare opponents offensively the way it has in the past.

That’s especially true against left-handed pitching, against which Los Angeles has just a .738 OPS to rank 16th in the league within that split. That’s an issue that goes back to 2020, and though they’ve found some wins against the southpaws the Dodgers have been shut down by some pretty bad ones.

Perhaps offense won’t be overly necessary, though, with Gray making his debut for L.A. The righty, who came over from Cincinnati in the Matt Kemp/Yasiel Puig deal, has a 60-grade fastball that has led him to another successful season in the Dodgers’ system.

He pitched to a 2.87 ERA at Triple-A and will now get maybe four or five innings here as the primary pitcher. That’s exciting, but not much else really is.

Giants-Dodgers Pick

I’d rather keep betting on the Giants and fading the Dodgers against a lefty than try to guess when these trends will be bucked. The fact is, San Francisco’s offense, even against righties, is very comparable to Los Angeles’, so getting that extra edge should work wonders.

There’s also the element of nerves and inexperience when you’re talking about a pitcher making MLB debut. San Francisco ranks second in weighted runs per 100 fastballs and is a very dangerous team to debut your best pitch against.

I’m in disbelief we get yet another great price on the Giants here with the way they’ve been playing and will happily take them as underdogs again.

Pick: Giants ML (+125)

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