Giants vs. Dodgers Odds, Preview, Prediction: Division-Leading San Francisco Has Value as Underdog (Thursday, July 22)
Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony DeSclafani.
Giants vs. Dodgers Odds
|Time||Thursday, 10:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Thursday and via DraftKings|
The Giants and Dodgers are engaged in an incredible fight in the NL West, with San Francisco now two games clear after a late come-from-behind win in Los Angeles on Thursday.
The defending champs can bring the deficit back to one game with a win in the series finale, and guarantee a split of the four-game set, but are the conditions ripe enough for offense?
Let’s take a look at this matchup below.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants will start from a point of strength here with Anthony DeSclafani on the hill, who has quietly been one of the best pitchers in the National League. What he lacks in flash with just a 23.1% strikeout rate he makes up for with expert control. DeSclafani has walked just 6.5% of the batters he’s faced, and he’s been able to limit them to a .354 xwOBA on contact.
They’ll also have an ever-improving offense to back them up. San Francisco was already a top-10 team over the past two weeks judging by wRC+, and now has Buster Posey back in the fold. He has helped drive this offense to new heights in the Dodgers series with four hits in three games — including a two-run homer — two walks and two runs scored. On the whole, the Giants have done a great job of limiting strikeouts and have walked over 9% of the time.
The one thing the Giants haven’t done all that well over that aforementioned 14-day span is hit the ball hard, with a hard-hit rate just over 36%, and they’ve also lacked consistent contact at 75.8%. For all the baserunners they’ve had via the walk and all the timely hitting, their profile doesn’t look all that hot.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers will counter with Walker Buehler, who is almost an impossible pitcher to get a read on these days. His spin rates took a big hit when the league announced its crackdowns on foreign substances, and while he struggled at first he’s recovered from his stumble. He did dominate the Giants in late June, but his previous three outings (which all went well) came against pretty poor competition. We could see a repeat, but if the previous two outings against San Francisco are any indication we could very well see this team string together some hits.
Then, there’s the elephant in the room — Kenley Jansen. He blew the save on Wednesday night and seems hellbent on single-handedly bringing down this Dodgers bullpen. Despite his failures this year and in the last game, the relievers for L.A. are still collectively sitting at a 3.64 ERA over the past two weeks, which ranks ninth in baseball.
The Dodgers have come to life offensively over the past couple of weeks, but it’s important to contextualize their 141 wRC+ during that time. They scored a ton of runs at Coors Field and at home against the Diamondbacks (yuck!), but aside from those sporadic outbursts against bad pitching have still remained lackluster. Cody Bellinger has failed to make the impact that L.A. had hoped he would, and the Dodgers are now dealing with injuries to Mookie Betts and Gavin Lux.
Both of these offenses seem to be on equal footing to me — there are good numbers for each, but some underlying issues. While that persuades me to look into this over, I can’t deny how great the Giants have looked at the plate in the small sample size that is this series.
With Buehler having his own issues this season, and DeSclafani pitching towards a career year, I don’t see that grand of a gap between these two teams. I’m going to take the value here with San Fran.
Pick: Giants +155