MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Giants vs. Dodgers: How to Bet Bauer & DeSclafani Showdown (Monday, June 28)
Meg Oliphant/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony DeSclafani
- The Giants and Dodgers round out the Monday MLB slate with a night game at Dodgers Stadium.
- Trevor Bauer gets the start for L.A., facing off against Anthony DeSclafani who is have a career year.
- Tanner McGrath explains below why he thinks both pitchers may be overvalued.
Giants vs. Dodgers Odds
|Time||10:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Monday morning and via DraftKings.|
Forget the Padres-Dodgers rivalry. This is the best divisional rivalry happening in 2021.
The Giants and the Dodgers own the two best records in the National League, although the Giants own a 3.5 game lead in the NL West. The two teams have a combined run differential of +203, with both teams having scored 100 more runs than they’ve allowed.
Additionally, this is an excellent pitching matchup. The Giants’ Anthony ‘Disco’ DeSclafani will go head-to-head with reigning NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer. It’s worth noting that Bauer has had some troubles recently (perhaps due to MLB’s new rules) and DeSclafani might be slightly undervalued.
Can Bauer overcome his recent struggles with a quality start tonight? Or will DeSclafani and the Giants continue to roll over the rest of the league? Let’s dive into where the value lies in this series opener.
The Giants Don’t Seem to Have a Weak Link
The Giants fell short of sweeping Oakland on Sunday, failing to exploit a very-exploitable Cole Irvin. However, winning the series means the Giants are 8-2 in their last 10; 14-6 in their last 20; and 22-8 in their last 30.
There is no weak link on the 2021 Giants. In June, the Giants lineup is third in wRC+ (123), the Giants rotation is third in WHIP (1.09), and the Giants bullpen is second in FIP (2.81). Plus, the Giants rank among the top 10 teams in defensive runs saved (+25, tied for sixth) and Gabe Kapler is the clubhouse leader for Manager of the Year.
The offense has been great, as six guys have an OPS+ above .120. However, it’s really the pitching that has put San Francisco over the top. Submarine pitcher Tyler Rogers (also known as “The Anteater”) has turned into one of the best relievers in the NL, Kevin Gausman has turned into a legitimate Cy Young candidate while Alex Wood and Johnny Cueto are tossing a lot of high-quality innings.
All-in-all, the Giants trail only the Dodgers in pitching xwOBA (.295).
Plus, today’s starter has totally exceeded expectations:
Starting pitcher: Anthony DeSclafani (RHP)
‘Disco’ has been a revelation in the Bay area. After a flurry of mediocre years in Cincinnati, DeSclafani is posting career best numbers in every single category imaginable. Plus, the Giants are 11-4 in his starts this season.
And if you scratch his one bad start (May 23 vs. LAD) where he allowed 10 runs over 2 2/3 innings, DeSclafani’s numbers become unimaginably good.
In the 85 innings pitched outside of that start, Disco’s posted a 1.80 ERA and a .89 WHIP in 14 outings. Outside of that atrocious outing, DeSclafani is, on average, pitching into the seventh inning while allowing one or two earned. That’s incredible for a guy who posted a 6.57 xERA just a year ago.
DeSclafani has a five-pitch mix, but most of the time you’ll see either the slider, four-seam or the sinker. Over the past few seasons, he’s upped the usage of his secondary pitches while decreasing reliance on his fastball. That strategy seems to be paying off, as he’s posting a career low .322 xwOBA on the four-seam this season.
Dodgers Underperforming by their Standards
The Dodgers are firmly locked into the top Wildcard spot and, as mentioned, own the second-best record in the National League.
Unfortunately, that’s underachieving given their lofty expectations. The Dodgers are on pace to maybe win 100 games, which would be an excellent season by most standards, but their pre-season total was 103.
However, the Dodgers have been beat up all season. L.A. lost Dustin May for the season, recently had to send Corey Seager to the IL and just recently put Cody Bellinger back in the lineup.
But in the Dodger organization, it’s always next man up, and the Dodgers have the deepest and most talented roster in the league. The upside for the 2021 Dodgers is incredibly high, and I’d argue they’re about to tear through the second half.
As mentioned, the Dodgers have just inserted Cody Bellinger back into the lineup, and Corey Seager should be returning soon.
Meanwhile, Mookie Betts has had a down year, but his BABIP is 40 points lower than his career average (.248) and his xBA (.261) is 13 points higher than his actual BA (.268). I’d say Mookie is primed to come up big for the Dodgers in the second half, and the projection market has him finishing with a wOBA between .368 and .398 (currently just .357).
Additionally, Albert Pujols is becoming somewhat of a dangerous bench piece. In 92 PAs with the Angels in 2021, Pujols hit .198 with a .622 OPS; but in 90 PAs with the Dodgers in 2021, he’s batting .221 with a .771 OPS. He could also come up big for L.A. down the stretch.
Finally, the Dodgers did lose Dustin May, but they still lead the league in pitching xwOBA (.290) and have a rotation anchored by Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urías, Walker Buehler, and today’s starter. Not to mention closer Kenley Jansen is still arguably the best closer in the NL (although his 4.51 xFIP is calling for some regression) and bullpen pieces Joe Kelly, David Price and Blake Treinen should not be scoffed at.
Starting pitcher: Trevor Bauer (RHP)
Bauer is a phenomenal pitcher with nasty stuff. However, he’s been underperforming recently.
The Dodgers are just 2-4 in Bauer’s last six starts. During that stretch, he’s posted a 3.55 ERA, a 1.32 WHIP and a .793 OPS against – far above his season-long numbers. Not to mention that stretch includes a seven-inning shutout start against the lowly Diamondbacks, meaning he performed even worse in his other games.
In fact, during this most recent stretch, Bauer’s combined his ERA with 5.49 FIP and a 4.63 xFIP. Since May 26, he’s walking over four batters per nine while allowing more than two HRs per nine. Plus, while his average exit velocity was just 88.7 mph in his first 10 games, that number has jumped to 92.7 mph over this past stretch.
Obviously, it’s fair to ask how much the banishment of “sticky stuff” (a term which I have come to hate) has affected Bauer, as his spin rates are down across the board. But the new rules only went into effect June 15, and Bauer’s slump dates back a bit further than that.
Or maybe Bauer was just due for regression either way. He’s only posted a .209 BABIP this season, which should head up towards .300 as the season trudges on. Plus, he pairs his 2.57 season-long ERA with a 3.24 xERA, and the projection market has Bauer finishing 2021 with an ERA and a FIP around 3.60.
Giants vs. Dodgers Pick
The value here is pretty clearly on the Giants.
Mostly because the Dodgers are just overvalued with Bauer on the mound. As mentioned above, Bauer is in a bit of a tailspin, and he might just be figuring out how to pitch without the added substances.
The Giants have been the hottest offense in the Majors over the past two weeks, as the team is batting .292 with a .910 OPS and a .387 wOBA during this stretch. During that same timeframe, the Dodgers rank right around league average in all of those statistics.
Given their recent offensive trends and DeSclafani’s performance this season, there’s no good reason the Giants should be +150 underdogs or more in this spot. It’s certainly profitable to make a play on the Giants here (either on the F5 or full game ML).
However, I’d like to recommend one other bet – the over.
While we have two elite pitchers on the mound and the Dodgers bullpen has been one of the best in the league recently (2.66 FIP in last seven days, third in MLB), sharp money has moved this over from 7.5 to 8. I think I’ve identified two main reasons why.
Bauer is overvalued in this spot from a total perspective as well. I also think DeSclafani might be. DeSclafani is going to throw a lot of sliders, and the Dodgers rank fifth in MLB in weighted slider runs created. Plus, we just saw the Dodgers destroy another slider-heavy pitcher in the Cubs Adbert Alzolay (six runs on five hits and three walks over three innings pitched).
Therefore, I’m looking to make two smaller plays on the Giants ML (+150 or better) and the over 8 (-110 or better). Get real-time MLB odds to make sure you’re getting the best of the numbers.
Pick: Giants ML (Play to +150) | Over 8 (Play to -110)