MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Giants vs. Dodgers: Why San Francisco May Have Edge Against Walker Buehler (Friday, May 28)
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Walker Buehler.
- The Giants and Dodgers continue a four-game series on Friday night with Walker Buehler starting at Dodger Stadium.
- Both starters, Buehler and Anthony DeSclafani, are thriving this season, although the Dodgers right-hander has reached a new level in 2021.
- Kevin Davis isn't sold against a solid Giants lineup, though, and explains his best bet for the game below.
Giants vs. Dodgers Odds
|Time||Friday, 10:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Thursday and via PointsBet|
After almost a third of the season has been played, there is a logjam of three teams at the top of the NL West. The Padres are in first place, but the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, who were -250 preseason favorites to win the division, are only one game behind in second place.
Unsurprisingly, the Dodgers are heavily favored on Friday night with Walker Buehler set to start. However, the Giants have an answer in Anthony DeSclafani, who is having the best year of his career.
Let's see where the betting value lies.
DeSclafani Provides Stability to Giants' Staff
DeSclafani has quietly been a decent pitcher throughout his big-league career. Outside of last season, when DeSclafani had a 7.22 ERA and 5.63 xFIP, DeSclafani had been on the Reds' most reliable pitchers. Over each of his first five seasons, DeSclafani had an xFIP between 3.80 and 4.30.
This season, DeSclafani has reverted to his old self with a 4-2 record, 3.54 ERA and 3.87 xFIP. He is not one of the best pitchers in the league, but he is a consistent arm who gives San Francisco a chance whenever he pitches.
Backing up DeSclafani is a Giants lineup that has done well this season. While the average MLB team is scoring 4.35 runs per game this year, San Francisco was averaging 4.65 runs per game entering Thursday night's series opener.
Going into the season, my model projected the Giants to score 10% fewer runs than the average team. However, the Giants have exceeded my expectations based on several of their position players overperforming.
Most importantly, catcher Buster Posey has seemingly gone back in time to regain his 2012 NL Most Valuable Player Award-winning form after missing the 2020 season. Entering Thursday, Posey had nine home runs, .339 batting average, .415 on-base percentage and wRC+ of 183.
Other Giants who are overperforming are shortstop Brandon Crawford, third baseman Evan Longoria and first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf, who was placed on the injured list before Thursday's series opener.
Los Angeles Dodgers
There are several reasons why the Dodgers are favored on Friday night. They are defending World Series champions and a popular team with the betting public. Additionally, the Dodgers entered Thursday averaging 5.18 runs per game, which was the second best in the league.
However, the most important reason why they are favored is because of Buehler.
Over his short career, Buehler has done well, but this is the best that the 26-year-old has looked in the big leagues. He has a 2.78 ERA and 3.29 xFIP and most impressively is averaging almost 6 2/3 innings per start.
Even though Los Angeles is the best team in the league, its bullpen is relatively average. Currently the Dodgers bullpen has an xFIP of 4.21 which is the 15th lowest in the league. For the Giants to win, they need to force Buehler out of the game early.
The Dodgers should win on Friday night, but that's obvious. My model gives a slight edge to the Giants moneyline, but not enough of an edge to merit a bet. Additionally, the run total has been properly set at 7.5 runs, while my model projects 7.74.
However, the team run total odds for San Francisco are off. My model likes the Giants to score over three runs. Additionally, my model likes the Giants over 2.5 (-140), over 3.5 (+135) and over 4.5 (+220). If you are feeling adventurous, I would recommend the Giants over 4.5, but I believe that the best value is on over three runs.
I like the price right now at +100, and I would bet it up to -110.
Pick: Giants Over 3 +100 (play to -110)