MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions (Sunday, August 2): Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks
Denis Poroy/Getty Images. Pictured: Merrill Kelly.
Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks Odds
|Dodgers odds||-200 [BET NOW]|
|Diamondbacks odds||+170 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||9 (-110/-110) [BET NOW]|
|Time||4:10 p.m. ET|
The Diamondbacks have opened the season with a disappointing 3-6 record and are coming off an 11-2 loss to the Dodgers yesterday. Los Angeles has outscored Arizona 20-10 in the three-game series, pushing the Diamondbacks’ season run differential to -22 — the worst mark in MLB.
Arizona will need to wipe last night’s game from their memory in order to salvage a split in this series. But, as Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver once said, “momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher.”
Arizona starter Merrill Kelly may be that momentum for the Diamondbacks on Sunday.
Diamondbacks Probable Pitcher
Merrill Kelly is coming off a dominant start where allowed just one run on three hits against the Texas Rangers. Kelly took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Rougned Odor took him deep for the Rangers’ first hit — and run — of the day.
Arizona is 1-1 (+0.8 units) over Kelly’s two career starts against the Dodgers.
Dodgers Probable Pitcher
Kelly will be opposed by Clayton Kershaw, who makes his first start of the season after being scratched on opening day due to stiffness in his lower back.
Kershaw is 16-10 with a 2.84 ERA in 33 career starts against the Diamondbacks, but he struggled with Arizona last season. Appearing in two games against the Diamondbacks, Kershaw went 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA. Moreover, since 2018, Los Angeles owns a moribund 3-4 record (-3.08 units) against Arizona when Kershaw takes the mound.
Given Kershaw’s recent struggles against Arizona, coupled with this being his first start of the season coming off an injury, there are too many unknowns to warrant backing him at the current price (-200). Laying that kind of juice regularly is a recipe for diminishing one’s bankroll this early in the season.
Instead, I’m interested in the dog in this matchup. The Diamondbacks’ recent success against Kershaw gives me hope that they will be up to the challenge against the left-hander.
Arizona first baseman Christian Walker could play a big role in the game. In his 11 career at-bats against Kershaw, Walker has five hits — four of which have been home runs. Walker has yet to homer this season, and seeing Kershaw on the mound could be what he needs to break out his home-run trot.
Give me the Diamondbacks to earn the series split with a win Sunday and jump-start their season.
Pick: Diamondbacks +170 (play down to +140)