Yankees-Dodgers Trends, Stats: Finding Betting Value in Friday’s Marquee Matchup
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu (99).
Friday Betting Odds: New York Yankees at Los Angeles Dodgers
Probable starters: James Paxton (9-6, 4.53 ERA) vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-3, 1.64 ERA)
- Yankees odds: 130
- Dodgers odds: -141
- Over/Under: 8.5
- First pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET
The Dodgers and Yankees have met 11 times in the World Series — the most that any two teams have met in the Fall Classic — with their most recent meeting coming in 1981.
As the second and third choices in the futures market to win the 2019 World Series, their matchup this weekend could prove to be a preview of their 12th playoff meeting (Yankees lead 8-3).
Both clubs currently lead their respective leagues in wins and would have home-field advantage throughout their divisional and league championship series matchups.
Tonight will mark the first regular-season meeting between these clubs since September 2016 — when the Dodgers took two out of three games at Yankee Stadium.
Which team has the edge on Friday?
Advanced metrics were invented to compare pitchers such as these two top of the rotation left-handed starters.
Paxton undoubtedly has better strikeout ability, but gets hit significantly harder when he’s not able to miss bats.
Meanwhile, Ryu’s pitches are incredibly difficult to square up, and combining weak contact with his 50.7% groundball rate creates a lot of easy chances (especially in double play situations) for his defense.
Fielding independent metrics suggest that Ryu’s ERA is due to regress for two reasons: (1) A .264 batting average on balls in play, 30 points below his career mark; and (2) A 87.2% strand rate, 8% above his career norm.
Paxton’s ERA and defensive independent stats are each about a full run higher than in 2018, thanks to a dip in his strikeout minus walk rate, and his flyball tendency (38% groundball rate) pairing poorly with Yankee Stadium:
The Yankees bullpen has out-pitched the Dodgers bullpen this season — as Kenley Jansen has remained shaky after a down 2018, and Los Angeles has struggled to find a consistent bridge to their closer.
The Yankees rank fifth by xFIP (4.24) while the Dodgers rank 12th (4.41); though they are 10th and 11th per regular FIP. They also rank eighth and ninth in strikeout minus walk rate; the Yankees strikeout slightly more hitters, while the Dodgers walk fewer.
The back end of the Yankees bullpen is well-rested coming off of a sweep in Oakland — though Luis Cessa (2 IP on Thursday) and Chad Green (3 IP on Wednesday) might be unavailable.
As for the Dodgers, Caleb Ferguson and Yimi Garcia have each thrown twice in the past three days, and setup man Pedro Baez has already made three appearances this week.
Trends to Know
The under is 33-39-5 (-7 units) at Dodger Stadium in 2019
At 46-20-3 (69.7%, +24.5 units) the Yankees have been the most profitable road team for overs in 2019; beating the total by an average margin of 2.33 runs
The home team enters this game on a streak of two straight unders, and the over is taking more than 50% of bets on a total listed between 8-10:
In such situations, the under is 115-88-8 (56.7%, +20.7 units) in 2019.
I projected this game for 7.74 runs, and the total dropped from an opening number of 9.0 to 8.5.
I don’t see any value on the moneyline, so if you’re willing to sweat against the Yankees lineup for nine innings, the under looks like the bet with the most value.
Note that the Yankees have had the best offense against southpaw pitching since July 1, surpassing the Astros with an almost comical 163 wRC+.