In the middle contest of this three-game series, Los Angeles has everything to play for, while Arizona takes the field to complete their obligation of playing 162 times in a season.
For Arizona, it would be curious to hear what the players think. What has been the longer season, not playing and having a shorter year during massive virus concerns in 2020 or losing as frequently as they have in 2021? Either scenario has not been good.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Tuesday, September 14, 2021 – 10:10 PM EDT at Dodger Stadium
With just under three weeks to go, the Dodgers are still trying to hunt down San Francisco in the NL West, trailing by three games in the loss column because the Giants just won’t lose. Having completed the season with San Fran, the Dodgers have to win and need help.
The MLB odds at YouWager (visit our YouWager Review) and other sportsbooks have L.A. as -233 money line favorites with a total of 8 (-110). We know what seems obvious, but let’s break it down before determining.
Arizona Tries to Create a Feel-Good Ending
The Diamondbacks (47-97, -35.1 units) have not played a meaningful game in months. Sure they were attempting to win, but the players and everyone associated with this franchise understand the talent is not there and it won’t be for several seasons.
That means the players have to find ways to have a reason to go to the park. This past weekend, the D-Backs had cause for celebration in putting a dent in Seattle’s playoff chances by winning the series. Seeing there is no team the Snakes hate more than the Dodgers, being able to win a contest like this would make every player feel good at least for the day with some extra motivation for tomorrow.
The odds are stacked against Arizona but if expected starter Luke Weaver (3-4, 4.24 ERA) gives his team five good innings, maybe more, there could be reason for hope since they are 19-54 on the road.
Dodgers Have to Maintain Focus and Get Certain Players Hot
The Dodgers completely understand their situation and are keeping up the fight trying to avoid a Wild Card game. As good as L.A.'s record is at 92-53, they could have the second-best mark and start the playoffs with a one-and-done conflict.
Manager Dave Roberts does not want to have his club in this predicament, yet, at the same time has to prime his team where everyone is at least feeling good going into the postseason.
Cory Bellinger has struggled all season and is hitting .161 and most reports have him battling himself now along with opposing pitchers. The 26-year-old is a mess and there are no bright spots to turn to, with Roberts having given him every opportunity.
Trea Turner is still hitting over .300 but is closer to .250 the three-plus weeks and Roberts will need his bat and speed if Bellinger is all but an automatic out. The Dodgers Blue wants to win tonight and prepare for the future.
Though Weaver has not been remarkable, his 2.40 ERA over his past three starts covering 15 innings is a very positive step. The D-Backs righthander has never developed that third pitch a starter needs, which is why St. Louis gave up on him. His fastball is lively enough, however, that third trip through the opposing team’s lineup is a killer.
Tony Gonsolin (2-1, 2.79) has only pitched in 11 games and made 10 starts, with a total of 38 2/3 innings. Gonsolin’s biggest issue has been his shoulder, which kept his innings way down. Roberts prefers to have him throw more pitches, but the righty’s command (28 walks) makes him a high risk.
For the MLB pick here, the best part about Gonsolin starting is that we as bettors get a fair price on the money line, with the Dodgers at -120, as compared to 20 to 30 cents higher when a more accomplished hurler starts.
Let’s not complicate this selection. Arizona is 4-24 as a road underdog of +175 to +250, losing by two runs a game and the Dodgers are 12-2 this season over their counterpart, with an average margin of victory at 4.3 RPG.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.