This meaningful NL West series is now half over, we move into the second half portion of this four-game series at Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles. Who takes control of the series Wednesday? With Los Angeles winning last night, in dramatic fashion, they evened up the series and will try and use that momentum to close the gap on first place San Francisco.
The contest tonight and on Thursday are extremely important because after tomorrow evening, San Francisco and Los Angeles only have six battles remaining against each other (home and away) and just three will be played in September. The MLB odds at top sportsbooks like Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review) have the Dodgers as -153 money line home favorites, as they try to go up in the series.
San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Wednesday, July 21, 10:10 PM EDT at Dodger Stadium
San Francisco Keep Overcoming Adversity
When the Giants (59-35, +23.2 units) started the season so well, the consensus was with their core players at or over 30 years old, once the injuries started to come, San Francisco would sink faster than a bowling ball thrown from the Bay Bridge. Well, the injuries have begun, with Brandon Belt, Evan Longoria, Tommy LaStella and most recently Brandon Crawford all in the IL.
Longoria and LaStella are on the 60-day IL and won’t be back anytime soon. Instead of folding, the Giants are maintaining their high level of play from the likes of OF/1B Darin Ruff, 3B Wilmer Flores and SS Thairo Estrada all performing admirably. Can San Fran win without its stars? Hard to say, but as long as Buster Posey continues his magical season, the Giants can continue to win.
Los Angeles Offense Might Have to Carry the Dodgers
Manager Dave Roberts has one the best offenses in baseball and he might need it more than ever now. The Dodgers (59-37, -1.5) starting pitching staff has been thinned out by injury and suspension and despite the All-Star break, some of his bullpen hurlers have not started strong in the second half and might be arm weary.
This would place the onus on the L.A. bats to further produce, at least for the short term, and try and better their five point three runs per game. It's not like Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner and the rest of the Dodgers lumber company are not capable of putting up more runs. It is however different when you feel the need to, rather than having it occur organically. Yet, with these guys and when Corey Seager returns, we could see the full-scale attack that could carry Dodger Blue.
The expected starting pitchers are Logan Webb (four-three, three point fifty-four ERA) for Frisco and Julio Urias (12-3, 3.78) for L.A. Webb’s journey to this position at the age of 24 has included Tommy John surgery and an 80-game suspension for PED. Nonetheless, he’s worked his way into the starting rotation by learning from past mistakes and realizing a mid-90’s four-seam fastball won’t get you many times around an opposing batting order. Webb learned the change-up and right-hand batters are at a mere .202 batting average. However, lefty hitters are at .296, giving him something else to improve on.
Hard to think Urias is only 24 like Webb, having first come up to the Dodgers in 2016. In last year’s postseason, he began to fulfill his skill set, gaining the complete confidence to be a stud. Comparisons to Clayton Kershaw were always unfair. Though Urias ERA is a bit above his career ERA average (3.78 vs. 3.38), it’s under 3.00 this month by getting more ground ball outs.
Last night was a big emotional win for the Dodgers, coming back from a six-one deficit to win eight-six with Will Smith's pinch hit walk-off three run bomb. For MLB picks, we will project that carries over with Urias on the mound, with Los Angeles 72-31 following a victory and 56-22 as a home favorite.
*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.