Despite a busy Wednesday slate, there is little in the way of attractive moneyline action. There is, of course, the option of parlaying the massive juice plays with some UFC action, but we will search elsewhere for action. Our play of the day features two of the highest-scoring teams in the league. With that in mind, the over is the initial lean for this contest. Let’s dig deeper to ascertain if that is indeed the smart play.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
|Team||Record||Power Ranking||Runs Scored||Differential|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||58-29||2||5.33||+129|
The Arizona Diamondbacks are set to face off with their NL West-leading divisional foes in the Los Angeles Dodgers. Arizona has had an up and down season. There have been times where they have surprised and shown promise. And yet there are others when they look like a team still reeling from losing some major talent this offseason. With the All-Star break just days away, the Arizona Diamondbacks sit at 43-44.
They have scored a healthy 5.09 runs per game, but have lost 29 of 51 games against teams over .500. The Diamondbacks have lost 10 of their last 15 contests, including the opening game of this series. They have been tremendous on the road this season where they hold a 26-22 record. Their 26 road wins ties them for first in the NL and second in the majors. They have allowed 6.25 runs per game over their last eight road contests. They have lost seven of the 11 contests they have played against the Dodgers this season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been on fire this season and currently sit atop the majors in wins and winning percentage. They have been on fire this season, but they have been utterly dominant at home. They hold a 35-9 record at Dodger Stadium and are the only team still sitting with a single-digit mark in the loss column. In fact, no other team has lost fewer than 13 home games this season. They are the only team in the National League with more than 30 wins at home.
The Dodgers have scored a solid 5.33 runs per game this season and lead the majors with a +129 run differential. They are one of only two teams in the league scoring more than five runs per game and allowing less than four. The Dodgers have won 10 of their last 15 contests. They have scored six runs per game over that span. Los Angeles is the team in better form.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are sending the inconsistent Merrill Kelly to the mound. Los Angeles will be countering with the impressive Walker Beuhler. Kelly has been a disappointment this season as a Quad-A rookie. He is 7-8 through 17 starts and has an average 4.00 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. Kelly has been much better at home this season. He holds a 4.99 ERA and 1.46 WHIP away from Chase Field. He has allowed three runs or less in all but five of his starts. Arizona has won four of his last six starts. He has yet to face the Dodgers this season.
Walker Beuhler has been excellent this season. He has a tremendous 8-1 record which he has coupled with a cool 3.43 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. Beuhler has allowed three runs or less in all but four of his 16 starts. He allowed one run or less in eight of them. He has been outstanding at home where he has a 3-0 record with a 3.05 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. Los Angeles has won six of his last seven starts. He has faced Arizona twice this season and has a 4.91 ERA and 0.73 WHIP. Buehler was able to limit them to one run through eight strong in his last start. However, he was shelled for five runs in just three innings at home in his season debut. Los Angeles holds the overall edge in the form department.
Edge: Los Angeles Dodgers/Over
With the line on this contest so unattractive, we will instead focus on over/under trends. The form-based lean is on the over in this contest. Let’s see if the trends bear it out. The team trends seem to support the over. However, the pitching trends tell another story altogether. The over has been hit in Arizona’s last four games against starters with a WHIP lower than 1.15. It has been hit in five of their last six game twos, and four of their last six against teams with a winning record. The over is 5-2-1 in their last eight road games and sits at the same mark in their last eight following a loss in their previous game. Finally, the over is 9-4-1 in their last 14 games against right-handed starting pitchers. It is 11-5-1 in their last 17 overall.
The over has been hit in Los Angeles’ last five against teams with a losing record. It has been hit in four of their last six overall. The over is 4-0-2 in their last six following a win and 6-1-2 in their last nine games against right-handed starting pitchers. It has been hit in four of their last five Wednesday games, and four of their last five game twos of a series. Finally, the over is 4-1-2 in their last seven home games. It is 4-1-1 in their last six against the NL West. The over seems like all but a certainty based on team trends.
The under has been hit in four of Merrill Kelly’s last five starts against a team with a winning record and in seven of his last nine overall. It is 5-1-1 in his last seven against the NL West. Finally, the under has been hit in his last five starts following a loss in the team’s prior matchup. Pitcher trends suggest that the under may be the smart play. On the Dodgers side, the under has been hit in 15 of Buehler’s last 21 home starts. It is 4-1-1 in his last six starts against teams with a losing record, as well as his last six home starts against losing teams. The under has been hit in six of his last eight game twos. Finally, the under is 12-4-1 in his last 17 starts against the NL West, and 9-4-2 in his last 15 starts on five days of rest.
As alluded to above, it is a very poor day in terms of moneyline values. The over/under analysis for this contest reveals that the over may be the smart play. These two teams have played 11 times this season. The average runs scored per game is 10.81. Buehler has been excellent this season but had one of his worst starts of the season at home versus this same team.
Recent history also seems to support the over as the over is 6-2-2 in the Dodgers last 10, and 5-4-1 in Arizona’s. These two teams combine to average more than 10 runs scored per game, but the pitching trends have helped keep the over/under total to only eight runs. Finally, to seal the deal on the over as the play, it has been hit in four of these two teams last five meetings in Los Angeles. The fifth was a push.
Pick: Over (-115)