The Los Angeles Dodgers (72-75) play host to the NL West division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks (87-62) tonight at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and while the Dodgers find themselves out of the playoff picture, both their desire to finish above .500 and their will to wreak havoc on the NL West playoff race may make this game this evening one contest very much worth watching and wagering on.
Tonight’s pitching match-up features two of the best in the National League this season, as Clayton Kershaw (18-5, 2.36 ERA) continues to build his case for the NL Cy Young award, while Daniel Hudson (16-9, 3.41 ERA) seeks his 5th win in a row after coming off a complete game performance last week against the San Diego Padres.
Kershaw gets a window of opportunity to become the first National League pitcher to reach 20 wins, after Arizona’s Ian Kennedy failed to hit that mark last night as he got a no decision in a 5-4 extra innings win against the Dodgers in Game 2. Tonight, Kershaw could take step one towards that goal, against an Arizona lineup that he’s simply dominated this season, going 2-1 with a 1.77 ERA in 20 1/3 innings thus far. Hudson on the other hand hasn’t been shabby in his first and only appearance against Los Angeles, throwing a complete game 5-hitter as Arizona won 4-1.
The Arizona Diamondbacks own the series this year, winning 9 of 14 games played, but will try for their first series sweep at Dodger Stadium since 2007.
Betting Lines for Los Angeles vs. Arizona at TopBet Sportsbook:
TopBet Sportsbook (read the review of TopBet.com) has the Los Angeles Dodgers with -138 odds to win as the favorite at home. Arizona gets +128 odds as underdogs in their quest to sweep the series out from under the boys in blue. Over/under total runs tonight stands at 6, and for online sports bettors looking to find the right bet, you might be well off shooting for -120 odds for the under wager with two of the most dominant pitchers down this year’s stretch. Lastly, the Dodgers give up 1.5 runs at +170 odds on the points spread, while the Arizona Diamondbacks get -200 odds for getting 1.5 runs towards their cause.
Our Pick to Win:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t bet against Clayton Kershaw, no matter what the team or pitching match-up he stands in opposition of. Though Arizona got the better of Kershaw last month (a 4-3 win for the Dbacks on August 7th, and coincidentally the last time Kershaw gave up a home run), he’s been simply brilliant against them and everyone else, going 5-0 in six starts with a measly 0.78 ERA. Hudson has been almost as good, going 5-1 with a 1.40 ERA in his last six, but tonight at home the edge has to go to Kershaw to pick up the win. Dodgers FTW, 3-1.
Players to Watch, Arizona:
Gerardo Parra, LF – The 24 year-old is hitting .341 in September, including knocking in 6 RBIs in the last week alone. Though he’s 0-for-6 against Kershaw lifetime, expect Parra to be a contributor on the base paths this evening.
Justin Upton, RF – Upton has simply been owned by Clayton Kershaw in his career, going 0-for-16 with 7 strikeouts. However, hitting .310 for September with 4 homers and 6 RBIs, it might be the night Upton finally figures the Dodgers ace out…at least once.
Players to Watch, Los Angeles:
Juan Rivera, LF – With Andre Ethier out the rest of the season, Rivera is coming along nicely down the home stretch. He’s hitting .316 in September and has knocked in 10 runs. With the Dodgers struggling to find offensive production in the final weeks of play, look for Rivera to step up as he accrues more playing time.
Matt Kemp, CF – The team MVP has put up amazing numbers this season (.316, 33 homers, 109 RBIs), but has faded a bit in September hitting just .267 for the month with 2 homers and 7 RBIs. He hasn’t put up any power numbers against Daniel Hudson (1-for-5 career), so look for the big man in the Dodger blue to step up and swing big this evening.