Giants vs. Dodgers MLB Preview and Odds Analysis

Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a double. Meg Oliphant/Getty Images/AFP

Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a double. Meg Oliphant/Getty Images/AFP

 

San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 – 10:10 PM EDT at Dodger Stadium

Probable Pitchers:

  • Giants: Kevin Gausman (8-1, 1.49 ERA)
  • Dodgers: Walker Buehler (7-1, 2.51 ERA)

 

Stakes of the Matchup

Going into the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers were a heavy favorite to win the NL West, while the San Francisco Giants were one of the biggest longshots. After almost half of the season has been played, The Giants have the best record in MLB, while the Dodgers have the second-best record.

This week, Los Angeles hosts San Francisco in an important divisional series. LA is currently only 2.5 games behind the Giants as they are in the middle of a four-game winning streak. On Monday, the Dodgers won the series opener. For Tuesday’s game, the Dodgers have almost a 58% chance of winning according to the money line odds.

Not only do the Giants and Dodgers have similar records, but both teams have similar strengths. The Dodgers have a starting pitching rotation that is well built around reliable veterans and promising young players. San Francisco’s rotation is built around veterans having the best seasons of their careers.

Both LA and SF have strong lineups as well. The Giants lineup averages 4.92 runs per game which is the 3rd best in the National League while the Dodgers average 5.05 runs per game which is the most in the National League.

What is scary about LA’s Lineup is that they were negatively affected by the absences of former NL MVP 1B Cody Bellinger and IF Max Muncy who is a dark horse NL MVP contender. With both Bellinger and Muncy back in the Dodgers’ lineup, the Dodgers should score even more runs than they have been scoring recently.

 

Pitching Matchup

For Tuesday night’s game, both teams are relying on strong starting pitchers. Los Angeles is relying on breakout star Walker Buehler who has been the ace of their rotation this season. Opposing Buehler is Kevin Gausman for the Giants who like Buehler is his team’s best starting pitcher.

This season Buehler has an 7-1 record with a 2.51 ERA. However, Buehler also has a 3.73 xFIP meaning he should be allowing 1.22 more runs per nine innings than he is currently allowing. Even though Buehler should regress, the Dodgers are well positioned in his starts as Buehler is averaging more than 6 1/3 innings per start. In a league where the typical starting pitcher is only pitching for slightly more than five innings, Buehler’s stamina and consistency is an asset.

Opposing Buehler is Kevin Gausman who is having a career year. For his career, Gausman has a respectable 4.01 ERA. This season, Gausman has an 8-1 record with a 1.49 ERA, and is averaging more than 6 1/3 innings per start. However, Gausman also has a 3.05 xFIP which is twice his ERA. Against a strong Dodgers lineup, Gausman should have a tougher time than usual on Tuesday night.

 

Prediction

The Los Angeles Dodgers should win on Tuesday night against the Giants, and they have been appropriately set as -145 favorites. With neither team being a good betting option, there is value in betting on the over for Tuesday’s game.

Combined both teams average 9.97 runs per game which is almost three full runs higher than the run total. While there will be less scoring than usual because of the pitching matchup, it is hard to imagine a game between both teams where fewer than seven runs are score. In a full nine-inning game, it is rare for a run total to be set at only seven runs.

While the total opened at 7.5 runs, it is worth the extra juice to get the over at seven runs at -115 on BetMGM. The game could end in a 5-2 or 3-4 score for a push or go over for a win. Betting on six or fewer runs score between Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, and Buster Posey is unrealistic, that is why I like the over.

MLB Pick: Over 7 Runs -115 (BetMGM)

Dodgers vs. Padres MLB Preview and Odds Analysis

Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 16, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.   Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images/AFP

Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 16, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images/AFP

 

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres

 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 – 10:10 pm ET at Petco Park

 

Probable Pitchers:

 

  • Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 3.36 ERA)
  • Padres: Blake Snell (2-3, 5.72 ERA)

 

Stakes of the Matchup

 

Going into the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres were heavy favorites to win the NL West. After almost half of the season has been played, neither team is in first place even though both teams have the second and third best records in the National League.

 

This week, San Diego hosts Los Angeles in an important divisional series. On Monday, the Padres won the series opener. For Tuesday’s game, both teams have a nearly equal chance of winning according to the money line odds.

 

Not only do the Padres and Dodgers have similar records, but both teams are similarly built. Both LA and SD have strong lineups and strong starting pitchers. The Padres lineup averages 4.53 runs per game which is the 12th best in MLB while the Dodgers average 5.21 runs per game which is the second best in baseball.

 

While the LA averages more than .68 runs per game than San Diego, there is more parity between both lineups than it appears. That is because OF Cody Bellinger and 1B Max Muncy are out of the Dodgers lineup with injuries. Los Angeles’ lineup has been negatively affected by the absence of Bellinger a former NL MVP and Muncy who was a dark horse 2021 NL MVP contender.

 

However, even without Bellinger and Muncy, the Dodgers have been able to produce offensively. This weekend against Arizona, LA averaged 7 runs per game. Against a struggling pitcher in Blake Snell for the Padres, the Dodgers lineup could easily produce runs in Tuesday night’s game.

 

Pitching Matchup

 

For Tuesday night’s game, the Dodgers have an edge in starting pitching. Los Angeles is relying on veteran Clayton Kershaw who is off to another strong season. Opposing Kershaw is Blake Snell for the Padres who has been a disaster this season.

 

This season Kershaw has an 8-6 record with a 3.36 ERA, and a 2.92 xFIP. Additionally, Kershaw is averaging nearly six innings per start. In a league where the typical starting pitcher is only pitching for slightly more than five innings, Kershaw’s stamina and consistency is an asset. Typically, the Dodgers are heavily favored when Kershaw pitches, but they are only slightly favored against the San Diego Padres.

 

Opposing Kershaw is Blake Snell who is performing much differently than he did when he was with the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2020 with Tampa Bay, Snell had a 4-2 record with a 3.24 ERA. This season, Snell has a 2-3 record with a 5.72 ERA, and is averaging only around 4 1/3 innings per start. In the past Snell had been one of the best pitchers in the game, particularly in 2018 when he won the AL Cy Young. However, this season Snell has played much worse, and he could be in for a tough game against the Dodgers.

 

Prediction

 

The Los Angeles Dodgers should win on Tuesday night against the Padres. Even without Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy, they are a better team. With Clayton Kershaw going against Blake Snell, the Dodgers at -109 are a bargain.

 

Snell has struggled recently has to keep runs off the scoreboard from the Dodgers. who have arguably one of the best lineups in the league. The Padres lineup is tough, but Clayton Kershaw should keep them in line. That is why I am not worried about my Dodgers bet.

 

MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers Moneyline (-109) at DraftKings

Red Sox vs. Braves MLB Preview and Odds Analysis

Ender Inciarte #11 of the Atlanta Braves celebrates at homeplate with Freddie Freeman #5. Mark Brown/Getty Images/AFP

Ender Inciarte #11 of the Atlanta Braves celebrates at homeplate with Freddie Freeman #5. Mark Brown/Getty Images/AFP

 

Boston Red Sox vs. Atlanta Braves

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 – 7:20 PM EDT Turner Field

 

Probable Pitchers:

● Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez (5-4, 6.03 ERA)

● Braves: Tucker Davidson (0-0, 1.53 ERA)

[Read more...]

Nationals vs. Rays MLB Preview and Odds Analysis

Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals. Rich Schultz/Getty Images/AFP

Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals. Rich Schultz/Getty Images/AFP

Washington Nationals vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Tuesday, June 08, 2021 – 07:10 PM EDT at Tropicana Field

Probable Pitchers:

  • Nationals: Jon Lester (1-0, 4.37 ERA)
  • Rays: Tyler Glasnow (4-2, 2.69 ERA)

 

Stakes of the Matchup

After winning the World Series in 2019, the Washington Nationals have gone downhill. In 2020, Washington had a 26-34 record. This season the Nats are in fourth place in the NL East with a 24-32 record. This week they visit the Tampa Bay Rays for an inter-league game at Tropicana Field.

After winning the American League pennant last season, Tampa is off to another hot start. They are in first place in the AL East with a 38-23 record. This is despite playing in a division where four out of five teams have a winning record.

Tampa is built on strong starting pitching and hitting. Currently the Rays are averaging 4.95 runs per game which is the fourth best in the league. They may not have the best hitters, but their analytics team and manager Kevin Cash have found ways to produce the most runs possible out of their hitters.

The Nationals are built a little differently than the Rays. The Nats have a decent lineup that has been decimated by injuries this season. Currently Washington is averaging 3.84 runs per game which is the 6th worst in the league. However, for this week’s inter-league series they have the benefit of adding a designated hitter to their lineup. With their lineup being at full strength and the addition of a designated hitter, my model projects Washington to score 4.55 runs on a typical night.

 

Pitching Matchup

For Tuesday night’s game, the Tampa Bay Rays have a clear edge in the starting pitching matchup. The Rays are relying on Tyler Glasnow who is having another great season. Glasnow has a 4-2 record with a 2.69 ERA, and a 2.85 xFIP. Additionally, he is averaging more than 6 1/3 innings per start and has a strikeout rate of 12.39 strikeouts per nine innings. With Glasnow on the mound, the Rays are obviously heavy favorites for Tuesday’s game.

Opposing Glasnow is Jon Lester who has not done well recently. Over Lester’s 16-year career, Lester has a 193-113 record with a 3.61 ERA. However, since 2019 Jon Lester has fallen off a cliff.

Last year with the Chicago Cubs, Lester had a 3-3 record with a 5.16 ERA, and a 5.11 xFIP. With a WAR of 0.2, Chicago could have replaced Lester last year with a replacement level player and they would have won virtually same number of games.

This season with the Nats, Lester has a 0-2 record with a 4.37 ERA, 4.63 xFIP, and a 0.3 WAR. What is also worrisome for Washington is that Lester is averaging only five innings per start and 6.43 strikeouts per nine innings. The Nationals bullpen is among the worst in the league, and with Lester unlikely to pitch for more than five innings, Tampa should not have any issues piling runs onto the scoreboard.

 

Prediction

Both teams have been appropriately priced for Wednesday’s game. Even though the Rays are a better team, they should be priced as -185 favorites, not at -230. Neither team has a clear edge against the odds, but there is an opportunity with the run total.

Despite the Rays having strong pitching, the run total has been set too low at only 7.5 runs. This is because both teams have strong lineups. The Rays average 4.95 runs per game while the Nats average 3.84 runs per game. Combined both Tampa and Washington average 8.79 runs per game or 1.29 runs per game more than the total. At only 7.5 runs, the over is worth a bet.

MLB Pick: Over 7.5 Runs -105 (BetMGM)

Angels vs. Giants MLB Preview and Odds Analysis

Alex Wood #57 of the San Francisco Giants on May 27, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.   Harry How/Getty Images/AFP

Alex Wood #57 of the San Francisco Giants on May 27, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP

Los Angeles Angels vs. San Francisco Giants

 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021 – 9:45 PM ET at Minute Maid Park

 

Probable Pitchers

Angels: Andrew Heaney (2-3, 5.24 ERA)

Giants: Alex Wood (5-2, 2.44 ERA)

 

Stakes of the Matchup

 

In arguably the biggest surprise this season, the San Francisco Giants are in first place in the NL West with a 34-20 record despite being projected to win around 75 games this season. They have built a competitive roster by having several overperforming veteran starting pitchers, and a decent lineup.

 

In an interleague matchup, they host a struggling Los Angeles Angels team. The Angels have a 24-30 record and are without their best player OF Mike Trout due to an injury. Additionally, they might be without Shohei Ohtani in their lineup as he is primarily a DH.

 

Even though about a third of the season has been played, the best way to evaluate if a team has played well is in their run differential. The Angels have a -43 run differential which is the 5th worst in baseball. On average they lose each game by .8 runs. Even though they have a 24-30 record, their Pythagorean expected record is 22-32.

 

Opposing the Houston Astros are the Los Angeles Dodgers who are in second place in the NL West. The Dodgers like the Astros are the best team in their division even though they do not have the best record.

 

The Giants are a different story, because their lineup averages 4.83 runs per game they have a great run differential. Currently, San Francisco has a +69 run differential which is the third best in the league. On average, the Giants win each game by 1.28 runs. That is why it should be no surprise that they are heavy favorites for Tuesday night’s game.

 

Pitching Matchup

 

Both teams are relying on starting pitchers tonight who have been surprises this season. For the Angels they are relying on Andrew Heaney who has been a disappointment, and for the Giants, they are relying on Alex Wood who has been a pleasant surprise.

 

Andrew Heaney is a hard pitcher to analyze this season. Heaney has a 2-3 record with a 5.24 ERA. However, Heaney also has a 3.76 xFIP, and a strikeout rate of 11.08 strikeouts per nine innings. He certainly is giving up many runs but based on more advanced metrics he should be allowing only a modest amount of runs per game.

 

Even though Heaney has been unlucky this season, he should have a tough time against San Francisco’s lineup. Former NL MVP C Buster Posey for example is having a strong season even though it looked like he was at the tail end of his career. Other Giants who are doing better than expected are 3B Evan Longoria, and SS Brandon Crawford.

 

Opposing Heaney is Alex Wood for the Giants. After lackluster 2020 and 2019 seasons, Wood is having the best year of his career. Currently Wood has a 5-2 record with a 2.44 ERA. Even when you look at his “nerd stats” he is having a good season as he has a 0.7 WAR, and a 2.92 xFIP. He should regress over the course of the season, but the Giants deserve to be favored with him on the mound.

 

Prediction

 

San Francisco is appropriately a -150 favorite, and as a result, neither team is worth betting on. However, with such a low run total, there is some value with the over.

 

The Angels lineup is hurt by the absence of Mike Trout and potentially the absence of Shoehi Ohtani. However, they still should score about four runs on a typical night. When you combine this with San Francisco’s lineup at least seven runs should be scored and maybe more. Most books have the total set at seven runs, but there is more value in getting the extra half run at DraftKings at -124.

 

MLB Pick: Over 6.5 Runs (-124) at DraftKings