MLB Picks Today: Diamondbacks at Dodgers NLDS Game 1
Can D-Backs Surprise In Game 1 Against Dodgers?
The Dodgers had the best record in this entire league this year, going 104-58, but apart from home field advantage in the playoffs, it doesn't mean squat. The postseason is a season all of its own.
The West Coast team hasn't played since Sunday, as they host a warmed up D-Backs club that just dispatched of their rival Colorado team in a hard fought 11-8 win on Wednesday.
Both Arizona and Los Angeles being in the NL West, they're no strangers to each other. LA are massive favorites here and have topped -300 at some shops.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have won five division titles in a row now, and with ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound, they won't miss the opportunity to go up in this series early against a Diamondbacks team who isn't sending out their ace.
Taijuan Walker has decent numbers against LA, but Kershaw's numbers against the Snakes eclipse those and he should have a much easier time with their lineup. Kershaw's learned from his multiple past postseason experiences, while this is Walker's first.
At 6-0 in their last 6 against the Dodgers, the Diamondbacks seem enticing, but Los Angeles is 4-0 in Kershaw's last 4 home starts against them.
The line is high, and it's high for a reason...
Take the Los Angeles Dodgers at -260 at BODOG
D-Backs at Dodgers NLDS Game 1
The Arizona Diamondbacks will be motivated for this matchup, because they've actually had a ton of experience against this Dodgers team, being in the same division.
Not only that, they've beaten them more than any other team and are 11-8 against them in the season series. Torey Lovullo is foregoing Jake Lamb in tonight's lineup because the lefty would most likely have trouble with Kershaw. All Star Paul Goldschmidt is 10 for 44 against him with 2 home runs and 17 strikeouts. Arizona is 0-5 in their last 5 playoff games on the road.
Because they had to use their ace Zack Grienke and Robbie Ray in the NLWC, Taijuan Walker (9-9, 3.49 ERA) gets the start tonight. The 25-year-old is 2-1 with a 4.79 ERA in four starts against the Dodgers all time, but this season is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in three against them. However, the D-Backs are 0-4 in Walker's last 4 starts for the team. This will be the youngster's first postseason start.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were in this position last year and blew it, so manager Dave Roberts is following rules to avoid the mistakes from 2016. Primarily not using Kershaw on short rest. They'll have to do whatever they can, because despite an amazing record and stellar hitting and pitching staff, they have to be more consistent in battling with Arizona. They are 6-1 in their last 7 against division rivals, but are 0-6 in their last 6 against the Snakes.
If anyone is going to help snap that skid, it'll be Clayton Kershaw. His record against the Diamondbacks is 14-8 with a 2.55 ERA and 1.12 WHIP all time against them. This year the 29-year-old went 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA in two starts versus the rivals.
So while Kershaw nullifies the Dodgers' abysmal recent record against the D-Backs, it's his postseason record that's of concern. With 14 starts, and 18 appearances total under his belt in the playoffs, the lefty is only 4-7 with a 4.55 ERA. He's been under the spotlight enough, and should have learned from all the years he's spent playing in the NLDS.
Agree with our pick? Will the Diamondbacks upset the Dodgers here at home to set the pace for another early exit? Let us know what you think in the comment section below and be sure to share!
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