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Dodgers Odds: -200
Rockies Odds: +170
Over/Under: 10.5 (-115/-105)
Time: 3:10 p.m. ET
The Dodgers travel to Denver to take on the Colorado Rockies. With current NL Cy Young betting favorite Max Scherzer on the mound, this game should be a rout.
And the odds reflect that, with the Dodgers opening at around -250.
However, let’s not forget that the Rockies are 45-28 at home this season, compared to the Dodgers’ 45-31 record on the road.
So, are the Rockies a live dog in this game? Or is there another betting angle that might provide more value?
Dodgers Offense Needs to Find Rhythm
Since August 1, the Dodgers are 23 games over .500. Their 34-11 record equals a .756 winning percentage and they’ve posted a +98 run differential during this stretch.
The problem is the Giants are 19 games over .500 since August started and their 33-14 record has them up one-game up in the NL West.
As such, the Dodgers still have their foot on the gas despite having the league’s second-best record. They are running with a superstar rotation consisting of Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw.
But let’s not focus on the pitching staff, which has posted the best FIP of any team this month (2.88). We need to focus on the lineup, which has been underachieving recently.
During September, the Dodgers have posted just a 95 wRC+. They’re batting just .238 with the league’s 18th best OPS at .721.
It’s hard to find who’s to blame for that.
Mookie Betts is on a 12-game hit streak and Max Muncy is still slugging .538 in September. Will Smith and Corey Seager both have an OPS above .900 this month and Trea Turner is hitting .300 over his past 15 games.
Despite L.A.’s 13-5 record this month, the Dodgers need to create a few more runs if they expect to win the division.
Freeland Must Bounce Back
I love that the Rockies continue to battle.
They have a winning record since the All-Star break and have posted a 10-8 record in September. Despite how good they are at home, they’ve recently taken road series from Washington, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.
I have no idea where the wins are coming from, though.
In September, the Rockies combined the sixth-worst FIP (5.13) with the fifth-worst wRC+ (82). They’re still good defensively — ranking fifth in Defensive Runs Saved (59) — but I’m not sure if fielding can overcome other lacking areas.
If there’s one player who’s earned a few extra wins, it’s C.J. Cron.
Since August 1, Cron is batting .325 with a 1.060 OPS, posting the 14th highest wRC+ in MLB during the stretch. He’s smacked 13 homers and 13 doubles during the 44 games, with both numbers ranking inside the top 10.
Pitchers have thrown more and more fastballs at Cron as the season has progressed, as 61.6% of the pitches he faced in September were fastballs, compared to 53.7% in July. However, it’s his performance against off-speed pitches that has driven his recent success.
Meanwhile, today’s starter Kyle Freeland has been much worse than Cron in the second half. He’s posted a 6.23 ERA and a 6.85 FIP in his four September starts.
He’s been a bit unlucky, as his BABIP is above .330 while his xFIP is down around 4.5. But he’s walked 10 batters over his last 17 innings, which is only increasing his season-long 1.41 WHIP.
Hopefully, he can bounce back against the Dodgers today. In three starts vs. L.A. this season, Freeland has a 2.84 ERA and a .789 WHIP. Plus, we all know how much the Dodgers don’t like to hit southpaws.
The F5 Under has been hot at Coors Field all season.
That includes Tuesday’s affair, which finished 2-2 after five frames when the total was set at six.
In this matchup, we get two offenses with below-average wRC+’s in September. Add in Freeland’s success against L.A. this season and Max Scherzer’s always dominant stuff, and a low-scoring affair could be in order.
Betting this trend has been profitable for me all season and I think this is the perfect opportunity to bet it again.
Pick: First Five Innings Under 5.5 (-115)