Not surprising, the Western division in the National League is the most competitive one, but very few expected the Diamonds to be leading while the Dodgers to sit on the last-place. Arizona won 35 games and has a winning record away from home, while Los Angeles is barely scrapping enough points to stay above the .400 line. For a club with high expectations and considerable investments in starting pitchers and sluggers, the Dodgers are a train wreck and they need to turn things around quickly.
One way of getting back in the race for the playoffs would be to defeat the leader and there is no better opportunity to do so that by taking the first game of the series. Standings don’t matter at all tonight because the hosts will be starting with Clayton Kershaw, the only pitcher in their rotation who has conceded less than two runs per game. The fact that he won only 5/9 decisions says a great deal about his teammates and the lack of support, but even a few rounds will be enough against Arizona.
The Diamondbacks will start with Wade Miley, a pitcher who is about to break the psychological threshold of 5.00 for ERA. Even so, he has five victories to his name and this is entirely the merit of a strong batting unit and a formidable bullpen. He has an excellent record at Dodgers Stadium, but has conceded an average of eight runs per match in the last four games. These are contradictory facts that make it very difficult for punters to decide if it is worth backing the underdog.
The odds for a home win are tiny and one needs to be very confident in Clayton Kershaw’s ability to pitch to take the Dodgers at 1.50. He is winless in the last three games and the offense is entirely to blame, but there is no guarantee that their bats will suddenly turn hot. On the other hand, Arizona offers plenty of support to Miley but it is only a matter of time until the starting pitcher will need to earn wins.
An interesting and potentially profitable way of wagering on this match implies a hedging strategy that is only accessible to those who have a sizable bankroll. They can back the Dodgers to cover the -1,5 spread at odds of roughly 2.15, while also wagering on the visitors to win at 2.75. The worst-case scenario is obviously a narrow margin victory for LA, but the odds of something like this to happen are slim to none.