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MLB Pick and Preview for August 6
Los Angeles Dodgers (51-60) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (61-51) Betting Odds from BetOnline
Moneyline: Diamondbacks (-145) Dodgers (+135)
Starting Pitchers: Dodgers (Eovaldi) vs. Diamondbacks (Saunders)
The Los Angeles Dodgers took the first game of this series in Arizona last night. Arizona is probably the biggest surprise in all of baseball this year. The Diamondbacks sit just half a game out of first place in the NL West behind the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers are looking to play the role of the spoiler, while the Diamondbacks are looking to get to the top line of the standings.
Nate Eovaldi will make his first major league start for the Dodgers today. Eovaldi has a 2.6 ERA in AA so far this season, but his previous seasons in the minors weren’t spectacular. The Dodgers are hoping he is just now hitting his stride, and he is receiving this chance because of the injury to Rubby De La Rosa. The Dodgers offense is averaging just 3.67 runs per game this season, which is one of the worst marks in all of baseball. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are great in the middle of the order, but the rest of the lineup is extremely inconsistent. Kemp is having a true breakout season in 2011. He is the ultimate five tool player. Kemp is hitting .318 with 26 homers and 28 stolen bases so far this season.
Joe Saunders will be on the hill for Arizona in this one. He has nine straight starts in which he has allowed three earned runs or less. The Diamondbacks average 4.57 runs per game, which is good enough for seventh in the majors. One of the main reasons Arizona is so much better this year is the improvement of their bullpen. Last year’s bullpen was historically bad for Arizona, and this year’s group is actually quite good. Arizona has a nice trio of young pitchers in Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, and Josh Collmenter. Justin Upton is the Diamondbacks hitting star, and he continues to improve on a yearly basis. Gerardo Parra and Miguel Montero have been contributing offensively in recent weeks, which takes some of the pressure off the middle of the order.
MLB Free Pick: Diamondbacks ML (-145)
*3 Star MLB Free Pick* The Arizona Diamondbacks continue to surprise the baseball world this season. Arizona is pushing the Giants for the NL West lead. Joe Saunders started the season off poorly, but he has rebounded to have a very nice season. Saunders hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last nine starts. Nate Eovaldi was called up to make his first major league start for the Dodgers. Eovaldi has had a great year in AA this year, but this is a big jump and he is facing a tough lineup. Alfonso Marquez is the umpire in this one, and the home team is 26-12 in his last 38 games behind home plate. I like the Diamondbacks ML here.