Los Angeles Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates – 7:05 PM EST
Los Angeles travels from St. Louis to Pittsburgh to meet the Pirates in the first matchup of a three-game set. Pittsburgh is coming off a three-game sweep of Colorado in which they probably should have lost two, if not all three of the games, barely escaping late in all of them. The Dodgers dropped their first two against the Cardinals in dramatic fashion before pushing across the winning run in the 9th inning of the third game on Sunday Night Baseball last night. This is a horrible travel spot for the Dodgers, but the line already reflects that. There’s virtually no reason to be backing Pittsburgh tonight on this short line other than the Dodgers’ sleep/travel schedule. There are plenty of reasons to take the discounted price on Los Angeles, though:
1. Hyun-Jin Ryu. The starting pitching discrepancy in this game is vast, and it favors the Dodgers. Hyun-Jin Ryu carries a 2.86 FIP in the 2014 season into this game, and has been stellar all season long. Which leads to my next point…
2. Edinson Volquez. I’ve spoken in this space before about the inflated public perception of Volquez so I’ll keep it short: 4.37 FIP, 3.0 BB/9 to Ryu’s 1.8, and 5.9 K/9 to Ryu’s 8.0. Simply put, he’s a far inferior pitcher.
3. Perception. The Dodgers’ poor offensive performance as of late does is not indicative of a larger downward trend for the team as a whole. Four games in San Diego followed by three in St. Louis are not exactly conducive to stellar offensive output.
For these reasons, I’ll be putting my money behind the short price on Los Angeles tonight.
PLAY: LOS ANGELES DODGERS ML -102 (List Hyun-Jin Ryu)