California Dreamin’: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers Series Preview

Los Angeles Is Nearing Full Strength, What's That Mean for The D'Backs?

After losing in the World Series to the Texas Rangers this past fall, the Arizona Diamondbacks knew that it wasn’t going to be easy to repeat their magical 2023 season but they probably didn’t expect to be multiple games under .500 in late May.

The task for Arizona gets tougher this week as the Diamondbacks visit the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers, who have a big lead in the National League West. The D’Backs vs Dodgers trends and odds have Los Angeles as -230 moneyline favorites and as -120 favorites at -1.5 runs on the runline for Monday’s opener. The run total is a high 8.5 runs.

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Arizona lost two of three to the Detroit Tigers over the weekend, another step back for a Diamondbacks team desperately trying to climb back to .500.

The Diamondbacks are still waiting on a bunch of MLB injured players to get back into the mix — namely starters Merrill Kelly and Eduardo Rodríguez — and for reigning Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll to break out of his season-long slump. It’s tough going from potential World Series champions to team just trying to tread water.

The Dodgers have no such concerns as they won three of four from the skidding Cincinnati Reds and are toward the top of the statistical leaderboards in most pitching and hitting categories.

They held the Reds to five runs over the final three games of the series and even with Max Muncy on the injured list and James Outman demoted to Triple-A because of his struggles, the lineup has been even better than advertising. This is a really hard team for anyone to match up with.

Diamondbacks logoArizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles DodgersDodgers logo

Records: Arizona Diamondbacks (22-25) at Los Angeles Dodgers (32-17)
Day/Time: Monday, May 20th, 10:10 p.m. ET
Location: Dodger Stadium; Los Angeles, California

Dodgers’ Top Arms Are Lined Up

To make things more difficult for Arizona, the Dodgers will throw Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Gavin Stone, and Tyler Glasnow, while the Diamondbacks are scheduling Slade Cecconi, Brandon Pfaadt, and Ryne Nelson to pitch.

That’s a huge advantage for the Dodgers because Los Angeles’ starters have been three of their four best pitchers all year, especially because Yamamoto and Glasnow would be bonafide aces if they played on separate teams. The D’Backs vs Dodgers trends have Los Angeles easily winning these matchups on paper.

Yamamoto is coming off a subpar start against the Giants but, otherwise, he has been lights out for over a month. Stone bounced back from a rough beginning of the season and has turned in four-straight quality starts, each of which he allowed just one run per outing in.

Not bad for a guy who is only in the rotation because of injuries. And, to wrap it up, Glasnow has been everything the Dodgers wanted (and more) since they traded for him from the Rays. He too struggled in his outing yet has been incredibly reliable.

Taking the Dodgers on the runline is one of the best MLB bets today with Yamamoto’s consistency, Cecconi’s high ERA and the routine excellence of the Los Angeles bats. It’s very hard to match up with this team under ideal circumstances so it’s tough to expect it when the pitching matchups and recent play are working against you.

Carroll And Suárez Are Key

Surprisingly, Arizona is in the middle-of-the-pack in most offensive statistical categories even with the severe struggles of Carroll and offseason pickup Eugenio Suárez. Carroll has just two home runs, is batting .191 and has a .552 OPS. Meanwhile, Suárez, picked up from the Mariners in the offseason, only has three longballs with a .599 OPS. If the Diamondbacks are going to reverse the D’Backs vs Dodgers trends, those guys need to get going.

Ketel Marte and Christian Walker have carried the way offensively but if Arizona wants to not only compete in the NL Wild Card race or even in the NL West, they have to get more production from up and down the lineup.

The pitching staff that was such a strength for them in the postseason just hasn’t been able to put it all together so far — even late-spring pickup Jordan Montgomery’s ERA is hovering around 5.00 — and the bullpen, in particular, has taken a major step back.

The Arizona Diamondbacks standings don’t look great right now. It’s still pretty early, though, and the mushy middle of the NL is providing teams that got off to slow starts with the chance to right the ship and still make a move for the postseason. Arizona can take a major step in that direction starting with this big series against the Dodgers.

LA Is Side To Back

Because the Dodgers are so heavily favored on Monday, taking them straight up as -230 moneyline favorites doesn’t make too much sense from a value perspective. Therefore, laying the 1.5 runs on the runline to get Los Angeles at -120 offers a much better bet. The Dodgers are the better team and hold a big edge in the pitching matchup.

Also consider the under 8.5 runs. It’s a high number and Yamamoto has been really good as of late.

Angels vs Dodgers Predictions

For MLB betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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