The Los Angeles Dodgers are built to win the World Series, but first, they’ll need to dispatch the feisty Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL Division Series. That series begins Saturday in primetime and will feature one of this generation’s greatest pitchers. Here’s a look at current odds from our best sports betting apps.
The Diamondbacks won three of four against the Dodgers in LA a little over a month ago. If they can do that over the next week, the Snakes will pull off a huge upset. Given their play in a sweep of Milwaukee in the Wild Card Series, Arizona shouldn’t be taken lightly by either the Dodgers or baseball bettors seeking to find good odds.
- Game 1: Diamondbacks at Dodgers, Oct. 7, 9:20 PM ET, on TBS
- Game 2: Diamondbacks at Dodgers, Oct. 9, 9:07 PM ET, on TBS
- Game 3: Dodgers at Diamondbacks, Oct. 11, on TBS
- Game 4: Dodgers at Diamondbacks, Oct. 12, on TBS
- Game 5: Diamondbacks at Dodgers, Oct. 14, on TBS
The Dodgers were 8-5 against the Diamondbacks this season.
BetMGM Series Winner Odds: Dodgers -210 | D’backs +170
Arizona Diamondbacks Overview
The Diamondbacks stole 166 bases and were only thrown out 26 times, but this is not a slap-hitting team. They just seem that way. That’s because 112 of their homers came from only four batters: Christian Walker, Corbin Carroll, Ketel Marte, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Keep an eye on Evan Longoria, who started two games in a row at third base in the NL Wild Card series for the first time since July. Longoria is a fundamental player who showed off his glove against the Brewers. He’s the type of under-the-radar veteran who sometimes emerges on the big stage in October.
The Snakes were below average in runs scored, and also in ERA. They have a ho-hum rotation built on the shoulders of Zac Gellen and Merrill Kelly, the only pitchers to start as many as 28 games in 2023.
Gellen/Kelly are both hard throwers, but it will take more than fastballs to defeat the vaunted Dodgers lineup. Brandon Pfaadt started Game 2 of the Wild Card series. But got so roughed up that we may not see him again if he’s even on the NLDS roster.
The Arizona relief corps were perfect in the first round: no runs allowed in 8 2/3 innings. The baseball world is going to start to learn how good D’backs closer Paul Sewald is. He keeps the ball on the ground – that is when he’s not striking batters out.
More Baseball: World Series Odds | Best MLB Betting Sites | MLB MVP Odds
Los Angeles Dodgers Overview
LA is one of only two teams to have scored 900 runs (Braves are the other). They posted a 795 OPS on the strength of the second-most walks and second-most total bases in the league. All of that scoring is led by Mookie Betts, their marvelous right fielder/second baseman who deserves to win the Most Valuable Player Award.
Then there’s Freddie Freeman, who smacked 59 doubles and 29 home runs. He also hit .331, and scored 131 runs. The offense also has J.D. Martinez and Max Muncy, who both hit more than 30 home runs.
This Dodgers team is a little different than recent versions: it finished 5th in the NL in ERA. This LA team won 100 games by basically pounding teams into submission. Still, Clayton Kershaw had a resurgent season, but Julio Urias is hurt, and Lance Lynn and Bobby Miller are inconsistent at best.
The LA bullpen ERA ranked third in the NL, led by Brusdar Graterol, Evan Phillips, Shelby Miller, and others. The team has relied more heavily on middle relievers this season, which means the actions of manager Dave Roberts will be more important (and more scrutinized) this October.
Other MLB Divisional Series Previews
- ALDS: Rangers vs Orioles Prediction
- ALDS: Twins vs Astros Prediction
- NLDS: Braves vs Phillies Prediction
Pitching Matchup for Game 1
Merrill Kelly (3.29 ERA, 187 K in 177.2 IP) vs. Clayton Kershaw (2.46 ERA, 137 K in 131.2 IP)
Kelly is a durable workhorse, if unspectacular. He’s making his first postseason appearance, facing Kershaw who is making his 32nd start in the playoffs. It’s much like the matchup between Joe Ryan of the Twins and Houston ace Justin Verlander.
The Dodgers see more pitches and foul off more pitches than any other team, except Houston. They have multiple ways to beat you, and that should wear on the inexperienced Kelly.
Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks Prediction
Of all the great pitchers in baseball history, Kershaw has the worst postseason record. His career postseason ERA is 4.22, and he’s only 13-12, with his team winning 15 of his 31 starts.
Why Kershaw has struggled is a mystery, but it’s a large body of work not to mean something. In 2023, Kershaw was 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA against Arizona.
Bet on the Dodgers in Game 1 and the series, which may be a sweep in favor of LA.