Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
First pitch: 7:15 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Clayton Kershaw (5-0, 3.20 ERA) vs. Drew Pomeranz (1-6, 8.08 ERA)
In Kershaw’s magnificent, likely-Hall-of-Fame-bound career, there’s no opponent he has mastered more than these Giants, his club’s main eternal rival.
The former National League MVP and Cy Young Award winner has faced San Francisco more than any team in baseball — 45 times (44 starts), to be exact — and crafted together some absolutely beautiful numbers. In his lifetime meetings with the Giants, Kershaw is 22-10 with a sparkling 1.70 ERA and 0.85 WHIP while logging a brilliant 333-46 K/BB ratio across 323.1 innings.
While some surmised sort of a demise for the 12-year veteran following a stint on the injured list to begin 2019, Kershaw has proven he still has plenty left. He’s 5-0 in nine starts this season with a 3.20 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.
Kershaw will have a favorable matchup to keep up that success, as the Giants trot out one of the worst offenses in baseball against left-handed pitching. With a southpaw on the hill, San Fran is 29th in team batting average (.220) and dead-last in OPS (.620).
Additionally, the Giants homer only once every 53.8 at-bats when squaring off with a lefty. That’s not good and you have to figure that, considering they’re regularly amongst the bottom of the league in HRs at home every year, the long ball might be out of the equation when laying out Kershaw’s outlook this evening.
Of course, by far the biggest obstacle to deal with in this bet involves the other starter in this series opener, Pomeranz, who is coming off an absolutely dreadful past couple of outings — so much so that it didn’t even look like he’d be given his next turn in the rotation.
The 30-year-old left-hander was bombed for a whopping 13 runs his last two starts, including one effort that saw Pomeranz fail to get through the second inning.
Thanks to those poor performances, Pomeranz is saddled with the unsightly 8.08 ERA that he carries into this contest, but he’s really not nearly as bad as the overall stats indicate.
I think the former first-round draft pick can at least get closer to his regular form, which everyone saw throughout April when Pomeranz etched a 4.08 ERA to go with a healthy 9.73 K/9 in six starts. In all but one of those — including both his meetings with the Dodgers this season — the left-hander limited the opponent to three runs or fewer.
There’s no question the Dodgers have one of the most potent lineups in the league. However, they also own an OPS that is more than 50 points lower opposite lefties (.781) than against right-handers (.833). Play: UNDER 7.5 (-110)
Yesterday’s Result: Twins-Indians Under 8.5 (“loss”)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 33-31-6, -1.35 unit
* Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
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