Arizona Diamondbacks (Dan Haren) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Hiroki Kuroda) Preview and Pick – Betting Line

Arizona Diamondbacks (4-3) Dan Haren, at Los Angeles Dodgers (3-4)
Hiroki Kuroda, Dodger Stadium, Chavez Ravine, Calif., 10:10 PM EST,
Thursday, April 15th, 2010

by Badger of

Betting Line: D-Backs +105/Dodgers -115
Total: 7.5

After a 4-hour and 57-minute 11 inning marathon last night the
Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers will grind out the finale of their three game series tonight in Dodger Stadium when D-
backs ace Dan Haren duels Dodgers lefty Hiroki Kuroda.

The D-Backs finally prevailed last night in a game that had three
ties, two lead changes, a blown save and 33 hits in a 9-7 victory
when all was told. Most importantly though, both teams were forced to
use eight pitchers each in the game, so both Haren and Kuroda will
have to go deep in the game to rest a taxed bullpen.

The Dodgers won the series opener, and also their home opener, by a
9-5 score behind four homeruns and a strong outing by Clayton
Kershaw, so the finale on Thursday will also be the rubber match of
the series.

Oddsmakers opened the betting line overnight with Kuroda and the
Dodgers as -115 favorites on the moneyline, so the Diamondbacks and
Haren are an attractive underdog proposal at +105 at offshore
sportsbooks that offer dimelines. The total opened at 7.5 and has yet
to move and most likely wont with these two starters on the bump.

The Haren/Kuroda matchup couldnt be more perfect for each team, as
far as eating innings are concerned. Haren has reached the seventh
inning in both of his starts this season, while Kuroda went eight in
his only outing last Friday.

Haren was knocked around by the Pirates his last time out, giving up
a very uncharacteristic nine hits, two walks and six runs in just 6.2
innings pitched of a 6-3 loss. His first outing of the year versus
San Diego (7 IP, 3 H, 1 R in 6-3 win) is more like his norm, so it
will be interesting to watch tonight to see if he bounces back.

Haren was filthy versus the Dodgers last year holding them to a .190
batting average with a 0.918 WHIP and meager .250 OBP in four starts.
Surprisingly the D-Backs wasted two of those outings losing twice,
and his numbers in Dodger Stadium (4.98 ERA, only 1.89 K/BB, .779
OPS) are some of his worst in any park, but most of that history came
in interleague play when he was with the As.

Kuroda was impressive against the Marlins last Friday, limiting the fish to one run on five hits in a 7-3 victory. The lefty from Japan was also equally filthy against the D-Backs last season as well,
limiting them to a .182 batting average, with a sub-1.0 WHIP (.900)
and a .553 OPS in two starts. Somehow the Dodgers managed to lose
both games though.

These two teams have pounded out 51 hits through two games, combined
for 30 runs and have hit eight homeruns, so the offensive barrage is
due for an off day. Plus, its getaway day so theres a strong
possibility of both managers starting their subs, especially after
playing 11 innings last night.

All of this offense is in stark contrast to last year, as the under
cashed in for 11 of the 18 games (4-11-3) including six of the eight
in Dodgers Stadium. The under was also 5-1 in Harens four and
Kurodas two starts versus the other team last year.

The Dodgers won six of those same eight games at home last year and
are 12-4 in the last 16 meetings in Dodgers Stadium if you back further.

Badgers Pick: I know its an obvious bet, but Ill take the under of 7.5 here. Both pitchers can dominate and after last night, it may be
hard for the offenses to get rolling.