Arizona Diamondbacks (15-5) - Dan Haren -105, 8 O/U at Los Angeles Dodgers (8-12) - Derek Lowe -105, 8 O/U, Dodger Stadium, 10:10 PM EST, Wednesday
by Badger of Predictem.com
The Arizona Diamondbacks already have a seven game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West, so if the Dodgers hope to gain any ground they will have to start with Wednesdays game in Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers will start this quick two-game set with Derek Lowe on the bump, while the D-Backs will counter with Dan Haren in what could be the best game on the card Wednesday.
Most offshore sportsbooks opened the game with Lowe and the Dodgers as -120 favorites, but it has quickly developed into a pick-em, as most places now list the game as -110 for each (or -105 for each side if you bet on a dimeline). The over/under total is listed at 8.
Lowe and the Dodgers have a big task in front of them if they hope to close some of the gap between the two squads. The Dodgers are reeling right now, coming home after a terrible five-game road trip in which they lost four times, including an 8-1 decision at Cincinnati yesterday.
Not only do they have to face the red-hot D-Backs, winners of six of their last seven, but they also will have to find a way to slow down the D-Back run machine. Arizona beat the Giants yesterday to make Brandon Webb MLBs first five-game winner, scoring seven more runs to add to their league-leading total of 127.
Lowe should be up to the task though. He is 1-1 with a 2.59 ERA this season, but he hasnt received much run support in his four previous starts. In fact, the Dodgers have scored just a total of two runs in three of his four starts this year.
Lowe is 3-6 with a 4.45 ERA in 12 career starts versus Arizona, and is coming off of his shortest outing of the season (4.1 IP, 5 R, 3 ER) in a 6-1 loss to Atlanta on Friday.
While Lowe has received little offensive help in his starts, in has been the exact opposite for D-Backs starter Dan Haren. Haren has enjoyed his first four starts in a D-Back uniform, as they have staked him to an early lead (12 first-inning runs - MLB leading 29 runs of support total) in all four of the games hes climbed on the hill.
Its not like Haren has needed it either, as he is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA so far in 2008 and allowed only three hits in eight innings last Friday in an 8-0 win over San Diego. Haren, who has only allowed opposing hitters a .200 average so far, allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits in six innings versus the Dodgers on April 7th in his only appearance versus them in his career.
The Dodgers will not only be looking to close ground on first place, but theyll be seeking revenge as well. The D-Backs swept them earlier this month by outscoring them at a 23-to-11 clip. The Dodgers will need to score runs to reverse the trend, as they scored just one run in all four losses on the road in their last trip away from Dodger Stadium.
Its no surprise that the over is a hot betting trend during the D- Backs scoring binge lately, cashing in at the window in eight of their last 11 overall.
The other betting trend that jumps at you is the fact that the Dodgers are just 2-10 in Lowes last 12 starts as a listed underdog. But thats not much of a secret either, as its hard to win when you dont score.
Badgers Pick: This is as close to a no-brainer as it gets. D-Backs = hot! Dodgers = ice cold. And at basically even money, Ill take Haren and the D-Backs one more time in this game. The Dodgers are due, but not against Haren in this situation. Take the Diamondbacks at a low -105 to -110 price here.