Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Pick 8/29/19
Los Angeles Dodgers (88-47) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (67-66) When: 9:40 p.m., Thursday, August 29 Where: Chase Field, Phoenix
Moneyline: LAD -200/ARI +180 (BetOnline) Runline: Dodgers -1.5/DBacks +1.5 Total: 9Starting Pitchers: Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-4, 2.00 ERA, 0.98 WHIP) vs. Merrill Kelly (9-13, 4.86 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)
Dominating the D-Backs
To put it mildly, Ryu has had an easy time with Arizona during his time with Los Angeles. In five meetings with the Diamondbacks, he’s never lost to Arizona, and the margin usually hasn’t been close. In three games this year against the D-Backs with Ryu on the mound, LA has outscored the D-Backs by a 30-8 margin, putting up at least nine runs in every contest.
In fact, the D-Backs are the most recent team that Ryu has actually pitched like himself against. In his past two outings, the Los Angeles left-hander has uncharacteristically struggled, giving up a combined 11 runs and 15 hits over ten innings of work. Part of those struggles is because he has started to give up the big fly in a way that he hasn’t for most of the season. In his past two outings, he’s given up five home runs — more than he’d given up in the previous three months combined.
Lighting the Board
A month ago, Merrill Kelly was serving as one of the reliable relievers coming out of the Los Angeles bullpen, but since then, he’s proven to be a mess as a starter for Arizona. In his past six starts, four of them have ended with him giving up at least six earned runs, and with ten home runs coming off the bats of Kelly’s opponents as of late, it might make sense to expect more of the same when Kelly tries to get through Los Angeles’ offense. Given L.A.’s propensity for hitting home runs and both pitchers’ struggles with getting outs, this could be a surprisingly early hit for the over.
If Arizona is going to hang around at all in the wild card race, it absolutely has to have this series. The Diamondbacks have seen their playoff chance whittled to just 2.4 percent, and it’s ridiculously unlikely they’re going to catch the Dodgers, considering that they trail Los Angeles by 20 games with 29 to play. That means they have to hang around in the wild card chase, and that’s been pretty rough as of late for Arizona.
In part, that’s because of Arizona’s abysmal home record compared to other contenders. Of the nine teams in the National League that are above .500, all of them but one are at least ten games over .500 at home. The one is Arizona, which holds a record of just 30-32 at home and has only hung around as long as it has because it owns one of the best road records in the NL. This series has to help change that if Arizona is to have any hope at all.
The Dodgers have officially claimed the season series and lead the Diamondbacks 10-5 for the year heading into the teams’ final four-game meeting of the year. To date, the teams have been an even 3-3 against each other in Arizona, with the Diamondbacks winning three of the past four meetings between the squads in Phoenix.
- The Dodgers are 7-0 in Ryu’s past seven Thursday starts.
- The Dodgers are 14-2 in Ryu’s last 16 starts against the NL West.
- The Diamondbacks have won their past five home games against left-handed starters.
- The Diamondbacks are 2-8 in Kelly’s last ten starts.
- The over is 7-1 in the Dodgers’ past eight road games against a team with a losing home record.
- The under is 5-1 in the Diamondbacks’ past six games.
The mercury is projected to push to around 105 degrees at first pitch, meaning the Diamondbacks will almost certainly close the roof for this one.
I’m not sure what’s been going on with Ryu as of late. He’s a much better pitcher than what he’s shown over the past two starts. So too are the Dodgers a much better team than the Diamondbacks, who have won their previous three, but don’t seem like they’re going to be a factor down the stretch. The pitching matchup is not favorable, and the Diamondbacks have never looked like they knew what they were doing against Ryu.
I think this is when Ryu straightens things out and delivers the finishing blow to Arizona’s fading playoff hopes. Give me the Dodgers here.