New York Yankees at Los Angeles Dodgers Pick 8/23/19
New York Yankees (83-46) at Los Angeles Dodgers (85-44)
When: 10 p.m., Friday, August 23
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Moneyline: NYY + 135/LAD - 145
Runline: Yanks +1.5/Dodgers -1.5
Starting Pitchers: James Paxton (9-6, 4.53 ERA, 1.43 WHIP) vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-3, 1.64 ERA, 0.94 WHIP_
Turns out there is a way to stop the Yankees from launching baseballs out of the park: feed them a diet of left-handed pitching. The Yankees have mashed the ball all season long, but they’ve really had their problems when it comes to getting the job done against southpaws. A mere 1.9 percent of the Yankees’ swings against lefties result in a home run, which is fourth-worst in the majors, ahead of only Arizona, Kansas City, and San Francisco. Tossing Hyun-Jin Ryu not only gives the Yankees a look at the Dodgers’ top hurler but throws them off balance by giving them a left-hander in a park where it’s traditionally tough to hit home runs. Take the homers out of the Yankee lineup, and they become a much easier team to handle.
Kenley Jansen simply isn’t getting the job done at the moment. While the Dodgers haven’t needed nim in recent games, he’s been unable to deliver when the time has come for him to perform. Since his last save in a win over St. Louis, Jansen has blown saves to Arizona and Toronto by giving up a home run, and his other performances were two games that were out of reach and a win over Arizona where he entered in a non-save situation after a strong bottom of the eighth.
At the moment, the Dodgers have concerns, and it’s hard to blame them. Jansen has been a strong reliever for years, but Los Angeles needs him to be in top shape when they get into the postseason. With the Dodgers comfortably in the postseason, they have the luxury of preparing for the playoffs, and that’s likely part of the equation.
The Yankees are not where they want to be after getting wiped out by Oakland in a three-game set to start the week. It might not be wise to read too much into that because the Athletics are a desperate team and the Yankees have not played well at the Oakland Coliseum in recent years, but it’s still a cause for at least some mild concern when going into this series. That’s especially true given what Los Angeles did in its leadup to this series. True, the Dodgers were playing a bad Blue Jays squad instead of a capable Oakland team, but the Dodgers stole two games they should have lost to Toronto and came out with a sweep instead of a 2-1 or even 1-2 performance.
Winning those kinds of games goes a long way in tight series like this one: the Dodgers know that they’ve got the ability to steal close games, should that be required.
This used to be one of the best rivalries in sports long ago when the Dodgers called Brooklyn their home. In the modern era, the Dodgers hold a 7-6 edge on the Yankees in interleague play, but the teams haven’t met in a competitive setting since 2016.
- The Yankees have lost five of their past six on the road.
- The Yankees have won James Paxton’s past four starts.
- The Dodgers have won their past five against the AL East.
- The Dodgers have won Ryu’s past eight starts against a team above .500.
- The under is 5-1 in the Yankees’ past six Friday games.
- The under is 4-1 in the Dodgers’ past five interleague games.
An 83 degree evening means that the conditions are set up for a perfect night for one of the biggest games of the regular season.
The Yankees are struggling on this West Coast swing, and the Dodgers have been virtually lights out at home this season. Plus, Los Angeles sends its best pitcher to the mound against a team that doesn’t tend to hit lefties all that well. That’s a good combination for the Dodgers to do some damage and really send the Yankees reeling as they go into the rest of the weekend.
New York has done well with Paxton on the mound as of late, but two of his wins came against the Orioles, and a third was against the fading Red Sox. The Dodgers aren’t falling apart, and they can hit lefties reasonably solidly. There’s a lot more to like about Los Angeles in this matchup, so I’m taking the Dodgers.