It hasn’t been the smoothest start to the season for the Dodgers, who were shut out by the Giants on Tuesday night and sit 6-6 through 12 games. Clayton Kershaw will be on the hill Wednesday looking to change LA’s fortunes in San Francisco. The Dodgers enter as -175 favorites on the moneyline, with an over/under of 7.5 runs.
Let’s make predictions for Wednesday’s matchup and dive into why the Dodgers should be able to pull out a road win.
Dodgers vs. Giants Prediction
This seems like an opportunity for the Dodgers to right the ship and quiet the Giants’ offense. San Francisco has pretty rough numbers against left-handers, and the Giants don’t have enough contact bats in the lineup to string too many hits together against Kershaw. The future Hall of Famer remains a rock-solid arm when healthy, and by all accounts, he’s healthy.
The Dodgers’ offense is too good to underperform the way it did on Tuesday night.
There are concerns about their ability to hit home runs against a ground-ball pitcher like Cobb – the Dodgers didn’t have a single homer off of Cobb last season – but the Giants right-hander has looked more vulnerable early on this season and will be going up against a lineup that blends all-star veterans with impressive rookies (James Outman, Miguel Vargas).
Dodgers -1.5 is a bit of a stretch in what has a chance to be a low-scoring game, so low-value Dodgers moneyline seems like the best option here.
Dodgers vs. Giants Prediction: Dodgers -175
Dodgers vs. Giants Odds
The Dodgers enter as decisive -175 favorites on the road, with the over/under at 7.5 runs.
The -175 line is a bit jarring after the Dodgers were shut down by the Giants on Tuesday, but there’s plenty of reason to believe in Kershaw considering the makeup of San Francisco’s lineup. Plus, will the Dodgers really fall under .500 with all of their talent?
Dodgers vs. Giants Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Dodgers vs. Giants.
Giants Lineup vs. Left-Handed Kershaw
It’s a pretty small early-season sample size, but the Giants have struggled mightily against lefties to this point. San Francisco is hitting .188 across 93 plate appearances with two home runs and a .529 OPS. Against right-handers, the Giants have been one of baseball’s better offensive teams.
That doesn’t bode well against a lefty with as much experience as Kershaw. This isn’t the same Kershaw as the past, but when he’s on the mound, he remains an intimidating presence. By all accounts, he’s healthy and should have no pitch limitations after rising from 76 pitches to 91 his last time out.
Kershaw did get hit around by the Diamondbacks in his last start, but Arizona is hitting 20 points higher than the Giants. It’s going to take a left-handed pitcher breakthrough for San Francisco to make Kershaw uncomfortable, even at Oracle Park.
Dodgers’ Power vs. Alex Cobb
Alex Cobb faced the Dodgers four times last season and didn’t allow a single home run, even with some heavy hitters in LA’s lineup. In fact, that was a trend that lasted beyond just matchups with the Dodgers. Cobb allowed just nine home runs over 149.2 innings last season, consistently keeping balls on the ground.
This season has been a bit of a different story this season, with two home runs allowed through 10.2 innings. The larger sample size paints a different, and likely more accurate, picture.
Will that hold up against the Dodgers? Max Muncy has been on a power tear, while Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and James Outman have plenty of power in their bats.
Dodgers vs. Giants Starting Lineups
Dodgers Starting Lineup
RF Mookie Betts R
1B Freddie Freeman L
C Will Smith R
3B Max Muncy L
DH J.D. Martinez R
LF James Outman L
2B Miguel Vargas R
CF Jason Heyward L
SS Miguel Rojas R
Giants Starting Lineup
1B LaMonte Wade Jr. L
RF Michael Conforto L
3B Wilmer Flores R
DH Joc Pederson L
CF Mike Yastrzemski L
2B Thairo Estrada R
SS Brandon Crawford L
LF Blake Sabol L
C Roberto Perez R