Free Picks: Los Angeles Dodgers vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Dodgers vs Diamondbacks Week 18
Los Angeles Dodgers vs Arizona Diamondbacks, MLB, Chase Field

The Los Angeles Dodgers (62-41) will face the Arizona Diamondbacks (32-71) to open up a three-game series on Friday, and the matchup couldn’t be coming at a better time for the Dodgers. Facing other National League West opponents recently (Giants and Rockies), the Dodgers have scuffled to just four wins in their past 10 games. The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, have picked on other weak teams (Cubs, Pirates) to compile six wins in their last 10.

Could Gallen be the great equalizer in a lopsided NL West showdown?

Forget what you know about the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks. OK, well not entirely.

We all know the reigning World Series champion Dodgers are rocking again this season, despite several instances of key players missing time due to injury. The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, are doing their best to secure a top-3 pick in next year’s MLB draft. So these teams are operating on different ends of the league’s spectrum.

And the head-to-head results reflect that, with Los Angeles holding a 9-1 advantage over Arizona this season. The Dodgers also won eight of 10 games against their friends from the desert last year, so the disparity in the win column goes back a little way.

One Arizona player who can’t be blamed for those results is Zac Gallen (1-5, 4.80 ERA). His start Friday will be his first against the Dodgers in 2021, and he was excellent in two starts against them last year. The long-haired right-hander combined to allow just two runs on six hits while striking out 16 over 13 innings of work in his 2020 outings against the Dodgers, but he earned no-decisions both times. In his final start against them, Gallen tossed seven innings of one-hit ball.

It’s results like that that might make bettors take a second glance at the odds for this matchup. The Dodgers are -196 money line favorites (10Bet) on the day’s MLB picks, while Gallen and the Diamondbacks sit at +160 on the money line (10Bet) as underdogs. Can Gallen dazzle enough to make that underdog bet cash?

Maybe. But we actually want to pump the breaks a bit on Gallen, because his recent results are not so good. He’s 0-4 with a 5.70 ERA in his past seven starts, including seven earned runs allowed in four innings his last time out against the woeful Cubs. That kind of performance is not going to scare the Dodgers.

And on the Los Angeles side, Tony Gonsolin (2-1, 2.38 ERA) has been great over his past seven starts. He rarely pitches deep enough to factor into the decision, but his 2.15 ERA over his past 29 1/3 innings is still plenty impressive.

Gallen’s past results versus the Dodgers might make him seem like someone to bet on, but his more recent results against the rest of the league — and, primarily, lesser opponents — has pushed us in the direction of picking the Dodgers with this BetPicks prediction.

Stats

  • Los Angeles is 4-6 on the money line in its past 10
  • The UNDER has cashed in five of the Dodgers’ past eight games
  • Arizona is 6-4 on the money line in its past 10
  • The OVER has cashed in five of the Diamondbacks’ past nine games

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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University). You can follow Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHorrobin

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