This series opened on Thursday night with one of the wilder games you’ll see. Down 7-1, the Dodgers mounted a comeback that tied the game, 7-7, in the bottom of the 8th inning. The Phillies re-took the lead in the top of 9th, 9-7, and the Dodgers then loaded the bases in the bottom of the 9th, but couldn’t get any runs across.
The Dodgers are clinging to first place in the National League West, ahead of the surging Padres, and face more tests against Philadelphia this weekend. The Phillies enter the weekend tied with the Braves for second place, well behind the red hot New York Mets. These top ranked sportsbooks provide great opporuntites to make your betting picks.
Such is the fickle nature of baseball.
For Saturday night the Dodgers are scheduled to start Garrett Cleavinger, with Clayton Kershaw landing on the injured list on Friday because of joint inflammation. This’ll be Cleavinger’s third call-up to the big club, and the first start of the season. He made a single start last year in 22 appearances.
The Phillies are scheduled to have Ranger Suarez take the ball. The 26-year-old has been one of the better starters for Philadelphia this season, and his last time out he threw six innings of shutout baseball at Seattle. Last season for the Phillies he made 12 starts in 39 appearances and finished with an excellent ERA of 1.36.
So, the main advantage for the Dodgers, starting pitching, is off the board on Saturday night. Kershaw’s out, Cleavinger’s in, and Suarez is now the better of the starting pitchers.
Is that enough to take the Phillies on the road against an overall better team? If you like the moneyline you’re getting, yes it is. Check out Fanduel for all your wagers for this match.
The Phillies and Dodgers do agree on one thing. Both of them would like to see the Mets stop winning. The Dodgers, because they’ve got an eye on the top spot in the National League. The Phillies, because the National League East was supposed to be a competitive division this season, but the Mets are making it their personal playground.
The Phillies are below .500 and have gone 3-6 in nine games against their Big Apple rivals, which is entirely on Philadelphia. But the 22-11 record the Mets had going into Friday’s series opener against the Mariners, is beyond Philadelphia’s control.
For the time being the Phillies need to worry about themselves and getting their pitching turned around. They’ve scored the sixth most runs in baseball. The offense, once again led by the MVP-caliber play of Bryce Harper, is just fine.
When it comes to runs allowed, the Phillies rank just 23rd in baseball. They’re walking way too many guys, giving up too many clutch hits, and as has been the case in recent years, the defense is simply not good. Errors are up, double plays are down, and fielders don’t get to nearly as many batted balls as most teams do.
The Dodgers have the best rotation in baseball and with the lowest ERA in the entire league, as many expected. But, unlike the Mets, the Dodgers have the narrowest of division leads because the National League West, as expected, is an excellent division.
The Padres, still without Fernando Tatis Jr. until at least June, are only a game back, and have managed to equal L.A.’s 20 wins. The Giants, just 1.5 games back, have 19 wins and began their weekend series in St. Louis the winners of five straight games. Even Arizona and Colorado are above .500 in the ultra-competitive division.
So what can L.A. do to improve?
Pitching-wise, there’s nothing they can do. Four starters have an ERA of 2.10 or lower, and the spot starts they’ve gotten out of Andrew Heaney have resulted in one run allowed. The bullpen is also one of the absolute best in baseball.
Offensively the Dodgers have room for improvement. Their 28 home runs in 30 games is on pace for 151 on the season. In the last two full 162-game seasons, the Dodgers hit 237 home runs (2021) and 279 home runs (2019). In 2017 and 2018, they also hit 221 and 235.
The power outage is a concern.
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