Philadelphia are on the hunt on the West coast again tonight as they take on the Dodgers

The Philadelphia Phillies continue their 10-game road trip tonight in Los Angeles where they’ll face the Dodgers in the opener of a three-game set. Game time for the matchup is 10:10 PM ET with the Dodger Stadium forecast calling for clear skies and temperatures near 80 degrees.

Hiroki Kuroda LA Dodgers Pitcher

The Phils are coming off a wild weekend in San Francisco that saw them take two out of three in a rematch of last year’s National League Championship Series. Even though Philadelphia will send Roy Halladay to the mound this evening and the question for MLB bettors is how much do the Phillies have left in the proverbial tank following 17 games in 17 days.

Runs figure to be at a premium as Halladay (14-4, 2.55 ERA) faces Hiroki Kuroda (7-13, 2.96 ERA). The ‘Doc’ has won his last three outings improving Philadelphia’s record to 19-4 in games in which he’s started. He’s 3-1 in his career against LA allowing seven runs in 30 innings (2.03) and is 6-3 on the road (2.93) where he has put together a strong strikeout to walk ratio of 71 to 13.

It’s been a frustrating season for Kuroda who could easily be in double-digits in the win department if he had received just a little run support. A case in point is his last appearance against Philadelphia on June 8 in which he allowed only one run but lost 2-0. To further illustrate his frustration, Kuroda has given up 39 earned runs in his 13 losses while the Dodgers have scored 27. In his last three games, the veteran right-hander has surrendered four runs in 19 1/3 innings (1.86 ERA) but has a 1-2 record to show for it. Even pitching at home hasn’t helped as Kuroda is 2-8 at Dodger Stadium this year.

Last add Kuroda; He’s 2-1 lifetime against the Phillies and has been downright stingy, giving up three runs in 32 innings for an earned run average of 0.86. However Halladay opened on the money line as a -160 favorite with the total holding at six.

Over the weekend

The Phillies took two out of three in San Francisco but had their nine-game winning streak snapped as Tim Lincecum and the Giants prevailed 3-1. The victory spoiled Roy Oswalt’s return from the disabled list where he missed 37 games with back inflammation. He worked six innings but surrendered a season 12 hits in taking the loss, his seventh in eight games.

Philadelphia will need to pick up the pace offensively especially Ryan Howard who is just 1 for 14 in his career against Kuroda is coming off a long weekend in which he went 1-12 and struck out eight times.

Hunter Pence is hitting .382 with three homers and seven RBIs since being acquired from the Astros but is just 3 for 14 against Kuroda.

The Dodgers took two out of three from the Diamondbacks but lost Sunday’s series finale 4-3 as Ian Kennedy outdueled Clayton Kershaw. Cody Ransom, who brought a .188 average into the game, hit a two-run homer in the 7th off Kershaw to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 win. The Dodgers managed just six hits against three Arizona pitchers.

Fade to Blue

The Dodgers have been great fade material this season going 18-41 at home on the run line. That’s an especially attractive play with Kuroda matched up against Halladay.

Another possibility to consider is to go with the underdog. Kuroda who opened at +150 will be facing a Phillies team that’s coming off an emotionally draining series and could be primed for a letdown. However tread with caution if you plan to play LA; the Phillies have won nine of 10 and own the best record in the majors at 74-39. They’ve also got an impressive 33-21 road record.

Harvey’s take: Even with a low opening total of six, I’m confident that the ‘under’ is the way to riches tonight. Two of the first three series meetings this season stayed below the closing total while the other game pushed. The ‘under’ is 7-2 in Philadelphia’s last nine road games and is 8-3 in LA’s last 11 games as an underdog.

Good Luck!