Chad Billingsley and the LA Dodgers host the Colorado Rockies tonight. Find out why we believe that baseball bettors can find great value by adding a play on run line to their MLB picks in tonight's late game.
Dodger Stadium has proven over the years to be the epitome
of a hostile environment for the Colorado Rockies. They arrived in Los Angeles this week with a 58-94 all-time
record at Chavez Ravine, and saved from owning the worst record in the majors
this season only by the pitiful Houston Astros.
In other words, this was supposed to be an excellent chance
for the Dodgers to take at least two of three, and either make up some ground
on the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants or improve their positioning in the National League wild card race.
is in position to pull off its first sweep in LA in nearly five years when the
clubs wrap up their series Wednesday night. Accomplishing the feat will require the Rockies
to overcome some pretty hefty MLB odds as the Dodgers are -200 favorites to
avoid the brooms.
The big moneyline is representative of a mismatch on the
mound, as one might have deduced. Chad
Billingsley, who has been very sharp since coming off the disabled list, takes
his turn in the Los Angeles rotation against Colorado's Jeff Francis,
who has been anything but sharp the past few weeks. Bettors are looking at the same 7.5 run total
that has been available in the previous two games, and the 'under' will cost an
extra two bits.
has overcome substantial odds twice already with victories as a +180 dog on
Monday and again Tuesday getting +165. The series opener saw four Rockies pitchers combine to hurl 171 pitches
in a 2-0 whitewashing, and Game 2 was eerily similar as five arms got together
to hurl Colorado to a 3-1 triumph.
Both games stayed UNDER the total, and that is an anomaly
when these clubs get together in LA almost as much as a Rockies
win. Before the series started, 10 of
the last 15 tilts at Dodger Stadium busted the scoreboard number. Going back to the start of the 2010 campaign,
the clubs were averaging about 8.5 runs per game on this diamond prior to Monday's
The Dodgers' offense has been scuffling a bit for the past
two weeks, averaging just 3.4 rpg the last 14 games. A big chunk of those runs came in a 10-0
eruption at San Francisco during a big sweep of the Giants. Facing Francis might be a good time for the Los Angeles hitters to
break out of their funk.
Francis has seen his ERA rise more than a run over his last
four assignments, and is coming off back-to-back poundings at Coors Field
administered by the Cardinals at Giants. He has pitched better on the road this year, and he has posted pretty
good numbers at Dodger Stadium with a 2-0 record and 1.92 ERA his last five
trips to this mound. This will, however,
be his first outing in LA since 2008, and his first start vs. the Dodgers in
any park since 2010.
Billingsley has authored three consecutive wins since
returning from a short trip to the DL, including the first seven innings of
that 10-0 rout in San Francisco
previously mentioned. The Rockies have
been a thorn in his side over the years, though, with the Dodgers winning only
two of his last eight assignments vs. Colorado. The good news is two batters that have given
him fits, Todd Helton (.414, 2 HR) and Troy Tulowitzki (.297, 3 HR) will not be
stepping into the batter's box against him tonight.
If you're looking for guidance from tonight's plate umpire,
Paul Schreiber is expected to don the mask to call balls and strikes. The 15-year veteran arbiter brings a 13-9 O/U
record into the game, a mark that was very heavy to the OVER prior to his last
four plate assignments failing to reach the total.
One note for potential Colorado backers to consider is the bullpen
where closer Rafael Betancourt and primary setup arm Matt Belisle have each
pitched the past two games. Even with
Thursday being an off day for the Rockies,
manager Jim Tracy could be reluctant to use one or both a third consecutive
day. That being said, I am adding the Dodgers on the Run Line to my MLB picks in tonight's late game.
Dodgers -1.5 (+100)