Los Angeles Dodgers (79-33) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (64-48)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, August 10th, 9:40 pm EST
Yu Darvish (7-9, 3.81 ERA) vs. Anthony Banda (1-1, 3.86 ERA)
Line: LA Dodgers -180/Arizona +165
The Dodgers close out a three game series in Arizona on Thursday against the Diamondbacks. A series in early August in which the first and second place teams in the division are playing should be an important series. Can’t really say it is in this situation, however. Even with their win in the opening game, 6-3, behind a grand slam by Jake Lamb, the Diamondbacks still find themselves 15 games behind the Dodgers.
Los Angeles just finished the best 50 game stretch in major league baseball since 1912, going 43-7 over those 50 games. It’s truly a remarkable stretch of baseball, but it has made the NL West a foregone conclusion. The Diamondbacks are still comfortably ahead in the wild card race, and they may not have many big games coming down the stretch either.
Darvish throws a gem
Yu Darvish threw a gem in his first start with the Dodgers, solidifying him as their number 2 starter once Clayton Kershaw comes back. Darvish went seven innings against the New York Mets, giving up only three hits while walking one and striking out 10. He looked like the Yu Darvish we had seen over the last several years. The trade to Los Angeles will be a godsend for him and I think he will pitch great.
It’s not like he was too shabby this year, we just are used to better from Darvish. He comes into Thursday’s contest with a record of 7-9 (collectively) and an ERA of 3.81. A lot of people would love to have that type of ERA, but when your career ERA is 3.38 it looks like an off year.
Banda makes third career start
We’ve got quite the dichotomy on the pitching mound on Thursday. On one side, we have Yu Darvish who has been one of baseball’s best pitchers over the last several years, and on the Dbacks side we have Anthony Banda, making his third career start. He’s gone 1-1 over his first two and comes in with an ERA of 3.86.
He pitched much better in his latest start than he did his first one, going six innings and giving up only three hits and one earned run, getting his first major league win. He had struggled in his first start, giving up seven hits and four earned runs over 5.2 innings and taking the loss. He’s got an impressive 12/4, K/BB ratio.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are:
- 21-6 in their last 27 during game 1 of a series.
- 22-5 in their last 27 vs. a team with a winning record.
- 7-0 in their last 7 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are:
- 1-5 in their last 6 vs. National League West.
- 1-4 in their last 5 games following an off day.
Yu Darvish was sensational in his first start, and I look for it to continue all season long. He was a great pitcher stuck on a team that wasn’t going anywhere this year, and I think this trade will make all the difference. He’s one to bet on coming down the stretch.