Los Angeles Dodgers (96-52; 72-72-4 O/U) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (58-90; 66-69-13 O/U)
MLB: Monday, September 18, 2017 at 7:05pm EST
Line: Los Angeles -340/Philadelphia +300
The Philadelphia Phillies will host the Los Angeles Dodgers as the clubs begin a four game series Monday night from Citizens Bank Park. The Dodgers will give the starting nod to 29-year old left-hander Clayton Kershaw, and the Phillies will send 24-year old right-hander Nick Pivetta to the mound. The Dodgers recorded a three game sweep over the Phillies earlier this season.
Kershaw Targets Major League High 18th Win
Clayton Kershaw will get the nod for the 25th time of the season, aiming for win number 18. Kershaw was solid in his previous start, allowing two runs (one earned) in six innings to the Giants, and collected another win. The Dodgers’ ace is having another dominating season, sporting a Major League-leading 2.12 ERA along with a minuscule 0.92 WHIP accompanied with a 17-3 record in 157 innings of work. He has not faced the Phillies this season and stands at 3-4 with a 2.92 ERA in 11 career starts. Freddy Galvis is 4 for 7 against Kershaw, while Cesar Hernandez is 0 for 6, and Makiel Franco is 1 for 4. Yasiel Puig is swinging the bat well, collecting ten hits along with six RBI’s over his last seven games. The 26-year old right fielder is having a solid season, now hitting .262 with 26 home runs and 69 RBI’s. Puig is only 1 for 8 with one RBI against the Phillies this season.
The Dodgers are currently averaging 4.77 runs per game, ranking them 11th overall, and feature a .250 team batting average. The Los Angeles pitching is sporting a strong 3.37 team ERA, good for second in the Majors.
Pivetta Rocked by Marlins as Struggles Continue
Nick Pivetta will make his 24th start of the season, aiming for his first win of the month. Pivetta struggled big time in his previous start, conceding seven runs in five innings to the Marlins and was tagged with the loss. The rookie right-hander has been roughed up in two straight starts, and now stands at 5-10 with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP in 116 innings logged. He faced the Dodgers in late April and was solid, holding them to only two runs in five innings and was charged with the loss. Rhys Hoskins continues to put on a show for the Phillies, bashing six home runs along with 12 RBI’s over his last eight games. The 24-year old rookie is off to an unbelievable start to his career, posting a .298 average with 18 home runs and 39 RBI’s in 35 games. The Phillies now have two young talented players that have made a seamless transition in Hoskins and Aaron Altherr.
The Phillies are averaging 4.24 runs per game, ranking them 27th in the Majors, and are hitting .252 as a team. The Philadelphia pitching owns a poor 4.67 team ERA, placing them 22nd in the Major Leagues.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are:
- 5-0 in Kershaw’s last 5 starts against the Phillies
- 45-9 in Kershaw’s last 54 starts.
- 5-1 in their last 6 games against the Phillies.
The Philadelphia Phillies are:
- 12-25 in their last 37 games in the first game of a series.
- 8-22 in their last 30 games against the NL West.
- 16-41 in their last 57 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600.
I am taking the Dodgers on the run line in this contest. The Dodgers should put some crooked numbers on the board against the struggling Nick Pivetta. He owns an abysmal 9.87 ERA over his last eight starts, and he has allowed 18 hits in his last two starts. Furthermore, Kershaw features a stifling 1.45 ERA in his 11 road starts this season, so I expect the Dodgers to take this one by a couple of runs.
Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5
Pivetta is struggling in a big way on the mound and the Dodgers are starting to come out of their slump. Pivetta has surrendered 13 runs over his last two starts and now owns a 6.75 ERA, so I expect the Dodgers to have a big night at the plate. I do expect Kershaw to have a strong night on the mound, however he has allowed five runs (four earned) in his last 9.2 innings pitched, and overall the Phillies have been productive at the plate, so they could push across a few runs, plus the over is 6-2 in Kershaw’s last 8 starts against a team with a losing record. The over is 7-1-2 in the last 10 meetings between these two teams, and I expect the Dodgers bats to play a big role in the over cashing in.