Los Angeles Dodgers (96-55; 74-73-4 O/U) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (60-91; 67-71-13 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 1:05pm EST
Line: LA Dodgers -210/Philadelphia +180
The Philadelphia Phillies will host the Los Angeles Dodgers in the four game series finale Thursday afternoon from Citizens Bank Park. The Dodgers will give the nod to 29-year old right-hander Kenta Maeda, and the Phillies will turn to 26-year old right-hander Mark Leiter. The Dodgers lead the season series 3-2.
Maeda Concedes Two Homers in Shaky Outing
Kenta Maeda will get the nod for the 27th time of the year, aiming for his first win of the month. Maeda allowed four runs including two homers and exited after just three innings in his latest start against the Giants and finished with the no-decision. The second-year right-hander has been inconsistent at times and will not be in the Postseason rotation. He possesses a 4.21 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP accompanied with a 12-6 record in 26 innings pitched. He faced the Phillies early in the year and held them to only two runs in seven innings, and has now limited them to seven runs in 18 career innings pitched to go with a 3-0 record. Odubel Herrera is 1 for 9 against Maeda, while Freddy Galvis is 4 for 7 with three RBI’s, and Maikel Franco is 2 for 8. Curtis Granderson is stuck in a slump after a huge month of August, hitting just .130 this month with only two RBI’s. The 13-year veteran left fielder brings a good amount of power to the table, currently hitting .208 with 24 home runs and 62 RBI’s. Granderson is only 10 for 45 with eight RBI’s against the Phillies this season.
The Dodgers are currently scoring an average of 4.72 runs per game, ranking them 13th in the Majors, and own a .249 team batting average. The L.A. pitching is sporting a leading 3.42 team ERA, placing them second in the Major Leagues.
Leiter Notches Nine K’s in Loss to Athletics
Mark Leiter will make his 26th appearance and tenth start of the season, aiming for win number four. Leiter conceded four runs in six innings to the Athletics last time out and was charged with the loss to drop his record to 3-6. The rookie right-hander has not looked good in three straight starts and is now carrying a 4.93 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in 80.1 innings logged. He has tossed one inning of scoreless relief against the Dodgers this season. Leiter has conceded six home runs over his last three starts. Cesar Hernandez owns a solid .308 average this month which is what you want to see from your leadoff hitter. The 27-year old second baseman is having a decent season, posting a .289 average with eight home runs and 31 RBI’s. Hernandez has notched a hit in 5 of 16 at bats against the Dodgers this season.
The Phillies are swinging the bats well and are now averaging 4.24 runs per game, ranking them 26th in the Majors, and are hitting .251 as a team. The Philadelphia pitching owns a 4.65 team ERA, placing them 22nd in the Major Leagues.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are:
- 8-3 in their last 11 games against a team with a winning percentage below .400.
- 29-14 in their last 43 games in the fourth game of a series.
- 11-5 in their last 16 road games against a team with a losing home record.
The Philadelphia Phillies are:
- 18-41 in their last 59 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600.
- 5-11 in their last 16 games in the second game of a series.
- 4-9 in their last 13 games against the Dodgers.
I am taking the Dodgers in this one. The Dodgers have already lost two games in this series so I can’t see them losing again against a struggling pitcher. Leiter has allowed 17 runs (16 earned) in his last 15.1 innings pitched, so I expect the Dodgers to break through offensively. Furthermore, Maeda limited the Phillies to only two runs in seven innings in a 5-3 win in his lone start against them this season. Also, 14 of the Dodgers’ 16 wins with Maeda on the mound this season have come by at least two runs, so I am confident taking them on the run line.
Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5
Leiter has not been sharp and Maedea has not pitched well on the road this season. The Dodgers should break through against Leiter who has conceded six home runs in his last three starts, and the over is 15-7 in the Dodgers last 22 games. Maeda owns a poor 5.79 ERA on the road this season, and the Phillies are averaging a solid 5.2 runs over their last ten games, plus the over is 8-2-2 in the last 12 meetings between these two clubs.