Los Angeles Dodgers (39-25) @ Cleveland Indians (31-29)
Start Time: 00:10 BST (Live on BT ESPN)
A potent Dodgers team head into Cleveland tonight to begin a 3 game Interleague series vs the inconsistent Indians. The Dodgers were one NL series win away from meeting Cleveland in last years World Series, but instead the Cubs progressed to the decider and the rest is history.
Both teams have arguably the strongest bullpens in their respective leagues, and once respective starters can get at least 6/7 strong innings under their belts it tends to be goodnight Irene for opposing lineups. The bolstering of bullpens, via free agency and shrewd trades has been the template of successful ball clubs in recent years. Cleveland’s bullpen in particular was the bedrock of the Indians success last year, as manager Terry Francona was never afraid to use his shutdown relievers in multiple situations throughout games.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will hope that All Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is fit to start, as the Dodgers will need plenty of pop from their bats to get the W tonight.
Having swept the tricky Reds in Cincinnati last weekend, the Dodgers are now 6-4 in their last 10 games. In those 10 games the UNDER has cashed on 6 occasions. On the season the Dodgers have the 3rd most wins in the league but are still trailing a red hot Colorado Rockies in the NL West. Away from Dodgers stadium LA is a respectable 14-15 SU on the season.
Similar to the Dodgers, the Indians are surprisingly playing 2nd fiddle in their division trailing the Minnesota Twins by 1 game. Whilst hardly an insurmountable deficit, the fact that the Indians aren’t at the summit of the AL Central is a major surprise. Inconsistent home form (14-15 SU) has been an obvious impediment to the Tribe this year. Similar to last year the Indians are a strong defensive team, and in recent times the UNDER has cashed on 7 of their last 10 games.
Given their respective Inter League differences any past Dodgers and Indians games are too remote to reference, however Cleveland’s interleague form this year is rather telling. The Indians are 1-7 SU in 8 IL games this year and are 0-5 SU vs NL West opposition shipping heavy losses to the Diamondbacks and Rockies in the process.
Dodgers LH Clayton Kershaw (8-2, 2.20 ERA) vs. Indians RH Trevor Bauer (5-5, 6.10)
Clayton Kershaw as per usual is having himself another Cy Young type season. In his last trip to the mound, the southpaw held a powerful Nationals lineup to 1 run with 3 hits & 3 walks in a crucial 2-1 victory. Furthermore the 29 year old Texan has allowed 2 runs or less in 10 of his 13 starts this year. In 28 Inter League career starts Kershaw is 12-4 with a miserly 2.22 ERA. Indians hitters will need to be patient at the plate tonight if for no other reason to get Kershaw’s pitch count up.
Despite averaging 11 strikeouts in each start this season, Trevor Bauer has struggled at times with control and has issued far too many walks much to the displeasure of manager Terry Francona. In Bauer’s last outing against Colorado the right hander struggled in a big way giving up 4 runs, 5 hits and 5 walks in an 8-1 loss to the Rockies. In Bauer’s defence in his previous 5 starts he has done well posting a 3.86 ERA with a 3-0 record.
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager is an absolute superstar in the mould of many a famous Dodger of yesteryear. Seager is averaging .279 at the plate this year coupled with 58 hits and a .768 OPS. Rookie outfielder Cody Bellinger has been a surprise sensation for the LA club this year leading the team with 15 home runs on the season to date. On the other side of the ball closer Kenley Jansen earned his 200th save on Sunday becoming the sixth currently active pitcher to reach that milestone.
Cleveland fans are keeping their fingers crossed that star shortstop Francisco Lindor has broken out of his June slump. After going 0-11 previous Lindor finally broke out of his hitless spell on Sunday night against the White Sox. Despite averaging a paltry .167 thus far in June, Lindor still leads the Indians with 12 Home Runs on the season coupled with 27 RBI’s.
In a repeat of last seasons heroics Indians reliever Andrew Miller has been lights out this season. The ex Red Sox pitcher has the lowest ERA in the league at 0.29 through 31 ⅓ innings.
Having opened at 1.62 , the Dodgers bounced to 1.66 during the afternoon before settling at 1.64 at the time of publishing. A popular play for Dodger backers when Kershaw is on the mound is to take them on the Run Line (-1.5 runs) which is currently available at 2.1.
After opening at 7.5, the total headed north to 8.0 throughout the day but settled back in at 7.5 at the time of publishing, with the Over on this number slightly favoured. With two quality bullpens, one ace starter and a starter who has to the ability to be solid the UNDER looks a decent play.
NOTABLE BETTING TRENDS
- Dodgers are 4-0 SU in their last 4 overall.
- Dodgers are 44-12 SU in Kershaws last 56 starts.
- Dodgers are 20-8 SU in their last 28 games following a win
- Indians are 6-2 SU in their last 8 home games.
- Indians are 0-5 SU in Bauers last 5 interleague starts.
- Under is 4-1 in Dodgers last 5 road games.
- Under is 20-5-2 in Kershaws last 27 road starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 4-1 in Indians last 5 home games.
- Under is 3-1-1 in Bauers last 5 starts overall.