Freeway Series Shifts to Anaheim: Dodgers Take on Angels Once Again – Betting Preview

Los Angeles Dodgers (37-46) AT Los Angeles Angels (42-41)
July 2, 2011 at 9:05 PM EST
Opening Line:  LAA -140, LAD +120
Current Line:  LAA -129, LAD +109
Opening Total: 6
Current Total: 6

SP:  LAD- Clayton Kershaw; LAA- Jered Weaver

Kershaw is solidifying himself as one of the elite pitchers in the MLB

Certainly there are games which we can anticipate are going to be pitcher’s duels long before the first pitch is thrown, and both sportsbooks and handicappers anticipate a low scoring affair tonight in the “Freeway Series,” as two excellent pitchers take the mound in a game with an opening total of 6.  It’s appropriate, given the fact that the combined ERA of the two pitchers, the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw, and the Angels’ Jered Weaver, is slightly under 5.  Factor in the possiblity of an unearned run and you find yourself at the reasonable total of 6.

That said, it makes betting the total in this matchup a risky proposition to say the least.  Let’s instead analyze the pitching matchups and hot batters and attempt to gain an idea of who might be the better moneyline bet.

In his last outing, Clayton Kershaw threw a 6 hitter, as the Dodgers won 3-2 over the Angels while at home.  Now shifting venues, Kershaw hopes he can have similar success.  On the season he has an outstanding 8-3 record with a 2.93 ERA.  In that last outing, he was facing Weaver once again, who was anticipating picking up a win until the Dodgers battered the pen and scored twice in the 9th inning…Kershaw actually walked 0 batters, yet he was still somewhat displeased, perhaps mostly due to the outcome of the game.  Often when a pitcher pitches well and the team loses anyway, they discount their performance, as unreasonable as that is.

“I got a lot of lead-off guys on base, which makes it easy to score runs,” Kershaw said. “I’ve got to work on that.”

Since April 26th, Kershaw has gone 6-0 and has a 2.64 ERA over his last 11 starts.   The Angels, despite Kershaw’s criticism, were very impressed by the 23 year old Kershaw, who finished last season with a 13-10 record and a 2.91 ERA….not to mention a 1.21 WHIP.  Given a team with more offensive firepower, and he could have won close to 20 games.

Kershaw has thrown complete games in both of his last two outings, and he “take(s) pride in (that), [going] deep in a game.”

Jered Weaver should have picked up the win, but closer Jordan Walden blew it for him by giving up 2 runs in 2 innings, after Weaver gave up only one run over 7 innings.

Weaver somewhat enigmatically remarked, “if you can’t get up for a game like this, then you  don’t belong here.”  It’s hard to see why he applies that criticism to himself after such a strong outing, or perhaps he is making a reference to Walden’s blown save.  The ambiguity in his comment leaves one to wonder.

Tony Gwynn Jr. has a long way to go to eclipse his father, but he’s doing his darnedest to try.  In Friday’s 5-0 triumph he went 3 for 3, and was also walked 3 times.  Aaron Miles was also perfect from the plate, 4 of 4.  If the Dodgers can continually get solid offensive outings, expect a lot of victories, especially because of the fact that Kershaw makes it easy for the Dodgers to win by giving up so few earned runs.

Some betting trends:

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the Dodgers’ last 6 games and it has gone OVER In 6 of the Dodgers’ last 8 games on the road.  The Dodgers are 4-2 SU in their last 6 on ther road and the total has gone UNDER in 4 the the Dodgers last 6 against the Los Angeles Angels.  The Dodgers are 3-7 SU in their last 10 against the Angels and the Dodgers are 6-13 in their last 19 on the road against the Angels.  The Dodgers are 4-2 SU in their last 6 on the road against the Angels.

The Los Angeles Angels are 6-2 SU in their last 8 games and the total has gone UNDER In 4 of the Angels’ last 6 games, while they are 4-8 in their last 12 games at home.  The Angels are 4-2 SU in their last 6 home games, while they are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games against the Dodgers.  The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the Angels’ last 6 games against the Dodgers, while the Angels are 2-4 SU in their last 6 home games against the Dodgers.  The Angels are 13-6 SU in their last 19 games at home against the Dodgers.

As mentioned in the onset, betting the total on this one is tricky, and something I would probably avoid.  Even predicting the winner in this one is pretty tricky since both pitchers are exceptional and it will probably come down to who makes a silly error or mislays a pitch into someone’s sweet spot only to get hammered for a home run.

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