MLB Predictions 2012: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Arizona Diamondbacks (64-67) and Los Angeles Dodgers (70-61) will open up a four-game National League West series on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 10:10 ET

Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers 

The Los Angeles Dodgers are 12-18 in their last 30 games against the Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona has lost six games in a row and finished its 10-game homestand with a disappointing 2-8 record, dropping a 6-2 contest to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday afternoon.  “We had a terrible homestand,” commented Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson.  The Diamondbacks have fared well in this division rival since the start of the 2011 campaign, winning 18 of the last 30 meetings.  Arizona is 25-23 versus left-handed starters this year.

Diamondbacks starting pitcher Ian Kennedy (11-11, 4.44 ERA) has suffered losses in three of his last four outings, including a 9-3 home setback to the San Diego Padres, allowing six runs and four hits over 5.1 frames.  The right-hander is 6-8 with a 3.87 ERA in 15 road starts, surrendering 12 home runs in 93 innings.  In six career games versus the Dodgers, Kennedy has tallied a 6-8 record and 3.87 ERA, including a 1-2 mark and 5.24 ERA in four appearances at this ballpark.

Los Angeles snapped a three-game losing streak by coming away with a 10-8 road victory over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday, as the club has gone OVER the total in two consecutive games.  The Dodgers have a new closer going into the weekend, as Ronald Belisario has taken over that role with Kenley Jansen being unavailable due to an irregular heartbeat.  Offensively, the team is hoping All-Star outfielder Matt Kemp returns, as he’s dealing with a bone bruise on his left knee.  Los Angeles is 26-15 at home with a total of 7 or less, with the “under” going 20-18 in that situation.

Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (12-7, 2.84 ERA) has won four of his last five games, including an 8-2 home victory over the Miami Marlins, allowing two runs and three hits over eight frames.  The left-hander is 7-4 with a 2.27 ERA in 15 home appearances, issuing 27 walks and striking out 100 batters in 107 innings.  In 12 lifetime appearances versus the Diamondbacks, Kershaw has compiled a 7-3 record and 2.41 ERA, but suffered a 5-3 road loss in the series on July 6.

Sports bettors will likely back the Dodgers due to their 36-15 mark in Kershaw’s last 51 home starts, while the Diamondbacks are 2-7 in Kennedy’s last nine efforts as a road underdog.

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