Saturday MLB on Fox Preview – Dodgers at Giants

The Dodgers are getting desperate in starting today’s pitcher on less than four days rest.

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants

Los Angeles has fallen 4.5 games back in the NL Wild Card race after last night’s 6-5 road defeat against the Giants at AT&T Park.  “I don’t know if we were playing a little soft earlier, but tonight I liked the way we fought back,” said catcher Russell Martin.  The club is 5-10 since the All-Star break and has managed to score just 35 runs in that span.  Don’t expect things to improve offensively this afternoon, as the Dodgers are averaging just 3.3 runs and hitting for a combined average during the day, leading to a 13-14 daytime record (-290).  Outfielder Matt Kemp is the only Dodger with a batting average over .290 in the second half of the season.  The Dodgers are not only 4.5 games behind the second-place Giants in the division, they are now seven games out of first place.  The starting rotation has done its best to give the club an opportunity to win, posting a 1.54 ERA over the last 13 games, which is the lowest mark in Major League Baseball.  Los Angeles is 14-18 against southpaw starters (-930) this season and the total is 17-15 O/U in those contests.

Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley is making his 20th start of the season and has posted a 9-5 mark and 4.00 ERA.  He won his second straight start last time out and has run his scoreless innings streak to 15 innings after shutting down the Padres for six frames.  The right-hander will be making his start on just three days rest, going 0-2 with a 22.50 ERA in two starts on less than four days rest in his career.  In 17 games (12 starts) against the Giants, he is 5-2 with a 3.22 ERA.  He will be making his third start of the season versus San Francisco, which includes picking up a shut out of the Giants at Dodger Stadium on July 21.  The fifth-year starter is 2-1 with a 1.09 ERA in four daytime starts in 2010.

San Francisco has posted an incredible 19-8 mark in July this year (+1,160) and the total is 14-11 O/U in those games.  With a win in today’s game, the Giants would have their first 20-win month since September 2000.  The club has won 18 of its last 23 games and 19 of 25.  Friday night’s win helped the team trim its National League West deficit to 2.5 games behind first-place San Diego.  “We haven’t played very well in our division or against the Dodgers this year,” manager Bruce Bochy said.  The club is 16-21 against divisional foes this season (-800) and 90-91 the last three campaigns (+540).  38 of San Francisco’s last 58 games on the 2010 schedule are against NL West opponents.  The Giants are an even 6-6 this year at home with a money line of -100 to -125 and 30-26 in this spot the last three years (EVEN).

Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito has posted a 8-6 record and 3.49 ERA in his first 21 starts of the season, with the team compiling a 12-9 mark in those games.  The left-hander is 1-2 with a 2.08 ERA in his first three outings since the All-Star break.  He has received one run of support in the second half of the season, including zero runs in his last two starts.  He is 6-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 11 home starts this season, surrendering just 58 hits in 74.2 innings of work.  He is scheduled to make his 17th career start against Los Angeles, going 6-6 with a 4.01 ERA.  Zito has faced the Dodgers three times already this season, going 0-1 with a 2.18 ERA and nothing three quality starts.

Bettors must acknowledge the Dodgers being 3-6 on the road when the total is 7 or less this season (-310) and the Giants being 13-7 at home in the same situation (+380).  Don’t get carried away in playing San Francisco, with the club being 2-5 in Zito’s last seven starts with the total set at 7.0-8.5.

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