Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 7:00 PM
The Los Angeles Dodgers open a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants Friday Night in a matchup that will be one of many garnering significant media attention this week. The pennant races are really heating up!
We’ll preview that matchup for you momentarily. Be aware that JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK will be scouring that stats and angles for every game in that series, as well as Detroit vs. the LA Angels, Baltimore at Seattle, Toronto at the NY Yankees, and any others that influence the divisional and Wildcard races. What a weekend of baseball!
Our showcase series is Dodgers/Giants because of the longtime rivalry, and because two of the three games will be nationally televised. Now…to the numbers…
LA Dodgers: 4.13 runs per game, .329 on-base, .395 slugging
San Francisco: 4.00 runs per game, .307 on-base, .387 slugging
Both teams play home games in pitcher’s parks…so we’re talking about fairly elite offenses by National League neutral field standards. The Dodgers are better across the board, and should be seen as the superior of the two offenses.
Zack Greinke: 2.90 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 9.4 K-Rate
Tim Lincecum: 3.65 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 8.1 K-Rate
The Dodgers are only 3-6 in Greinke’s last nine starts. He’s still effective, but no longer automatic to dominate. Run support has been spotty during that span. Greinke is in the class of pitcher who’s excellent, but not necessarily a “value” pitcher because he gets so much market respect. Lincecum has been on fire his last five starts, including no-hitter against the Padres. But, since his most recent start on July 20, he was called upon for an emergency extra inning save on July 22. Could that throw off his rhythm? Tricky spot for handicappers in the opener, particularly with the Dodgers having Thursday off to travel while SF played a day game in the Eastern time zone.
SATURDAY’S PITCHERS (late night on MLB Network)
Clayton Kershaw: 1.92 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 11.7 K-Rate
Ryan Vogelsong: 3.99 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 7.7 K-Rate
With Kershaw, the Dodgers have won all of his last nine starts because he’s been throwing at his typical Hall of Fame caliber form. He did allow three runs to the Cardinals the last time out, but LAD still won anyway. Vogelsong has been wobbly over last eight starts after pitching over his head for several weeks to start the season. Huge edge to Kershaw in terms of pure win potential. Has the market already priced all that in?
SUNDAY’S PITCHERS (prime time on ESPN)
Hyun-Jin Ryu: 3.39 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 7.9 K-Rate
Yusmeiro Petit: 4.24 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 9.4 K-Rate
Ryu has settled into fairly consistent form, with only the occasional bad outing or the occasional fantastic outing. You’re likely to get at least six good innings from him generally. He may be helped early by twilight visibility conditions here. Petit is picking up the spot in the rotation left open by Matt Cain’s visit to the Disabled List. This is only Petit’s sixth start this season. That stat line isn’t very good for a reliever in a year of the pitcher who gets to throw so many innings in poor hitting conditions. Big edge to Ryu because Petit as a “starter only” is allowing a slugging percentage of .488!
It’s not certain at press time that NETWORK will have a release this weekend in this series. It’s currently very likely we’ll have at least one side or total. You can always purchase each day’s BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about baseball or football service, call us in the office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155. Combination packages offer the most bang for your buck…and this weekend is a great time to take care of business!
Speaking of the weekend...we return to our summer series of college football conference previews with a look at the Big 10 with Oklahoma, Baylor, and Texas on Saturday, followed by the new look American Athletic Conference on Sunday (Louisville is gone!). Baseball returns Monday and Tuesday with marquee series previews.
Saturday: College Football…Big 12 Preview
Sunday: College Football…American Athletic Conference Preview
Monday: MLB Series Preview…either Pittsburgh at SF, or Boston at Toronto
Tuesday: MLB Series Preview…either LA Angels at Baltimore or Atlanta at LAD
Wednesday: College Football…SEC “East” Preview
Thursday: College Football…SEC “West” Preview
We talked about how fast the summer is flying by. That will wrap up our college previews! NFL divisional previews will begin very soon, with the start of the Preseason campaign.
Keep visiting the NOTEBOOK every day for helpful handicapping information. And, link up with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK for BIG, JUICY WINNERS!