The hottest team in the NL West are the Rockies, but there’s nothing like a weekend set against the hated Giants to help the Dodgers get some breathing room.
Los Angeles is 7-5 against the Giants this year, including take two of the three most recent meetings. Plus, the Dodgers send their secret weapon to the mound: Vincente Padilla. The aging hurler has been a pleasant surprise for the blue and white, as the team has won each of his past three starts.
But then again the Dodgers' bats also have plenty of pop. Los Angeles is hitting .272 as a team, the third-best mark in the majors. The team also averages 4.7 runs per game with an OPS of .757.
The Giants have a solid pitching staff, but the Dodgers have the better team.
Pick: Dodgers +103
Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals (-104, 8.5)
It’s easy to peg the Cardinals as an offensive juggarnaut with sluggers Albert Pujols and Matt Holiday swinging hot sticks. But the dirty truth is that the team loves to fall under the total.
The Cardinals over/under record at home is a surprising 25-42-2 and 57-77-7 overall. Each of the Red Bird’s past three games have also fallen under the total, including six of the past 10.
Atlanta, meantime, is a virtual wash on the road, posting an over/under record of 35-36-1. However, the Braves have been locked in numerous low-scoring tilts the past two weeks. Overall, four of the team’s past five have gone under.
The Cardinals are trying to improve their playoff posititiong and the Braves are trying to stay in the NL Wild Card chase. This has both teams playing postseason ball early, and expect lots of tight, low-scoring games with plenty of station-to-station baseball.
Pick: Under 8.5