It looked like nothing could slow down the Los Angeles Dodgers, who jumped out to the best record in baseball and shot up the MLB futures board with a furious start to the 2012 schedule.
That was, however, until All-Star outfielder Matt Kemp hit the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
Kemp, who originally suffered the injury on May 5 and aggravated it this weekend, is hitting .359 with 12 home runs and 28 RBIs and has helped the Dodgers build a 24-11 record, earning L.A. bettors 11.21 units.
Peter Korner, a Las Vegas lines consultant, says Kemp’s worth to the Dodgers’ moneyline really depends on the situation. When it was suddenly announced that he would be sitting out Monday’s game versus the Arizona Diamondbacks, the line moved from as high as -174 to -145.
“He’s close to the top (in terms of value to the moneyline),” Korner told Covers.com
. “He’s one of those players that, when they’re unexpectedly out, can make a line run 20 or 25 cents.”
Korner says that that value differs now that Kemp is out for the next two weeks and books and bettors are prepared in advance for his absence.
“It’s tough to factor in his impact when you have nine guys on the field. It’s not like a quarterback being out in football or a point guard in basketball,” says Korner. “He’s only getting up four times a game. How much can he do? One or two hits, maybe. It doesn’t have the same impact when you know he’s out in advance.”
Los Angeles opened as a -130 favorite for Tuesday’s tilt with the Diamondbacks, but has been bet down to -108. The Dodgers bring a five-game winning streak into that contest. According to Korner, all the overnight money was fading L.A. Tuesday.
Kemp’s injury hasn’t forced oddsmakers to move the Dodgers' futures odds yet. Los Angeles is a -350 favorite to win the National League West, priced at +450 to win the NL Pennant and set at +1,000 to win the World Series.
“The team has been playing great baseball without Kemp making much of a contribution,” says Michael Perry, an oddsmaker for Sportsbook.ag. “He went hitless in his previous four games before he went on DL and L.A. still won all four games.”
The Dodgers close the two-game set with the D-backs Tuesday before visiting the San Diego Padres for a pair, starting Wednesday.