MLB weekend preview: Phillies at Dodgers
The Philadelphia Phillies (33-23), leaders in the NL East, visit NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers (38-19) for a three-game series this weekend. Below is a primer that will give handicappers a good idea of what to expect.
Friday, 10:10 p.m. ETJake Arrieta (5-4, 3.60 ERA) (PHI) +145 / +1.5 runs (-140) / Over 9 runs (EVEN) Kenta Maeda (6-2, 3.67 ERA) (LAD) -160 / -1.5 runs (+120) / Under 9 runs (-120)
MLB Free Play: Phillies moneylineThe Phillies should start their weekend series with the Dodgers on the right foot.
Jake Arrieta is 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his last four starts against the Dodgers, and his batting average against is .198 in those 26 innings of work. Arrieta exits one of his best efforts of the season, as he allowed just two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out eight Brewers on May 25.
Kenta Maeda has pitched to a 4.55 ERA in his six starts against the Phillies dating back to 2016, and Philadelphia's lineup has improved drastically in the interim. New acquisitions—like shortstop Jean Segura, outfielder Andrew McCutchen and catcher J.T. Realmuto—are a combined 13-for-37 (.351) against Maeda.
Saturday, 10:10 p.m. ETNL MVP frontrunner Cody Bellinger should outshine fellow right fielder Bryce Harper in Saturday evening's contest.
Zach Eflin (5-5, 3.02 ERA) takes the hill for Philadelphia, and he was rocked on a pair of occasions by the Dodgers last season, allowing eight earned runs in just 6 2/3 innings. Bellinger homered in one of those games, as did shortstop Corey Seager and left fielder Chris Taylor, while second baseman Max Muncy went deep twice against Eflin. The Phillies' 19th-rated bullpen by opponent batting average (.252) will have a hard time keeping their team afloat.
Clayton Kershaw (5-0, 3.46 ERA) counters for Los Angeles, suggesting there will be little value on the Dodgers' moneyline in this one. The lefty has had plenty of success against these Phillies batters, namely Harper (2-for-21, 13 strikeouts), but he owns a mediocre 4.22 ERA in May. Pounce on the Over if it's set at eight runs or fewer.
Sunday, 4:10 p.m. ETIt could be a busy Sunday for the bullpens at Dodger Stadium, which would give the Dodgers the advantage in the series finale.
Philly's Nick Pivetta (3-1, 7.71 ERA) has failed to pitch past the fifth inning in five starts this season and sports a ghastly 1.886 WHIP. Bellinger, Taylor and third baseman Justin Turner have eight hits between them in just 17 prior at-bats against Pivetta.
The Dodgers' Rich Hill (1-1, 2.73 ERA) has gone no further than six innings in six starts this season, but his 1.091 WHIP should give first five innings bettors confidence. His relief corps, led by closer Kenley Jansen, owns the fourth-best opponent batting average in baseball when pitching at home (.222).