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Kershaw Aims to Quiet Rockies’ Bats

Updated: .April 19, 2017

By Charles Jay

The Los Angeles Dodgers have lost three games in a row, but they have about as good a guy as they could possibly have on the mound in order to break a losing streak. However, when Clayton Kershaw faced the Colorado Rockies previously, he was touched up a bit. So it might be with a bit of caution that MLB bettors approach Wednesday night’s game, which is scheduled to begin at 10:10 PM ET at Dodger Stadium. Remember that America’s Bookie customers will have the opportunity to place wagers after this game starts, as they access two different “Live Betting” options in their sports book interface.

The Dodgers have lost three games in a row, and they continue with the problems they have been having in the early going, as they could explode one night and go barren the next. They have scored six runs over the last three games, and it would have been even worse had they not been able to get through to Greg Holland, Colorado’s closer, who had been spotless before Tuesday, but gave up three hits and two runs in the ninth inning, holding on to preserve a 4-3 victory for the Rockies. Nolan Arenado hit two homers, and Trevor Story added another, as Colorado won its third game in a row. The Rockies are tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks at 10-5, topping the National League West. The Dodgers are three games back at 7-8.

It is not often that a team can beat Clayton Kershaw twice in two weeks, but the Rockies will give it a shot tonight. Kershaw has started three games, and his numbers are good (2-1, 2.53 ERA), but he lost on April 8 at Coors Field, giving up four runs in six innings, and allowing back-to-back homers for the first time in his career. In this all-lefty matchup, Tyler Anderson takes the mound for the Rockies. The day after Kershaw lost to Colorado, the Dodgers beat up Anderson a little, chasing him after five innings, as Corey Seeger hit a two-run homer. Anderson is 1-2 with a 8.59 earned run average, and he has given up four homers in his first 14 2/3 innings.

In the MLB betting odds posted on this game, the Dodgers, with Kershaw, are sizable favorites:

Los Angeles Dodgers (Kershaw) -260
Colorado Rockies (Anderson) +220

Dodgers -1.5 runs (-115)
Rockies +1.5 runs (-105)

Under 6.5 runs -125
Over 6.5 runs +105

Anderson is not throwing the way he did last season, when he put together a decent rookie year. Let’s put it this way – he only allowed a dozen homers and pitched 114 innings. So Colorado manager Bud Black, a former major league pitcher himself, got together with his brain trust and decided that Anderson need to make some mechanical adjustments. There has not been a lot of lead time to do this, so in a sense, if he really is following through on that, we don’t really know what were getting.

We should note that while Colorado is only hitting .226 as a team, they have been much better against lefties (.257) than righties (.209) and have not lost to a left-handed starter this season (5-0). But do any of these rules apply when you’re facing a guy like Kershaw? Well, the aforementioned Arenado has hit .333 lifetime against Kershaw with two homers, and Gallardo Parra, who was on the back end of those back-to-back homers eleven days ago, has a .364 career average against him.

But there are certain numbers that are really hard to get away from when we are talking about the three-time Cy Young winner and four-time ERA champ. For one thing, even though he has allowed four home runs thus far, Kershaw has struck out 22 batters and issued only one walk. That would put him on pace to better the 15.64 strikeout-walk ratio he posted last season, which was the best ever in the major leagues. Also, you have to respect the fact that teams just don’t connect against him at Dodger Stadium; in his last 10 starts there, he has gone 9-0 with a 0.47 ERA, with the opposition batting just .129 and a crazy 86-5 ratio of whiffs to walks. Under the circumstances, we don’t think it’s out of order for us to use the run line here, and will do that, laying the -115 price with Los Angeles, as the Charles Jay/America’s Bookie Challenge continues on Wednesday night.

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