MLB Baseball Betting: Los Angeles Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates

MLB Baseball Betting:  Los Angeles Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates

The Los Angeles Dodgers will play the final game of a four game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday afternoon and they won’t be blamed if they’re anxious to get out of town. Los Angeles dropped the first two games of the series to the previously moribund Pirates and at the time of this writing were trailing Pittsburgh 4-2 in the fourth as a -270 favorite with ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound. The Dodgers are in second place in the NL West but they’re only 4.5 games up on their place Colorado and 6 games up on Arizona (Diamonbacks have won 7 of 10). They’re currently 7.5 games back of the first place Giants (pending Sunday’s result) but with San Francisco continuing to win games in bunches they need to get back on the winning track ASAP.

The Pirates were dead in the water until the Dodgers came to town and even with wins in the first two games of the series are just 3-7 in their last ten games and a woeful 7-17 -11.4 units for the month of June. Even with the Cubs not playing particularly well at the moment (lost 2 straight and 6 of 10) they still have a 9 game lead over their closest challenger, the second place St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates are currently in third 12.5 games back but just 2 games up on the fourth place Milwaukee Brewers. The Cincinnati Reds are playing awful baseball and are in last place 20 games out.

The Dodgers will start lefthander Scott Kazmir and he’s shown some improvement lately but has generally struggled all year. The Dodgers have salvaged a 7-8 record in his starts but the veteran southpaw has a 4.52 ERA overall and a 5.16 road ERA. He’ll be pposed by another lefthander, Francisco Liriano who has struggled of late. Pittsburgh is 6-8 in his starts this season and 3-4 at home. They’ve lost his lasty three starts with Liriano posting a 4.86 ERA.

Sunday’s outcome is instructive–Pittsburgh hits lefthanded pitching well (5.0 runs per game) and have a 9-7 +1.8 unit record against southpaws. That profit will go way up should they hold on to beat the Dodgers/Kershaw tonight. The Dodgers average a full run per game less against lefthanders than they do overall. They made struggling Jeff Locke look like a Cy Young candidate on Saturday and there’s no reason that Kazmir can’t have a good outing here. LA is 7-9 -4.6 units against LHP this season.