Saturday features an NL West battle of first versus worst as the Los Angeles Dodgers (67-32) take on the Colorado Rockies (45-56). These divisional rivals will play at Coors Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:10 pm ET.
The Dodgers have won the first two games of this series, including a 5-4 win on Friday. In the win, Julio Urias went seven innings, allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out four.
Offensively, Will Smith went two for three with a two-run home run in the first inning. Trayce Thompson also hit his fourth home run of the season while adding two runs batted in.
For the Rockies, Chad Kuhl took the loss after allowing five runs on six hits in just 3.2 innings. The bullpen went 5.1 scoreless innings, but the damage had already been done.
The Rockies had seven hits with two apiece from Kris Bryant, Jose Iglesias, and Randal Grichuk. For Grichuk, he added three runs batted in.
The Dodgers are the heavy favorites in this one despite playing on the road. They are -240 to win while the Rockies’ moneyline sits at +198. The runline features Colorado +1.5 (+134), and the over/under for total runs is 11.5.
Dodgers Running Away In NL West
At 67-32, the Dodgers have the best record in baseball and sit firmly in the driver’s seat of the NL West, 12 games ahead of the Padres. Despite the large divisional lead, the Dodgers could be active over the next few days before the trade deadline as they look to compete for a World Series this season.
Trying to pick up another win Saturday will be lefty Clayton Kershaw. This season, Kershaw is 7-2 in 13 games with a 2.49 ERA and 0.95 WHIP, and he has 81 strikeouts in 76 innings.
Kershaw took a no-decision in his last start, allowing four runs on five hits in 4.1 innings to the San Francisco Giants.
A lot of Dodgers’ hitters have had success against the Rockies’ Kyle Freeland in their careers. Cody Bellinger is hitting .333 in 18 at bats, while Justin Turner is hitting .333 in 48 at bats. Trea Turner, Trayce Thompson, Will Smith, Max Muncy, Mookie Betts, Austin Barnes, and Hanser Alberto have all homered off of Freeland.
Colorado Trying To Stay Above .500 At Home
Despite losing the first two games of this series, the Rockies have actually played well at Coors Field this season. While they are 16-30 on the road this year, they are 29-26 at home. On Saturday, they will try to pick up their first win of the series and improve on their 3-7 record over the last ten games.
Kyle Freeland takes the mound for Colorado in the third game of this series. In 19 games this season, he is 5-7 with a 4.64 ERA and 1.36 WHIP, and he has 76 strikeouts in 108.2 innings.
Freeland was sharp in his last start. Pitching against the Milwaukee Brewers, he went seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and striking out seven.
C.J. Cron has been the Rockies’ best hitter this season. In 378 at bats, he is hitting .280/.335/.521 with a team-leading 22 home runs, 71 runs batted in, and 58 runs scored.
Keep an eye on Charlie Blackmon in this one. In 69 at bats versus Kershaw in his career, he is hitting .304 with four home runs and eight runs batted in. Kris Bryant has also had success with two home runs in 16 at bats.
Take L.A. To Win And Cover
The biggest concern in this one for the Rockies is Kyle Freeland on the mound. He has been respectable on the road (2-4, 3.57 ERA), but he has struggled at home (3-3, 5.66 ERA). With an ERA two full points higher, he has allowed 21 more hits and 14 more earned runs in just two more innings at home (55.2) than on the road (53).
Against a Dodgers team that ranks second in runs per game (5.21), that could be really bad news for the Rockies.
Especially with Kershaw on the mound, expect that the Dodgers will not only win this one outright but that they will cover the -1.5 runline (-162) as well.