This article is part of our MLB Picks series.
MLB Bets Bets for Giants vs. Dodgers, Sept. 21
The playoff races in each league are sizzling hot at the moment. In the AL, we have three teams fighting for two spots, but in the NL there are legitimately six teams looking to nab the last two positions. It's coming down to the wire, so every game counts that much more.
San Francisco Giants (+152) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-180) | Over/Under 8.5
The NL West has been an interesting division all season. The Dodgers, to no surprise, overcame an early season slump to take a stranglehold on the division a little after the All-Star break. But what about the other teams? Arizona rebounded from its mid-season slumber to position itself wonderfully for October, while the Padres have been arguably the most disappointing team in baseball this year. Then we have the Giants, a team on the border all season long. Facing a lot of fierce competition, it doesn't get any easier for San Francisco, as it will see Los Angeles seven times to end the regular season, with San Diego comprising the other three. Can they surprise us?
The Giants have actually battled the Dodgers well this season, winning four of six thus far. With almost no room for error, they hand the ball to stud rookie, Kyle Harrison. Harrison has the talent, but has struggled in his last few outings allowing 12 earned runs in just 14.2 innings. Because this will be only his sixth major-league start, the sample size is a tad small to fully judge. We know Los Angeles isn't as successful against lefties (.247 avg.) as against righties (.260). If Harrison is going to give his team a chance against this lethal offense, he needs to keep the ball in the yard because he's already surrendered seven long balls to begin his career.
Another rookie takes the hill tonight. The Dodgers' Emmet Sheehan has a lot of potential as a guy LAD can count on for years to come. His rookie campaign has been a little Jekyll and Hyde, though. He's yielded at least four earned runs in four of his last eight outings. It's not a surprise to see a rookie struggling at times. The good news is that he's been light years better at home (3.14 ERA) than away (8.57 ERA). Sheehan dotted in his first career start back in June for six shutout innings, which was against San Francisco.
This is a tough call, but considering how well the Giants have played the Dodgers, I think they should keep this one close. The Giants are fighting for their playoff lives, and despite recent struggles, if they can't at least compete tonight, then put the nail in their coffin.
Pick: Giants RL +1.5 -128