The Yankees are coming into this matchup as slight underdogs with a recent winning streak of four out of five games, and they’ll be expecting righty Luis Severino to make the start.
On the other hand, the Dodgers have won three out of their last five games and will have lefty Clayton Kershaw as their probable starting pitcher.
Yankees starting to heat up
The Yankees had a rash of injuries that slowed them down early in the season but the Bronx Bombers are six games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the division standings. If the playoffs were to begin today, New York would join the Baltimore Orioles as the American League Wild Cards.
Anthony Rizzo leads the Yankees with a .304 batting average and a team-high 62 hits. MVP candidate Aaron Judge tops the Yanks with 18 home runs and 39 RBI. New York has also activated Josh Donaldson and Giancarlo Stanton from the IL for this series.
Severino (0-0, 1.59) has just returned to the Yankees lineup after spending most of the season on the IL. Severino has surrendered two earned runs over his 11.1 innings pitched but he’s walking over three and serving up one bomb per nine. Severino has a 0.79 WHIP but his 4.69 xFIP suggests some possible regression.
Dodgers first in National League West
Los Angeles is 0.5 games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks for the NL West lead and the Dodgers are 5-5 over their past 10 games. The Snakes have been a surprise this season and are playing great ball-if Los Angeles isn’t careful, they could be looking up at the D-Backs in the standings by weekend’s end.
Freddie Freeman leads the team with a .343 batting average along with a team-leading 79 hits. Max Muncy leads Los Angeles with 17 bombs and 40 RBI while Mookie Betts leads the team in walks and is second in WAR.
Kershaw (6-4, 3.32) has been steady but he clearly isn’t the same pitcher that’s dominated the National League for well over a decade. Kershaw still strikes out over 10 batters per nine but he’s issued 2.3 walks and allows 1.16 dingers per nine. The ERA is solid but his xFIP is lower than his ERA and that signals possible positive regression for the flame-throwing southpaw.
New York Yankees vs Los Angeles Dodgers Best Bet: Dodgers -130 (DraftKings)
Kershaw has been electric at Dodger Stadium and my best bet is Dodgers -130 (DraftKings).
The Dodgers need a win and who better to accomplish this than Kershaw? Kershaw has always been good at home and this season he’s 3-1 with a 1.13 ERA and a dozen strikeouts per nine frames.
The Dodgers southpaw is coming off a tough away outing against Tampa Bay and I expect Kershaw to spit seeds and bounce back from a bad pitch that cost him a decision. He’s up against a Yankees offense that hasn’t hit lefties particularly well with a below-average strikeout and walk rates that Kershaw will benefit from.
Severino has been good thus far but he missed the entirety of spring training and the sample size thus far is a handful of innings. The Dodgers have the second-best offense in baseball against right-handed pitching and Los Angeles should get the best of Severino. Lay the juice and take the Dodgers to win. Dodgers -130 (DraftKings).