San Francisco Giants (0-0) at Los Angeles Dodgers (0-0)
|Date & Time||Thursday March 29, 2018, 7:08 PM (EDT)|
|Location||Unknown Location Unknown Address|
The Line: Los Angeles Dodgers -290 / San Francisco Giants +255 --- Over/Under: 7
We kick off the 2018 MLB regular season with the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers starting a four game set at Dodger Stadium on Thursday evening.
The San Francisco Giants come into the 2018 campaign looking to rebound after finishing 2017 with a disastrous 64-98 record, the team’s most losses in a season since the 1985 season. It was just one low after another for San Fran, and it all started when ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner injured himself in a dirt bike accident, spraining his shoulder in his pitching arm just three weeks into the season. And in August, the Giants became the first team in the league to be eliminated from a division race and ended up finishing in a tie for the worst record in the majors. San Francisco made a couple of the biggest trades of the offseason, shipping out key pieces from last year’s team like Christian Arroyo and Denard Span to Tampa Bay for all-star third baseman Evan Longoria while also dealing for Pirates’ all-star outfielder Andrew McCutchen, but just when you though the Giants were past everything, the aforementioned Bumgarner takes a line drive off of his wrist and will miss not only opening day, but 6-8 weeks with a fracture in the same wrist in addition to Jeff Samardzija missing time due to a strained pectoral muscle. Ty Blach will start on opening day for San Francisco and was 8-12 with a 4.78 ERA and 73 strikeouts last season. In his career, Blach is 2-2 with a 2.23 ERA and 16 strikeouts against the Dodgers.
The Los Angeles Dodgers come into the 2018 season looking to finally end their World Series drought after finishing 104-58 last season, winning the NL West division and the NL Pennant before falling one game shy to the eventual champion Houston Astros in game seven. The Dodgers lost a few pieces from last year’s team in the offseason, letting Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, Tony Watson, Curtis Grandson and Franklin Gutierrez all hit free agency. The Dodgers also acquired Matt Kemp in a deal with the Braves in exchange for long time first baseman Adrian Gonzalez along with Charlie Cuthbertson, Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy. The Dodgers were dealt a major blow in spring training, as third baseman Justin Turner broke his wrist and will be out for several weeks. However, Los Angeles still has some solid pieces in place, like Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, Job Pederson and reigning Rookie of the Year and all-star Cody Bellinger. The Dodgers’ pitching staff remains in place, with the usual suspects like Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood who combined to go 34-7 last season, in addition to lefty Rich Hill along with Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu to round out the rotation. Kershaw will get the nod for the Dodgers on opening day and was 18-4 with a 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts over 27 starts last season. In his career, Kershaw is 22-9 with a 1.60 ERA and 307 strikeouts against the Giants.
San Francisco is 1-5 in their last 6 games against a left-handed starter and 17-39 in their last 56 road games while the under is 11-4 in their last 15 games overall. Los Angeles is 44-8 in Kershaw’s last 52 division starts and 12-2 in their last 14 division matchups while the under is 3-1-1 in their last 5 games overall. Los Angeles is 10-2 in Kershaw’s last 12 starts against San Francisco.
The Giants were looking impressive from top to bottom, with a couple of shiny new toys like Longoria and McCutchen ready to make an impact in addition to getting their ace in Bumgarner back. However, the more things change, the more they stay the same for the Giants as MadBum ended up back on the shelf. That can do nothing but hurt the Giants here, as the Dodgers come in healthy, with their ace on the mound who has owned San Francisco over the last couple of years and L.A. as a whole have been pretty much money at home dating back to last season. I don’t see any other option than to back the Dodgers for an opening day win in this one and to negate the heavy juice, I’ll back the Dodgers on the run line.