Game time: 4:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ
Where to watch: SportsNet LA, Bally Sports Arizona
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Dodgers -290, Diamondbacks +230
BetMGM: Dodgers -294, Diamondbacks +230
Caesars: Dodgers -270, Diamondbacks +235
Dodgers: 99-56 (2nd place, NL West)
Diamondbacks: 50-105 (Last place, NL West)
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Dodgers - Diamondbacks preview and analysis
Dodgers: 7-3 in last 10
Diamondbacks: 3-7 in last 10
One thing that I’ve quickly learned about the game of baseball is that some games are not as they should be.
And in the case of the Los Angeles Dodgers, you’d think they should be able to roll over any time they face the Arizona Diamondbacks in any form; whether the Dodgers are pushing 50 games above .500 or if the Diamondbacks have won two games all season like this year.
Considering the underlying fact the Dodgers need to win every game if they want to surpass the San Francisco Giants for first place in the National League West, losing 7-2 against the lowly Diamondbacks on Saturday is not a way for that to happen.
The Dodgers will look to still win the series when they face Arizona at Chase Field in the series finale on Sunday. But if the Dodgers don’t want to be a 100-win wild-card team, they need to get something rolling here.
Because at this moment, whether you’re the Giants or Dodgers, no one wants to face the red-hot St. Louis Cardinals in a one-game playoff that could ultimately destroy everything for one of those teams.
“Yeah, they all hurt,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “When you’re looking at seven games left in a season and trailing by two games … yeah, it hurts. What you have to do is win tomorrow. Things can still change, but we have to win the games we’re supposed to win.”
But if the Dodgers have another game like they did Saturday, it won’t be a great time on Sunday. Not only were the Dodgers held to two runs on five hits, but they also had two errors. The Diamondbacks scored in nearly every inning except for the third and sixth.
Clayton Kershaw had his first rough start since coming off the 60-day IL, throwing 4.1 innings and allowing three runs, but only recording three strikeouts. Meanwhile, Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen improved to a whopping 3-10 on the season after an impressive six-inning gem that included eight strikeouts.
Ketel Marte went 3-for-5 from the leadoff spot and hit his 13th home run of the season in the bottom of the first.
"We have a chance to impact how the postseason kind of lays out," said D-backs outfielder Kole Calhoun on Friday. "And so we want to go out and play some good baseball against these guys and see what we can do to play a little bit of spoiler. These guys are definitely fighting to miss that play-in game, the Wild Card, so it's going to be a fun next week, for sure."
It was only the third loss to the Diamondbacks this season, but with NL Cy Young candidate Julio Urias on the bump, the Dodgers odds of winning always tend to increase. One has to think this will be an angry Dodgers team entering the ballpark on Sunday and they likely want to be better than what they gave their face of the franchise on Saturday. Dodgers win 8-1
The Dodgers are 47-11 when a favorite of -200 or more this season.
The Dodgers are 10-0 in Urias’ starts when they’re favorites of -200 or more and 7-0 as a road favorite when he starts.
The Diamondbacks are 4-21 as an underdog of +200 or more.
Players to watch
Dodgers: Max Muncy has struggled in September, batting .221 but hitting six homers and driving in 13 runs.
Diamondbacks: Top hitter Josh Rojas is hitting .240 in the last 14 games and has driven in only one run. Offenses haven’t been a calling card in recent years for Arizona, and it may be a bit before that happens.
Mookie Betts (R) RF
Corey Seager (L) SS
Trea Turner (R) 2B
Max Muncy (L) 1B
Will Smith (R) C
Justin Turner (R) 3B
Chris Taylor (R) LF
Gavin Lux (L) CF
Julio Urias (L) P
Ketel Marte (S) 2B
Henry Ramos (S) LF
Daulton Varsho (L) RF
Christian Walker (R) 1B
Carson Kelly (R) C
Josh Rojas (L) 3B
Ildemaro Vargas (S) SS
Jake McCarthy (L) CF
Humberto Mejia (R) P
Batting average: Justin Turner (.276)
Hits: Justin Turner (142)
Home runs: Max Muncy (35)
RBI: Max Muncy (90)
Stolen bases: Chris Taylor (13)
Wins: Julio Urias (18)
Saves: Kenley Jansen (35)
ERA: Max Scherzer (2.28)
Batting average: Josh Rojas (.264)
Hits: Pavin Smith (127)
Home runs: Carson Kelly (13)
RBI: David Peralta (60)
Stolen bases: Josh Rojas (9)
Wins: Madison Bumgarner (7)
Saves: Tyler Clippard (7)
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