MLB Baseball: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Sept. 14, 2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 10:10 p.m. EDT
Venue: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Where to watch: Bally Sports Arizona, SportsNet LA

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Dodgers -255, Diamondbacks +205
BetMGM: NL
Caesars: Dodgers -245, Diamondbacks +215

Season record (entering Monday)
Diamondbacks: 47-96 (Last place, NL West)
Dodgers: 91-53 (2nd place, NL West)

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Diamondbacks - Dodgers preview and analysis


Recent form (entering Monday)
D-Backs: 3-7 in last 10
Dodgers: Won 3 straight

Monday begins the run that many baseball pundits have waited for the moment the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.

But this is to talk about Tuesday’s game between the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks, even though more eyes will be on Monday’s matchup with Clayton Kershaw returning to the mound for the first time since July 3.

Kershaw, who will face Zac Gallen in Dodger Stadium in the series opener on Monday, brings forth the four-headed rotation monster that the Dodgers are hoping will give them a chance to repeat as World Series champions.

But as for Tuesday’s game, Tony Gonsolin will be on the mound for first pitch for the Dodgers as they continue their run at the San Francisco Giants for first place in the National League West.

At the time of publishing, the Dodgers are 2.5 games back of the Giants for the division lead and will have home-field advantage for the NL Wild Card game. Who that opponent would be is up to the lovely contingent of the San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets.

But as long as the Dodgers’ rotation continues to be as dominant as it is, it may not matter if they’re in the wild-card game or having home-field advantage for the entire playoffs. Look no further than Scherzer’s dominant outing Sunday, taking a perfect game into the eighth inning while also joining the 3,000-strikeout club against the Padres (8 IP, 0 ER, 9 K, 0 BB).

“To me, this is a testament to durability, to making my 30-plus starts year in and year out,” Scherzer said. “Everybody can have the ability to do this, but few have the durability to do this. All the hard work I’ve put in to be able to have this moment, that’s what feels good.”

No matter who the starting pitcher is, it’s going to be a battle for whomever faces the Dodgers. And that won’t be any different for the Diamondbacks, despite entering this series having won two of three against the surging Seattle Mariners over the weekend.

It hasn’t been a fun time for the Diamondbacks, who went into Saturday having lost 11 of their last 12 games before a shocking 7-3 win Saturday and a 5-4 win Sunday. Arizona is still going to climb from the bottom of the standings, but not by much in this wash of a season.

Luke Weaver is expected to be tasked with taking on the Dodgers lineup. The right-hander is 3-4 with a 4.24 ERA this season and a WHIP of 1.14.

Prediction


It’s sad how that series in Seattle brings belief that the Diamondbacks can win at least one game in this series. Maybe against a rusty Kershaw, but not after that. The Dodgers should be able to win this game and keep pace with the Giants. Dodgers win 7-1.

Betting trends


The Diamondbacks are 3-16 (-9.2 net games on the moneyline) when an underdog of +200 or more; they’re 19-88 in their last 107 instances in that criteria.

The Dodgers are 40-11 (+14 net games) when favored by -200 or more.

Key injuries


Diamondbacks: SP Merrill Kelly (COVID), RF Kole Calhoun (hamstring, 10-day IL)

Dodgers: RP Kenley Jansen (paternity, day-to-day), LF AJ Pollock (hamstring, 10-day IL), SP Danny Duffy (forearm, 60-day IL)

Players to watch


Diamondbacks: First baseman Seth Beer, who was called up to the major leagues on Friday against Seattle, has a hit in every game since being called up. He had a 2-for-4 game with an RBI on Sunday.

Dodgers: Mookie Betts has continued to work his way back to full strength since coming off the IL on Aug. 26. The former MVP is batting .255 with four homers since coming back 17 games ago, but has an OBP of .382.

Projected lineup


Diamondbacks:
Nick Ahmed (R) SS
Ketel Marte (S) CF
Carson Kelly (R) C
Christian Walker (R) 1B
Josh Rojas (L) 3B
Henry Ramos (S) LF
Andrew Young (R) 2B
Jake McCarthy (L) RF
Luke Weaver (R) P

Dodgers:
Mookie Betts (R) CF
Max Muncy (L) 1B
Trea Turner (R) 2B
Justin Turner (R) 3B
Corey Seager (L) SS
Will Smith (R) C
Steven Souza Jr. (R) RF
Gavin Lux (L) LF
Tony Gonsolin (R) P

Statistical leaders


Diamondbacks:
Batting average: Pavin Smith (.267)
Hits: Pavin Smith (122)
Home runs: Three tied (11)
RBI: David Peralta (55)
Stolen bases: Josh Rojas (7)
Wins: Merrill Kelly (7)
Saves: Tyler Clippard (5)
ERA: Merrill Kelly (4.30)

Dodgers:
Batting average: Trea Turner (.316)
Hits: Trea Turner (165)
Home runs: Max Muncy (32)
RBI: Max Muncy (83)
Stolen bases: Chris Taylor (13)
Wins: Julio Urias (17)
Saves: Kenley Jansen (32)
ERA: Max Scherzer (2.17)

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All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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