MLB Odds: Dodgers, Giants finish season series

By: Jimmy Sirody | Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Joe Torre

A long and trying season is winding down for LA manager Joe Torre.

Joe Torre may very well be a lame duck and his Los Angeles Dodgers are buried behind the first place San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants (1 ½-games behind) and Colorado Rockies (3 ½ back). Yet the Dodgers are going to have a major impact down the stretch in the National League West.

Knocking the Giants out of the playoffs would be the next best thing to advancing to the postseason for Los Angeles. However after these two bitter rivals meet for the final time this season on Thursday at AT&T Park, San Francisco will be rooting for the Dodgers, who return home Friday to begin a six-game stand against the Rockies and Padres.

Southpaws Ted Lilly (8-10, 3.58) and Jonathan Sanchez (10-8, 3.29) match pitches on Thursday in what shapes up as another low-scoring affair.

Sanchez has been on a roll, recording a 1.95 ERA over his past five starts. He has surrendered just 17 hits in 32 1/3 innings in that span, helping lower his opponents’ batting average to .208.

Sanchez had been shaky against the Dodgers in the past until Sept. 5 when he tossed seven innings of three-hit ball and fanned nine en route to a 3-0 victory. That was his first career victory against Los Angeles after five straight losses and lowered his ERA to 5.27.

Lilly, despite not picking up a win in his last three starts, has been excellent since joining the Dodgers in August. The former Chicago Cubs pitcher is 5-2 with a 3.33 ERA since escaping the Windy City.

Lilly faced the Giants on Sept. 4 at Dodger Stadium and fared well, yielding two runs and three hits (two homers) in seven innings. The veteran southpaw is 3-6 on the highway with a 3.63 ERA and he’s been touched for nine homers in 72 innings.

Los Angeles has cashed four of its last five against lefties overall and won six of eight on the road, while San Francisco is 1-4 in its last five against southpaws.

The Dodgers had lost seven of their last 10 on the road prior to Wednesday and five of six against division foes. Conversely, the Giants had passed seven of their past 10 division tests.

Sanchez will be pitching with an extra day of rest and he is 5-1 in his last six under those circumstances. However, the Giants are 2-7 in his last nine starts versus Los Angeles and 0-5 in his last five home outings against the Dodgers.

Five of the past six series scuffles have ended on the low side of the MLB betting number, as have five of the last seven meetings in the Bay Area.

Los Angeles has strayed ‘under’ in its last five division battles and in five of six against lefties. San Francisco has followed suit in 10 of its last 14 games, both overall and against Western enemies. The Giants have also knuckled ‘under’ in seven of Sanchez’ last 10 starts on five days rest and in five of his last six outings overall.

Home plate umpire Marty Foster has put the freeze on opposing hitters, with the ‘under’ cashing at a 16-7-1 clip when he’s behind the dish on Thursday.

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