MLB September 3: Arizona Diamondbacks versus Los Angeles Dodgers
This NL West match up features the 14-23 Diamondbacks against the 28-10 Dodgers. Los Angeles has taken the first two games in this series and looks for a sweep. Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the Dodgers and Luke Weaver is set to pitch for the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers are a huge favorite at –290 to +240 with an “over/under” of 8 ½.
Arizona is led offensively by Starling Marte, who is top on the team with a .311 batting average and 23 runs scored. Cole Kalhoun is the best power threat, having connect for eight home runs but is batting only .200. Christian Walker has five home runs and is tied with David Peralta for team lead in RBI with 23. As a team, the Diamondbacks have hit 31 home runs and average a mediocre 4.1 runs per game.
The Dodgers have a potent offense that has taken opposing pitchers deep 65 times this season and average 5.6 runs per game. Mookie Betts is on an MVP pace with 12 home runs and 27 RBI. Cody Bellinger is second with 10 home runs, while Max Muncy and Corey Seager have each added nine to this lineup that can hurt opponents one through nine.
On the mound, Luke Weaver has struggled a a very high ERA of 8.23. He’s been hurt by the long ball, allowing eight in only 27 1/3 innings. That’s a bad statistic against the Dodgers lineup that can go deep at any time. Closer Archie Bradley has saved six with an ERA of 4.22, while Stefan Crichton has been solid, with an ERA of 3.06. As a team, the Diamondbacks have a 5.00 ERA and have committed only 14 errors this season.
Clayton Kershaw is having an excellent season. He is 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA, striking out 33 while walking only four in 30 innings. Closer Kenley Jansen is in prime form with 10 saves and an ERA of 1.13. Dylan Florio (0.57 ERA), and Caleb Ferguson (1.20 ERA) have been nearly unhittable as well out of the bullpen. The Dodgers have a staff ERA of just 2.71 and a team fielding percentage of .989.
This game is a total mismatch in every sense of the word. It would take a lights out performance by Weaver and an uncharacteristically bad outing by Kershaw for the Diamondbacks to have a chance. Look for a blowout win by the Dodgers in a game in which they could reach double-digits in runs. The “over” seems to be the way to go!