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National League’s Best Home Team a Dog on Monday

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Aug/10/2009

The race in the National League West is heating up, with both Colorado and San Francisco having trimmed the Dodgers' lead to 5-1/2 games in the division standings. The Giants get a chance to cut into that margin even more when they start a key 3-game set with L.A. on Monday. Strangely, they are a +110 underdog for the series opener, despite boasting the best home record in the Senior Circuit. It seems that bettors haven't noticed the Giants' impressive 14-8 record as home pups this season, as over 60% or early players are backing the first-place Dodgers at Sportsbook.com.

Maybe for the first time this season the Dodgers look vulnerable. No other team takes greater pleasure in the NL West leaders' slump than the Giants, who look to send L.A. to a season high-tying fourth straight defeat - and 11th in the last 16 games.

Los Angeles (67-45) pulled into first place in the NL West on April 15, and the Dodgers have had a stranglehold on the division lead ever since. Though that lead is in no imminent danger, Los Angeles no longer looks like a lock to repeat as division champion after dropping 10 of its last 15.

"We're not playing our best baseball, but every team goes through stretches like this. We're a little tired of losing, but good teams bounce back - and I consider our team a good team. ... It was a tough series for us, but we'll bounce back." catcher Russell Martin said after Sunday's 8-2 home loss to Atlanta, the team's third straight defeat.  

The Dodgers won their first three meetings with the Giants but have dropped four of six. They lost two of three in their first trip to AT&T Park from April 27-29.

The Giants didn't take full advantage of the Dodgers' struggles over the weekend, dropping two of three at home against lowly Cincinnati for their third series loss at AT&T Park. San Francisco, which is an NL-best 38-18 at home, had won its previous six series there.

Jonathan Sanchez (5-9, 4.49 ERA) will start for the Giants. The left-hander has posted a 1.42 ERA while winning back-to-back starts for the first time this season. He held Houston to four hits while striking out eight in seven scoreless innings of an 8-1 victory Tuesday.

Sanchez is 4-1 with a 3.26 ERA in nine games at AT&T Park, where he pitched the majors' first no-hitter of the season July 10. He's 0-2 with a 5.02 ERA in eight games - five starts - against the Dodgers.

Los Angeles will counter with Hiroki Kuroda (4-5, 4.44), who is 0-1 with a 4.79 ERA in four starts against San Francisco, all last year.

In terms of key handicapping information in this game, San Francisco boasts edges in all of the star rated StatFox FoxSheets' sections, namely the Power Trends and Super Situations, including the only tidbit with a 3* or better rating:

  • SAN FRANCISCO is 19-6 (+14.8 Units) against the money line vs. a starting pitcher with good control (less than 1.75 BB's/start) this season. The average score was SAN FRANCISCO 5.4, OPPONENT 3.1 - (Rating = 3*)

However, all of the raw strength indicators show the Dodgers winning, including the Game Estimator, which projects a 5.1-3.7 score. That margin is wide enough to generate a Green Star indicator on Los Angeles, meaning there is value on them against the Money Line.

Los Angeles begins a 6-game road trip with Monday's contest and sports a 31-23 record away from Chavez Ravine in 2009. Among the impressive stats the Dodgers boast on the road, they are outhitting opponents .282 to .233.

Log on to Sportsbook.com now to check out all the odds for Monday's MLB schedule. With Daily Dime Lines, the Walk-Off Wednesday promo and Daily Money Back Specials; it is no wonder why baseball bettors are having their most profitable season in years at Sportsbook.com.

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