The LA Dodgers head out to the desert to take on the first place Diamondbacks in a series that features the top two teams in the National League West standings. Pretty decent pitching matchup in game one with Zack Greinke of the Dodgers visiting young Randall Delgado of the Arizona Diamondbacks. This game has been slotted as just about a pick’em with the total sitting solid at 9.0 runs.
The Dodgers have been playing great baseball for the last month or so. This comes as no coincidence with the emergence of young superstar Yasiel Puig. Puig has been a phenom in 36 career games thus far into his Dodger career and he has kick-started the rest of the lineup out of the number two spot in the order. The return of Carl Crawford only makes the LA lineup more dynamic to go along with Gonzalez, Ramirez and Kemp. Randall Delgado certainly has his work cut out for him but he has been throwing the ball fantastically over his last four starts. In exactly 25 innings of work, Delgado has surrendered just nine runs and has not conceded more than three in any one start over that span – a run that includes starts against Atlanta and Cincinnati. Delgado is showing why he was coveted so much by the Diamondbacks – who demanded him to be involved in the Justin Upton deal with the Braves. Delgado does not need to go particularly deep into this game. Kirk Gibson probably prefers to only send Delgado around this powerful LA lineup just twice and then hand it over to a dynamic bullpen in Arizona, despite all their troubles closing out games. If Delgado gives the Snakes five solid innings they will be in a great spot to come out with a win on their home diamond.
Zack Greinke has been very up and down for the Dodgers this season after receiving a huge contract in the off-season from the new deep-pocketed club on the West coast. Greinke has slightly struggled lately – giving up nine earned runs in his last two outings. That said, Greinke dominated the Diamondbacks in his last time out against them and Arizona has the type of lineup that you come to expect Greinke to dominate with his style of attacking hitters. The Diamondbacks feature one bopper in Paul Goldschmidt but, aside from him, Greinke will just need to be around the plate with decent stuff while remaining poised to have a a successful start. Look for Greinke to come out and continue to dominate Arizona batters – who hit just .231 as a team against Greinke based on career numbers.
I look for both pitchers to come out with pretty good efforts and get the best of the opposing lineups. Both bullpens should rev it up a notch in this one with the NL West very much affected by this matchup. Expect a playoff-like atmosphere in July out in the desert. Take the under in a game with two decent arms going at each other.
Free Pick: Los Angeles/Arizona under 9