There are just two games separating the Los Angeles Dodgers from the San Francisco Giants in the NL West. One team will get a leg up on the other in FOX Saturday Baseball betting action on Saturday afternoon when the two square off in the Bay Area.
The Dodgers really got off to a great start this year, but they have fallen and fallen pretty flat over the course of the last two months or so. They are struggling just to stay above .500, and they haven’t done so on the road, where they enter this one at just 25-27 on the campaign. Still, LA went out and made the big move to pick up SS/3B Hanley Ramirez, a move which has seen the team now score nine runs over the course of its last two games. Still, it might take more than that to support Chad Billingsley on Saturday. Billingsley snapped s skid of five straight losses in his most recent start on July 23rd against the St. Louis Cardinals, as he pitched six solid frames, allowing just one run on six hits. The hope is that that will be the game that gets the righty turned back in the right direction again. There is definitely some potential there, knowing that Billingsley does have a solid 104/35 K/BB ratio and has only allowed nine homers all year, but in the end, a 1.40 WHIP and a 4.15 ERA just don’t cut it.
Manager Bruce Bochy has to be happy with the fact that his team is still leading the NL West right now, but there is clearly a lot of work to be done with two months of the year still to play. The man on the rubber on Saturday has pitched really well of late, Barry Zito. The southpaw has allowed just eight runs in his last five starts combined after allowing eight in one game against the Los Angeles Angels back on June 19th. He is now 8-6 on the season and is threatening his first winning campaign in years. Zito has done a good job keeping the ball down, allowing just 14 homers this year, but there is a real question as to whether his 3.75 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and .240 batting average against are legit numbers or not. We really aren’t so sure, knowing that Zito has a very, very suspect 66/50 K/BB ratio for the year. The left did throw seven shutout innings against the Dodgers in his last outing against them, but he is still just 7-9 for his career versus the boys in blue.
We really like the fact that the Billingsley has started to turn it around, and we think that that could make the difference in this one. He’ll keep going on the right track and get a second straight victory, pulling the Dodgers within a game with a shot to tie for the NL West lead with the sweep on Sunday. Los Angeles 4 – San Francisco 2