Two of the most bitter rivals in baseball betting action meet for (what should be) the final time of the season this week. Monday’s clash between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants might be the deciding game for both teams and their playoff hopes this year.
Oh sure, the G-Men already know that they are going to be in the postseason this year, but they know that they have to sweep to avoid having to start the playoffs at home (remember when that was a good thing to do?). More importantly though, this series is about knocking the Dodgers out of the playoffs. Matt Cain gets the first chance to do that on Monday. The argument could have been made that a couple more wins here and there would have made Cain the Cy Young Award winner this year. He is 16-5 with a 2.77, and most importantly, he hasn’t been beaten in a game since August 6th, going 6-0 in his nine starts since that point. This is the sixth straight year in which Cain has thrown at least 200 innings, but it could be the first in which he strikes out 200 batters as well. Cain needs nine to get to that point. Batters are hitting just .222 against him, and he has a WHIP of 1.04.
The season isn’t nearly over for LA, but it is starting to look grim. Five wins in a row have kept its year alive, but without picking up at least two games on the St. Louis Cardinals over the course of the last three days of the season, the Dodgers will be left out in the cold in spite of their tremendous hot streak to end the campaign. Aaron Harang had been getting no help whatsoever from his team in his five starts prior to his most recent one in San Diego. The team had gone five straight games without scoring more than three runs for him, and the average run production was just 2.2 runs per game. Against the Padres though, the righty came up big with 5.1 scoreless innings of work in an 8-2 victory. Harang is 10-10 for the year, and though this is his 31st start to the campaign, he hasn’t thrown all that many innings. Expect to see another roughly five and change out of Harang today, as he hasn’t pitched through the sixth since August 18th.
Knowing that Cain is going to likely pitch on either Saturday or Sunday in the playoffs might keep him limited for the Giants in this one. Still, the possibility of knocking the Dodgers out today (with a St. Louis win as well) is too good to pass up on. San Fran will take this game more often than not. San Francisco 5 – Los Angeles 3