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Two Big Names Take The Mound As Greinke’s Dodgers Meet Lee’s Phillies

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 8/15/2013 9:28:57 PM

Baseball fans in Philadelphia have not had much to get excited about this season, but they’ll be quite interested in a five-star pitching confrontation this Friday night in their own ballyard.

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Philadelphia Phillies – Friday, August 16
Sports betting line: no line

Why Los Angeles Will Win

In a contest of online betting, the importance of momentum sometimes matters, and it really enters the picture here. Los Angeles starting pitcher Zack Greinke and Philadelphia starter Cliff Lee both have similar ERAs, with Greinke sitting at 3.21 and Lee at 3.18. However, based on recent form, Greinke is the far better pitcher. For one thing, Greinke pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings in his most recent outing on Aug. 10 against the Tampa Bay Rays. Moreover, Greinke has allowed more than two runs in only one of his last seven starts. He’s pitched three shutouts, one of them a complete game, in those seven starts as well. This is a pitcher who has reduced his ERA by more than a full run, from 4.30 to its present 3.21 mark, since July 3. Greinke certainly rates as one of the hottest pitchers in the sport right now, recalling his days as a dominant ace for the Kansas City Royals.

Los Angeles, it should be said, has won 17 of its last 18 road games as well. It’s not as though playing this game in Philadelphia represents a problem for the Dodgers.

One should also mention that Lee, the Phillies’ starter, does not seem to have as much power in his arm as he did a month ago. It’s important to remember that Lee was held out of a late-July start against Detroit. At the time, it was felt by many pundits that Lee was being held back for purposes relating to the July 31 trade deadline. However, since Lee didn’t get traded to another team, it’s clear that the move was based – at least in part – on concerns about the lefthander’s health. If you had to pick one pitcher to succeed in this game, it would be Greinke and not Lee.

Why Philadelphia Will Win

When betting websites break down this contest, they’re going to give a good, long look at the pitching matchup, and they will concede that Greinke has the edge. However, nothing gets a pitcher fired up than being discounted or seen as an inferior. You know that even though Cliff Lee has given up at least three runs in each of his last six starts, and at least four runs in four of those starts, the staff ace for the Phillies will dig in and compete in this game. He might not be ready to sustain a long run of excellence for the remaining seven weeks of the season, but he can certainly step up on Friday and outduel Greinke in what feels like a personal challenge.

Who Will Win?

The odds will be stacked against the Phillies here. Lee might give it all he has, but Greinke is simply pitching too well at the moment. The Dodgers make more sense as a betting choice.

MLB Betting Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers

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