Which teams are going to be contenders this season and which of those who jumped out to an early start are going to prove to be contenders? There is still a lot of baseball to be played before we can start placing either label on any team in the MLB. That said, there are a small handful of teams who have looked consistently good in the early going, while others are having their obvious flaws suddenly thrown under the harsh glare of the spotlight.
The LA Dodgers have been the team to set the bar in the National League over the past two seasons, and it is more than fair to suggest that they are going to be in the conversation again this season after getting off to a steady start. The Pittsburgh Pirates started well, but their fatal flaw is now being cruelly exposed as they start to fall back towards the pack. It will be these two who hook up in LA for a weekend series, with the first game set to go on Friday night. The Dodgers are favored by 1 ½ in this one, with the run total set at 7 ½.
Pirates vs Dodgers MLB Betting Odds & Pick for Friday Night
- When: Friday, April 26 at 10:10 PM EST
- Where: Dodger Stadium
- Starting Pitchers: Archer vs Ryu
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- MLB Betting Odds: Los Angeles Dodgers -180 (Total 7.5)
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Pirates?As it stands at the moment, the Pirates are still very much in the thick of the battle in the NL Central, sitting at 12-11, 2 ½ games off the pace being set by the Cardinals. The problem here is that the Pirates are very much heading in the wrong direction after losing 5 in a row to fall to 5-5 in their last 10 games.
You don’t need to look very hard to see where their problems lie, as this is a team that has managed to score just 75 runs in 23 games. That stat is all the more unfortunate when you consider how good they have been defensively this season. The Pirates do still have a winning 6-4 record on the road, but they are also winless in their last 6 visits to LA. It will be Chris Archer (1-1, 2.74 ERA) who gets the start.
- Runs: 3.26
- Hits: 7.57
- Walks: 3.09
- Strike Outs: 8.48
- Runs: 3.87
- Hits: 7.65
- Walks: 2.57
- Strike Outs: 9.04
Why bet on the LA Dodgers?In recent years, the Dodgers have developed a bit of a bad habit of getting off to a slow start and needing to play catch-up for the rest of the season. That has not been the case this year, though, as they are off to a 16-11 start and looking strong, which could spell trouble for the rest of the National League.
It is once again home field that has proven to be the best for the Dodgers, as they are off to a 9-4 start in their own ballpark. They are 7-3 in their last 10 and on a nice little run of form, but with two teams in the West within a single game of the lead, they know that they cannot let up. It will be Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-1, 3.10 ERA) who gets the start here.
- Runs: 5.41
- Hits: 8.44
- Walks: 4.52
- Strike Outs: 8.15
- Runs: 4.52
- Hits: 7.67
- Walks: 2.81
- Strike Outs: 8.63
Pirates vs Dodgers MLB Betting Trends
- Pittsburgh is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Pittsburgh’s last 8 games
- LA Dodgers are 6-0 SU in their last 6 games when playing at home against Pittsburgh
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of LA Dodgers’ last 5 games at home
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction for Pirates vs DodgersThe Dodgers have absolutely dominated the Pirates at home in recent seasons, so another win here seems likely. The UNDER has been prevalent for both teams, so I think we are also looking at a low score here.
Score: Pittsburgh Pirates 2 – LA Dodgers 4