The Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in Friday Night Major League Baseball action. The game is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN. The baseball betting odds for the game have the Dodgers listed as the favorite to pick up the win on the road in this one.
Clayton Kershaw pitches against Gerrit Cole in this one, which should certainly be an excellent battle of arms. Kershaw has been the best on the mound for some time now and Cole is really coming into his own as the ace of the Pirates. This has the feel of a very low-scoring contest where any half inning could prove to be costly to the other team.
The Dodgers have helped Kershaw get to 9-6 on the season, the lefty sports an ERA of 2.37 and hasn't allowed a run to score since July 3 against the Mets, coincidentally the last time he didn't win a decision. Kershaw since that game has thrown nine, eight, nine and eight innings in his four starts, cruising to four straight victories. He's no doubt the best pitcher in baseball at this point, but can Cole lead the Pirates to somehow find a way to scratch some runs across tonight?
Current Pirates are hitting just .229 against him in 107 at bats. Andrew McCutchen and Chris Stewart both have a home run off of Kershaw, Outside of those two, Aramis Ramirez has five hits in 23 at bats, nobody else has really any success. Kershaw has made 11 starts on the road this season with a 3.03 ERA, he's only 3-4 there and is allowing opponents to his .209 against him in 77 1/3 innings of work.
Cole has posted a 14-5 record to this point in the season with a 2.29 ERA. The 14 wins leads all of baseball and his 35 earned runs allowed this season ranks fourth best in baseball, behind only Zack Greinke, Scott Kazmir and Jacob deGrom. Cole has been nasty in home starts, winning eight of the 10 games he's started. Opponents are hitting just .244 against him in those games and he's allowed only 12 walks in 65 2/3 innings. Cole will have to throw another solid game here tonight for the Pirates to have a chance because one bad inning could be enough for Kershaw and the Dodgers to take advantage.
Current Dodgers are hitting .387 against Cole in 31 at bats. Yasiel Puig has five hits in six at bats, Andre Ethier has three hits.
Cole will need to be sharp, but how often do you get Kershaw at this price? He's pitching his best of the season right now and this line is affordable, the Dodgers look like the right play here tonight.
Free Pick: Dodgers
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