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NLDS Series Predictions: Can Diamondbacks shock Dodgers? 10/5/17

Can the underdog Arizona Diamondbacks stun the Los Angeles Dodgers in their five-game series which starts Friday?

The Dodgers are listed at -185 to win the series according to sports book The Diamondbacks are a +150 underdog to win the series.

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Arizona entered the postseason with a 93-69 record and is 41-40 on the road, while it advanced to the NLDS via an 11-8 home victory over the Rockies in the NL Wild Card Game Wednesday night. Los Angeles is 104-58 and 57-24 at home. The D-backs back won seven of the last 10 meetings including the last six games. The total has gone over six times. 

As of this writing Arizona has yet to decide on a game one starter, while LA will turn to ace lefty Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31 ERA). Kershaw carries a 0.95 WHIP with 202 strikeouts over 175 innings. He has a 9-2 record and a 2.58 ERA in 90 2/3 home innings. Kershaw surrendered three earned runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and no walks over four innings in a 5-3 win at the Rockies his last start. He has dominated Arizona in two starts this season by allowing only one earned run on six hits with 19 strikeouts and three walks over 15 1/3 innings, getting a win each time.

The Diamondbacks won the NL Wild Card Game with the effort highlighted in the bottom of the first innings by Paul Goldschmidt, who hit a 3-run homer that provided the difference in the outcome. Goldschmidt finished the game 2-for-5. David Peralta was 3-for-5 with two runs from the leadoff spot. Ketel Marte was 3-for-5 with a pair of triples, one run and one RBI. Jake Lamb ended the night 4-for-5 with three runs. A.J. Pollock was 2-for-5 with a triple, a run and two RBIs. Daniel Descalso went 1-for-3 with a home run, two walks, two runs and two RBIs. Archie Bradley hit a two-run triple in the bottom of the eighth inning to provide a cushion after a Rockies rally, becoming the first relief pitcher in MLB postseason history to notch a triple. Andrew Chafin earned the win in relief of Zack Greinke, who gave up four earned runs in 3 2/3 innings. 

Neither Greinke (17-7, 3.20) or Robbie Ray (15-5, 2.89) will start game one after being used in the Wild Card Game. That leaves the D-backs with three other options in Patrick Corbin (14-13, 4.03), Zack Godley (8-9, 3.38) and Taijuan Walker (9-9, 3.49). Los Angeles' rotation follows Kershaw with Alex Wood (16-3, 2.72), Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32), Kenta Maeda (13-6, 4.22 ERA), Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-5, 3.77) and Brandon McCarthy (6-4, 3.98). Maeda, Ryu and McCarthy are also candidates to pitch out of the bullpen.

Arizona's offense is led by J.D. Martinez (1.066 OPS, 45 HRs, 104 RBIs), Goldschmidt (.966 OPS, 36 HRs, 120 RBIs) and Lamb (.844 OPS, 30 HRs, 105 RBIs). The Dodgers offense is keyed by Justin Turner (.945 OPS, 21 HRs, 71 RBIs), Cody Bellinger (.933 OPS, 39 HRS, 97 RBIs) and Corey Seager (.854 OPS), 22 HRs, 77 RBIs). 

Out of the bullpen the D-backs bring Bradley (1.73 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 25 holds), Chafin (3.51 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) and Fernando Rodney (4.23 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 39 saves). Los Angeles' bullpen is keyed by Kenley Jansen (1.32 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 41 saves), Brandon Morrow (2.06 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 10 holds) and Josh Fields (2.84 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 15 holds).

Bet on Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers 

Arizona has won six in a row over Los Angeles and while it may be a little flukey in that the Dodgers are an extremely talented 104-win team, there is not much separating the two rosters. The addition of Martinez, who hit 29 home runs in 62 games with Arizona after the trade from Detroit, has turned the D-backs lineup into a legit juggernaut. And while it isn't ideal that Greinke or Ray won't start game one, Corbin has had a tremendous second half and Godley has provided a huge lift to the rotation. As for the Dodgers, Kershaw has actually looked human since coming off the DL with a back injury in late August. He has also had his fair share of well-documented postseason problems. We expect Kershaw to be darn good in game one and again down the line if he pitches for a second time in the series, but the Arizona offense is very capable of turning his one or two mistakes into backbreakers. If Arizona can take the opener in this series, it would be gigantic as the pitching matchups for any game not involving Kershaw line up favorably. Los Angeles has a strong lineup in its own right, but it has been prone to lulls and slumps. The Dodgers also often struggle against left-handed pitching, which Corbin and Ray provide Arizona. We really like the Diamondbacks to pull the upset in this series.




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