Upcoming Match-ups

Giants vs Dodgers Odds, Lines, and Spread – July 23

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in MLB Baseball

Jul 23, 2020 · 6:30 AM PDT

Los Angeles Dodgers
LA's Clayton Kershaw has a 1.05 ERA in eight career Opening Day starts. Photo by Arthur Pardavila III (Flickr).
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers are -335 favorites over the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day
  • Clayton Kershaw (16-5, 3.03 ERA in 2019) will make his ninth Opening Day start for LA
  • Read below for a preview and betting prediction for the game

A lot of people thought the 2020 MLB season may never happen, but Opening Day is officially here. The World Series favorite Los Angeles Dodgers will host the San Francisco Giants Thursday, at 10:00 pm EST, in the second and final game on the Opening Day slate.

Giants vs Dodgers Odds

Team Moneyline Runline Total
San Francisco Giants +280 +1.5 (+128) Over 8.0 (-120)
Los Angeles Dodgers -335 -1.5 (-148) Under 8.0 (-103)

Odds taken July 23th.

LA was 12-7 versus San Francisco in 2019, and are massive favorites in the Giants vs Dodgers odds. They’ll give the ball to Clayton Kershaw for his ninth career Opening Day start, and fourth against San Fran. In his previous three Opening Day starts versus the Giants, he’s allowed a grand total of just one run.

Kershaw is a Giant Killer

Kershaw was 10-2 at home last season with a 2.89 ERA and a 110-22 strikeout-to-walk rate. He posted a 2.37 ERA in three starts versus the Giants, striking out 17 in 19 innings of work.

This San Francisco team looks vastly different from previous years and will sorely miss the familiar names that won’t be in the lineup Thursday.

Gone is Kevin Pillar, who led the team in RBI last year and was tied for the team lead in home runs. Buster Posey is also missing, electing to sit out this season to protect his family. Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria are both injured, leaving a very unimposing lineup for Kershaw to deal with.

Giants Career Stats vs Kershaw

Mike Yastrzemski 1 0 0 0 0 .000
Wilmer Flores 16 5 1 3 3 .313
Donovan Solano 4 0 0 0 4 .250
Hunter Pence 89 18 1 7 19 .202
Pablo Sandoval 64 15 0 7 13 .234
Jaylin Davis 1 0 0 0 1 .000
Brandon Crawford 48 6 0 0 29 .067
Chadwick Tromp 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Austin Slater 9 2 0 0 2 .222

Just one player in San Fran’s projected lineup has a career average north of .250 versus Kershaw, and shortstop Brandon Crawford has a ridiculous 60.4% strikeout rate.

Show Him the Money

The Dodgers offense led the NL in runs, home runs, total bases and OPS last season and this year looks even more dangerous. That’s because they added Mookie Betts in the offseason, and they just handed him an astronomical contract extension.

The 2018 AL MVP, joins reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger and a cast of extremely talented players that once again projects to lead the NL in all key offensive categories.

On Thursday, they’ll square off against Johnny Cueto who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018, and started only four games last season. One of those outings was against LA, and he was pulled in the third inning after allowing five runs and three home runs.

Dodgers Career Stats vs Cueto

Mookie Betts 4 3 0 1 0 .750
Max Muncy 2 1 0 0 0 .500
Justin Turner 31 11 1 2 4 .355
Cody Bellinger 17 6 1 1 4 .353
Corey Seager 34 12 3 6 6 .353
AJ Pollock 13 3 0 0 3 .250
Joc Pederson 20 2 1 2 7 .100
Enrique Hernandez 8 1 0 1 5 .125
Austin Barnes 3 1 0 1 2 .333

To no one’s surprise, the meat of the Dodgers order has fared very well against Cueto in the past (it’s hard to find a pitcher they haven’t fared well against), and Betts went 3-for-4 against him in their only matchup when he was still in Boston.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cueto was abysmal in Spring Training, posting a 12.79 ERA in the six innings he pitched.

Roll with the Dodgers

The Dodgers are a far superior team than the Giants when San Francisco is completely healthy, but now that they’re battling injuries the discrepancy between the two teams is even greater.

LA has a more potent lineup and will trot out the better starting pitcher. Kershaw is a three-time Cy Young Award winner and has been virtually unhittable on Opening Day in the past. His 1.05 Opening Day ERA is the second lowest in the Live-Ball era behind only Rick Mahler.

The Dodgers are 8-1 in their last nine season openers and are 4-2 in games where Kershaw has squared off against Cueto.

Pick: Dodgers -1.5 (-130)

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