Philadelphia Phillies (+313) at Los Angeles Dodgers (-358, 7 o/u)
For the first time in five years, Clayton Kershaw (5-6, 3.08) was not selected to the All-Star Game. While the two-time defending NL Cy Young champ has been far from terrible this season, he hasn’t matched the sparkling numbers of his past two seasons – nor has he received much in the way of run support.
Tonight, Kershaw will try to reach .500 on the season when his Los Angeles Dodgers (47-38, 29-16 Home) host the worst team in baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies (29-57, 11-32 Away), at Dodger Stadium (10:10 PM Eastern).
Kershaw hasn’t won in his last five starts, posting two no-decisions and three losses. He was primed to end that streak last time out, throwing seven strong and allowing just five hits and one run to the Mets, but he was matched pitch-for-pitch by Noah Syndergaard and the Dodgers fell 2-1.
“For the most part, Kershaw did his job, but the offense let him down a little bit by not figuring out a way to squeak out a run and get him a decision in that game,” Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier said to the Associated Press after the disappointing loss. “I think that’s been an unfair thing — kind of the tone of the year every time Kershaw takes the mound. It doesn’t matter who the other guy is on the mound for the other team. He always seems to step up his game.”
Kershaw’s five-game winless streak is his longest since 2013, when he went six games without a W. Facing the Phillies should be just what the doctor ordered. As a team, Philadelphia ranks 27th in the majors in runs, 26th in on-base percentage, and 28th in slugging. Their woeful offense has the team sitting dead last, not only in the NL East, but in the entire MLB.
The Phillies will send promising young lefty Adam Morgan (1-1, 2.13 ERA) to the hill tonight. The 25-year-old, who has started only two games this season, pitched seven innings allowing five hits and two runs to the Atlanta Braves last time out. Like Kershaw, though, Morgan only got one run from his offense and wound up on the wrong end of a 2-1 decision.
There’s no value on betting the moneyline, which has the Dodgers as massive favorites; but the total has hit the over in four of LA’s last five at home against Philadelphia. With Kershaw playing not-so-Kershaw-like and the Dodgers lineup as a top three in the Majors in on-base percentage and slugging percentage, the over looks like the best play in this one.
Pick: OVER 7.
(Photo credit: Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA (Clayton Kershaw Uploaded by Muboshgu) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)