Friday features a battle of divisional leaders as the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies (33-23) travel to Dodger Stadium to take on the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers (38-19). For the Phillies, they are coming off of a 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday; however, they did win the series after taking the first two games.
For the Dodgers, they took three out of four against the Mets including a 2-0 win on Thursday. They won after getting an outstanding effort from Hyun-Jin Ryu, who went 7.2 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out seven. Friday’s contest will feature two starters who have had decent seasons thus far, as the Phillies send righty Jake Arrieta (5-4, 3.60 ERA) to the mound to square off with the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (6-2, 3.67 ERA). First pitch for this contest is scheduled for 10:10 pm ET.
The moneyline for this one features the Philadelphia Phillies +148 and the Los Angeles Dodgers -158. The over/under on runs scored is set at 8.5.
By The Numbers
Offensively, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been one of the best teams in baseball thus far this year. On the season, they rank third overall in runs per game, averaging 5.46 (5.79 at home). For the Phillies, they rank 11th, averaging 5.05 runs per game (4.64 on the road).
On the mound, the Dodgers once again come in as the better statistical team. They currently rank third in earned run average with a staff ERA of 3.67 (2.99 at home). For the Phillies, they come in 10th with a staff ERA of 4.09 (4.00 on the road).
Phillies Looking To Finish Strong
The month of May has been kind to the Phillies. After going 17-10 through the first 30 days, the Phillies currently sit in first place in the NL East by three games over the Atlanta Braves. Trying to finish the month off right will be pitcher Jake Arrieta. On the season, Arrieta is 5-4 in 11 starts with a 3.60 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and opponents are hitting .252 against him.
In 70 innings pitched, Arrieta has allowed 65 hits, 28 earned runs, nine home runs and has struck out 59 versus 26 walks. In his last outing, a 7-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers, Arrieta went eight innings, allowing five hits, one walk, and two earned runs while striking out eight. He will look to keep it rolling against the Dodgers Friday.
On the offensive side, Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper have started to heat up over the last week. In that time, Hosking is hitting .476/.560/.857 with two home runs, four runs batted in and four runs scored. For Harper, he is hitting .391/.400/.783 with a home run, nine runs batted in and two runs scored. If those two can get going consistently, the Phillies can punish opposing pitching.
Dodgers Continue NL Dominance
At 38-19, the Dodgers easily have the best record in the National League. On Friday, they are hoping to show the Phillies exactly why that is. Trying to put them in a spot to win will be right-hander Kenta Maeda. On the season, Maeda is 6-2 in 10 starts with a 3.67 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and opponents are hitting .223 against him.
In 56.1 innings, Maeda has allowed 46 hits, 23 earned runs, eight home runs and has struck out 56 versus 20 walks. In his last outing, an 11-7 win over the Pirates, he went five innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits while striking out four. He will look to improve on that line Friday.
Offensively, Cody Bellinger continues to be one of the best hitters in the game this year. Even though his average has fallen below the .400 clip, he is still hitting .378/.464/.760 with 20 home runs, 52 runs batted in, 50 runs and seven stolen bases.
He has also walked (33) more times than he has struck out (31). He is definitely the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to the NL MVP Award. It is worth noting that he is 0 for 4 in his career against Jake Arrieta.
Hard To Bet Against LA
Especially looking at the moneyline, I really tried to talk myself into siding with the Phillies, but I just can’t do it. Los Angeles has been about as dominant as they come this year, and I think that continues on Friday. Maeda is underrated, and while he won’t necessarily dominate teams, he certainly is capable of keeping the Dodgers in just about any game. With the big sticks of the Dodgers, I think they will get to Arrieta, and their pitching will do enough to hold on when it is all said and done. For my money, I am taking the Dodgers at -158.