A lot has changed in the National League West this season with Colorado and Arizona emerging as contenders, but one thing that’s remained the same is the winning ways of the Los Angeles Dodgers. At 40-25 (as of June 14), the Dodgers have a slim lead in the division along with the best win percentage in the National League. Oddly enough, the strong record hasn’t translated to a profitable season for their backers, as they have a negative return of -$170 through their first 65 games, which makes them the only first-place team in the red.
This makes it clear that just because a team is elite doesn’t mean you can blindly bet on them and expect to be successful. There are, however, a number of key spots where you should target the Boys in Blue.
This is the Blueprint: How to bet on the LA Dodgers
Betting on the Boss
Despite the Dodgers winning 12 of his 14 starts this season, Clayton Kershaw has returned a profit of just $370, which is pretty good, but only works out to a profit of $30.83 per win. As long as you’re OK with the small return, keep pounding that moneyline, but this is a spot where you should be greedy as a bettor, meaning you should increase your wagers when he takes the mound.
The Dodgers have won 85.7% of their ace’s starts so far this season, and this trend is nothing new. They won 80.9% of his starts in 2016 and it’s been almost two full seasons since they’ve lost consecutive Kershaw starts. So, don’t be shy about bumping those units up when the three-time Cy Young Sportsbook is pitching and take advantage of betting on him after a rare loss.
Start strong … and, also, finish strong
Los Angeles has owned season openers lately as they’ve won seven of their last eight, with five of those wins coming by two runs or more. They’ve also been dynamite in series finales, going 12-4 in their last 16. Last week, I explored the best and worst teams in each of these situations. It seems to be much more than a coincidence for teams who perform well in both of these spots as most of them rank at or near the top of their respective divisions. Either way, the Dodgers have been fast starters and strong finishers, so show them some love at the start and end of series.
They’re Crushing Right-Handers
The Dodgers have been just slightly above average vs lefty starters, going 11-9, but they’ve been a team to jump all over when facing a righty starter as they’ve gone 29-16, which includes a run of four straight wins. They don’t exactly have the scariest offense as their strength is obviously pitching, but they have a better batting average and OPS vs righties, so give them more of an edge when facing off vs a righty starter.
Don't worry if you're late
Didn’t get your bet in before first pitch? Don’t sweat it, there’s lots of opportunities to cash in during the game with live bets and LA has been very reliable when playing with a lead. They're currently the only remaining team in baseball with a perfect record when winning at the five-inning mark as they’ve gone 33-0 with a +4.33 win differential in that spot. If you’d prefer to get on something a little earlier, look for them with a lead at the end of the first inning where they’re 15-1 with a +3.0 run differential.