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Kershaw Makes First-Ever Start At Tropicana Field

Two of MLB’s best pitching staffs will do battle at Tropicana Field today when the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the Tampa Bay Rays. The Dodgers and Rays are a combined 24 games over .500 and are ranked first and second in ERA in May. The Dodgers lean on ace Clayton Kershaw to shut down the Rays and Los Angeles has won every game Kershaw has started this season.

The Dodgers opened as -140 favorites with a total of 7.5.

Dodgers vs Rays Game Center

Standout Stats

  • Clayton Kershaw is on the mound for the Dodgers and his team has yet to take a loss when he gets the start this season (six starts). Kershaw has only pitched twice on the road and has allowed a home run in each game while walking five batters over 12 innings. This is Kershaw’s first career start at Tropicana Field and he’s only faced the Rays once in his career, in 2013.
  • Tampa Bay will employ the “opener” for this home tilt with the Dodgers and leans on Hunter Wood to get them started. Although he hasn’t lasted longer than three innings in five appearances, he has been excellent by not allowing a run and yielding only six hits and one walk in 7.1 innings of work.
  • The Dodgers have the best record in the National League at 31-17 SU in 48 games but have been hit-or-miss in road games. The Dodgers are 12-11 SU and 8-15 ATS in 23 games away from Dodger Stadium and there’s significant drop-off on their offense. At home, they average 5.64 runs per game, owning a .269 batting average and an .829 OPS. On the road, they average 4.69 runs per game and own a .235 batting average and a .754 OPS.
  • The Rays pitching staff might be the best in the majors as they own a league-best 2.98 ERA and are limiting opponents to a .214 batting average. In 16 games in May, their staff has a 3.03 ERA that is second behind the Dodgers, who are sporting a 2.28 ERA. The only negative part about the Dodgers is they are third this month in blown saves with three.
  • Tampa Bay has not been great offensively vs left-handed pitching this season as the team sports a .233 batting average (ranked 22nd) and has only scored 49 total runs against southpaws (also ranked 22nd).
  • A lot of UNDER trends coming into this matchup, with it hitting in four of Tampa’s last five games and in six of the Dodgers’ last nine games. The UNDER has also hit in seven of the Rays’ last eight games when facing a left-handed starting pitcher.

My Best Bet for Dodgers vs Rays

Dodgers -1.5

I’m not messing with a good thing. I have no problem taking the Dodgers in this matchup because although they’ve struggled offensively on the road, they still have much more talent on their roster and they won’t be facing one of the Rays’ vaunted starters like Blake Snell or Charlie Morton.

Kershaw obviously isn’t the stud he was four or five seasons ago but he’s still a top-five pitcher in the game and I think the Dodgers should cruise to an easy victory.

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