The Los Angeles Dodgers return home to Dodger Stadium to face the San Francisco Giants in Game 3 on Monday.
San Francisco won the opening game before losing Game 2, but underrating the Giants has been a mistake.
Bookmakers have made note of Max Scherzer starting for the Dodgers, so MLB lines the Dodgers at -200 to take a 2-1 lead.
Beware the Giants as Underdogs
The Giants have been a money printing business for bettors. The 108-56 team has an exceptional moneyline profit record, and that could improve on Monday.
Despite playing on the road against one of the league’s best pitchers, we wouldn’t rule out the Giants from taking the series lead.
They are 44-13 as an underdog, so the +170 odds pop off the page. They are also 53-28 on the road, so despite this being a tough situation, it’s never wise to rule out the Giants when they’re facing an uphill battle.
IT'S HAPPENING 🚨
For the first time ever, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants will meet in the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/DVqhXQBvfH
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 7, 2021
Alex Wood heads to the mound with a 10-4 record. His ERA of 3.83 is solid, and he has allowed only 14 home runs from 138.2 innings, which is a handsome record.
The former Dodger has plenty of reason to pitch well, so he has been trusted with the ball.
“First and foremost, he’s just pitched really well for us, and in particular, he’s pitched well for us of late,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler told MLB.com. “That’s the main consideration. He’s one of our best three pitchers right now.”
Teammate Kevin Gausman took the loss on Saturday, but praised Wood’s postseason numbers.
“You look at Woody’s numbers in the postseason, I mean, he’s been incredible, whether it’s starting or coming out of the bullpen,” Gausman said. “Obviously the Dodgers know that too, because they had him for a long time.”
MLB playoff odds are all about identifying value, and the Giants with Wood on the mound could represent excellent value.
Dodgers with Momentum
Losing Game 1 4-0 was a shock to the system for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but it could have been fatigue after an enduring Wild-Card game against the Cardinals.
Game 2 was a much better result after scoring nine runs in the 9-2 victory. It should give them confidence, and having ace Max Scherzer on the mound won’t do their chances any harm.
Max Scherzer celebrating with Juan Soto and Kevin Long pic.twitter.com/uaJx7F9EZW
— Kev (@OnePursuitTakes) October 7, 2021
The 37-year-old has had another incredible year, going 15-4 with a 2.45 ERA between Washington and LA. Scherzer provides the Dodgers with stability, so we’re not surprised the sportsbook has the Dodgers at -200.
However, given how well the Giants play as the underdog, we’re surprised the market is closer. The Dodgers have been a good betting team in their own right, but the Giants boast a quality defense, which helps in the playoffs.
That didn’t show in Game Two, but the Giants ran second in runs and first in home runs allowed. The Dodgers will need to pound the ball against Alex Wood early, because runs will be tough to come by in the late innings.
Giants vs Dodgers Betting Trends
The Dodgers are 5-1 in their last six home playoff games and 4-1 in the last five playoff games as favorites. However, there are positives for the Giants.
They are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings with the Dodgers, and they’re also 21-5 in their last 26 following an off day.
San Francisco is 7-2 in the last nine Divisional Playoff road games and 41-13 vs National League West teams, which bodes well.
Under is 5-2-1 in the last eight meetings and bet online markets expect a low scoring contest.
There is a lot of risk-taking the Dodgers at -200, so we’re taking the value with the Giants.
It won’t be easy to beat the defending champions at home with Scherzer on the mound, but the Giants typically find a way to win the tough games.
Alex Wood pitches well enough to keep the Dodgers at bay, and if Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt get firing on offense, the Giants could score a mighty upset.