The season is underway out in the NL West, and the kings of the division, the Los Angeles Dodgers are at home for this four-game weekend series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Friday night is Game 2 which features Merrill Kelly and Dustin May on the mound.
Dustin May missed almost all of last season with an injury, so Dodgers fans have to be anxious to see their exciting young starter back on the mound this early in the season.
Merrill Kelly on the other side isn’t young, but did have a breakout year of sorts at 33-years-old last year and was an important starter for the USA in the WBC.
Let’s see if that WBC experience pays off for the Diamondbacks starter and if Arizona can pull off an upset in the second game of the regular season, because they’re underdogs in LA.
Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers odds, run line and total
Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers prediction and pick
Merrill Kelly got the nod to start the World Baseball Classic final against Japan, but he didn’t exactly bathe himself in patriotic glory. Kelly went 1.1 innings and allowed two earned runs on three hits, issued two free passes and only had one strikeout. I would not call that great.
However, Kelly was really good last season with a 3.37 ERA and 3.65 FIP across 33 starts. He had 177 strikeouts to just 66 walks. However, that was not the case against one specific team with an L and an A on their hat.
In five starts against the LA Dodgers last year, Kelly had an 8.25 ERA and gave up six home runs in 24.0 innings pitched. His WHIP was 1.958 in those starts. He was a total disaster against the best team in the division and I can’t imagine that after struggling in the biggest game of the WBC and having an abbreviated Spring Training with his team because of it, he’ll pitch better against the team that is his kryptonite.
Though I’m not sure a 34-year-old above average starter should be drawing any Superman comparisons.
The Dodgers didn’t make the splashiest moves in the offseason like some other teams in southern California might have, but they bolstered their lineup with J.D. Martinez and still have a lot of familiar faces in their lineup. Probably the same ones that have haunted Merrill Kelly’s dreams.
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