Last night, the Los Angeles Dodgers needed a 12th inning bases loaded walk to knock off the Minnesota Twins, but LA took the 9-8 win to improve to 27-15. After dropping Game 1 in southern California, the Twins are 23-19, but still comfortably leading the AL Central. They’ll be happy to just steal one from the Dodgers who have awoken from their pedestrian start to the year and suddenly have the most wins in the National League.
For the second game of this three-game set the Twins will have to try and solve Clayton Kershaw who is making his ninth start of the season. Kershaw comes in with a 6-2 record and a 2.36 ERA. He will be opposed by 2-0 Bailey Ober who has a 1.85 ERA in four starts.
From the looks of it we could have a west coast pitcher’s duel after 17 runs were scored last night. Let’s take a look at the odds and the total for this one.
Twins vs. Dodgers odds, spread and total
Twins vs. Dodgers prediction and pick
If you were to look at Bailey Ober with an ERA under two and Clayton Kershaw sporting a 2.36 ERA and ask which one would likely regress, everyone on earth is going to answer Ober and they’re all correct. Kershaw has a 3.55 FIP which makes it look like he hasn’t pitched as well as he has, but that is misleading. Kershaw’s FIP jumped from 2.99 to 3.66 after his May 5 outing against the Padres when he walked five and allowed four earned in a loss. Walks really affect a pitcher’s FIP and that outlier game made his jump. Those five walks were half of his season total and that’s not who Kershaw is on the mound.
Ober on the other hand has a 3.31 FIP and for his career, which is only 172.2 innings, the 27-year-old has a 3.54 ERA. Ober has a batting average on balls in play of .226, which is far below the league average and will come up as he pitches more innings. That will raise his career low hits/9 from 5.9 with a 58th percentile whiff rate he won’t be able to dominate with swing-and-miss stuff which could help him get out of inevitable jams.
Ober is going to regress, but oddsmakers are wise to it with the Dodgers such heavy home chalk. However, the total is low after the over has hit in the Twins last four games and I think that the Dodgers could reach it mostly on their own if Ober really has a blow up start. That’ll be my bet in this spot.
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