The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants will wrap up their season-opening four-game series on Sunday afternoon. The National League West rivals were on the opposite ends of the spectrum a season ago.
The Dodgers figure to be ultra-competitive once again while the Giants badly need to rebound in order to avoid a rebuild at the trading deadline. Optimism is high on both sides, as Los Angeles has a deep team while San Francisco made myriad moves this offseason which has it feeling good about a move back into playoff contention.
The season is very young but each side wants to get off on the right foot. The Dodgers are expected to send veteran left-hander Rich Hill to the mound while the Giants have not named a starting pitcher.
First pitch for the game between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers is scheduled for Sunday, April 1, 2018, at 8:37 p.m. ET at Dodger Stadium. The matchup will be shown on ESPN.
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There is no moneyline available for this contest and since the regular season hasn’t started no trends have yet developed. However, the National League West futures odds can give bettors a good idea about which team is more likely to come away with the victory.
The Dodgers should be favored in this matchup as they are listed as heavy -217 favorites to win the N.L. West this season. The Giants actually have the second-best odds despite last year’s poor season because they made plenty of moves designed to improve the roster quickly. San Francisco is still a pretty big underdog at +630 odds.
Hill has always been effective when he is healthy, and this early in the season he should be feeling good. The 38-year-old went 12-8 with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP a season ago. He struck out more than 11 batters per nine innings with a decent walk rate. Hill doesn’t have the name recognition of some of his rotation-mates but is very effective. The Dodgers should feel good about him getting the ball.
The Giants have been dealt a tough injury blow early on, losing ace Madison Bumgarner and No. 3 pitcher Jeff Samardzija to injuries. That has moved everyone up in the rotation and has left a hole for this game. It’s possible Chris Stratton is an option, but look for a definitive announcement in the coming days.
The Giants added big names Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria to the team this season. Both are former superstars but have fallen off in performance in recent years. Both have great pedigree and if they can play well it will be a big bump in helping the team contend once again.
The Dodgers have an impressive rotation and their lineup is led by two of the best young players in the game in Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager. This is a team that has very few weaknesses.
Free MLB Pick
This one is easy. No matter who the Giants throw out there as the starting pitcher, the Dodgers will have the advantage as Hill is one of the better No. 4 pitchers in the major leagues. Los Angeles is playing at home and also has the better lineup.
San Francisco has some high hopes but the feeling here is that it will be another long season, and all of these aggressive offseason moves will go for naught. Take the Dodgers to cruise to an easy victory to start the season off right by winning the opening series against the Giants.
Game Score Prediction: Dodgers 5, Giants 2
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