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Johnny Cueto
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Odds and Ends

Giants vs Dodgers picks and predictions for Opening Day

by NBC Sports EDGE Staff
Updated On: July 26, 2020, 4:02 pm ET

MLB betting is back on the board following a few nervous months for baseball fans. 

Two classic National League West rivals help get the 60-game 2020 schedule underway when the Los Angeles Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants at Dodgers Stadium on Thursday night (10:08 p.m. ET).

MLB odds for this Opening Day matchup have been on the board since the middle of July and we dive headfirst into those lines, giving our favorite picks and predictions for Giants at Dodgers on July 23.

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San Francisco Giants vs Los Angeles Dodgers betting preview

Starting pitchers

Johnny Cueto RHP (2019: 1-2, 5.06 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw LHP (2019: 16-5, 3.03 ERA) 

Cueto pitched just four games in 2019, returning to the club in September after his rehab from Tommy John surgery. That includes a two-inning effort against the Dodgers in which the righty was hit for five runs on five hits, including three home runs.

Kershaw looked good in his warmup starts, striking out 11 batters through six innings during an intrasquad game last Friday. The left-hander was 10-2 with a 2.89 ERA at home in 2019 and went 1-2 with a 2.37 ERA in four appearances against the Giants. 

Weather

The forecast calls for clear skies and temperatures in the mid-70s with a slight 5-8 mph breeze blowing out to center field. Check out the detailed weather report.

Home plate umpire

TBA

Injuries

Giants: Hunter Pence OF (Questionable), Evan Longoria 3B (Questionable), Buster Posey C (Out for season) Dodgers: Austin Barnes C (Day-to-Day), Max Muncy 2B (Day-to-Day). Get the latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Giants are 3-8 in their last 11 games versus a left-handed starter. Find more Giants vs. Dodgers MLB betting trends.

 

 

First-inning total pick

The Giants have a mighty big hole to fill behind home plate with catcher Buster Posey opting to sit out the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. That has San Francisco scrambling to replace one of the best veteran backstops in baseball.

The Giants are leaning toward Tyler Heineman and Rob Brantly or maybe even minor league journeyman Chadwick Tromp to step up as the starting catcher. Whoever gets the nod for Thursday, they won’t have much chemistry with Cueto. 

The Giants had trouble allowing early runs in 2019, giving up an average of 0.85 runs per first inning on the road – third-most in the majors. A rusty Cueto and an inexperienced catcher combo could mean early trouble for the Giants against a stacked L.A. lineup.

PREDICTION: First-inning Over 1.5 runs (+241)

Over/Under pick

The total for this season debut is sitting at 8 runs after opening at 7.5 and taking early money on the Over. 

The Dodgers got the bats swinging in their exhibition matchup with the Arizona Diamondbacks on the weekend, plating nine runs and getting great production from their star-studded top of the order. Los Angeles’ hitters No. 1 through No. 5 finished that exhibition a collective 9-for-13 with three walks in the 9-2 victory. 

San Francisco hasn’t managed much offense in its recent meetings with the Dodgers – getting blanked in three of the final four games against L.A. last summer – but will be coming off an exhibition date with the Oakland Athletics on Monday. They should provide more push back (at least more than zero) on the scoreboard.

PREDICTION: Over 8 (-105)

 

Runline pick

Not even diehard Dodgers fans want to lay the near 1/3 pricetag on the L.A. moneyline for Thursday night, especially considering this is Opening Day and COVID-19 put the brakes on the regular tune-up routines.

So, off to the Dodgers’ runline we go. 

Cueto is a mystery on the mound, given his late-season 2019 return, limited work in lockdown, and musical chairs at catcher for the club. Kershaw, on the other hand, provides more stability for baseball bettors. 

While the season starts in July this year, the southpaw has generally performed well to start the schedule over his career, and he’s thrown 90 or more pitches in his two warmup starts during intrasquad action. He should go deep against a shaky San Francisco lineup. 

PREDICTION: Dodgers runline -1.5 (-139)

 

Giants vs Dodgers betting card

• First-inning Over 1.5 (+241)
• Over 8 (-105)
• Dodgers runline -1.5 (-139)

MLB Parlays

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Where can I bet on the MLB?

You can bet on MLB odds at every online and casino sportsbooks, including MLB moneylines, runlines, Over/Under totals and a ton of MLB prop odds. Head over to our best suggested sportsbooks for the top spots to bet on MLB odds in your area.