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Opening Line: Dodgers -135
Now that Interleague play is over, its time to focus on the division races as the 2009 season winds down to the All-Star break. As the Dodgers await the return of Manny Ramirez, the National League West is tightening up a bit. The red-hot Colorado Rockies come to town trailing by only 7.5 games. A month ago, the Rockies seemed destined for a very long year. They were in dead last, 10 games under .500 and 14.5 games behind the Dodgers. Since then, the Rocks have won an amazing 20 of 23 games. Everything is clicking for them right now. Pitching, hitting, and defense. They have a great chance this week to cut into the Dodgers lead. More importantly, they’re only a half game behind the Giants for the Wild Card.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, lost 2 out of 3 over the weekend to Seattle and dropped back-to-back home games for the first time this year. They have lost 4 of 5 overall, but still own the best record in Baseball at 48-28. They also have the N.L.’s best home record at 26-12. Ramirez is due back on Friday and it looks like it couldn’t come a better time.
The Dodgers try to get back on track tonight with Randy Wolf on the hill. Wolf is 3-3 this year with a 3.64 ERA. He faced Colorado early this year and struck out 9 in a 4-3 Dodgers win on April 17th. The Rockies go with Ubaldo Jimenez. He’s only 6-7 on the year, but has a respectable 3.83 ERA. This will be his 4th crack at the Dodgers this year. He didn’t fare well in the previous three as he holds a 10.02 ERA against LA this year.
The Rockies have 23 road wins this year, the 2nd most in the Majors. This should be a pretty good series considering how well the Dodgers play at home. I’m going to give the edge tonight to the Dodgers. Colorado has only hit .213 this year vs. lefties on the road. The Dodgers have also won 8 of the 9 meeting this year and 11 of 13 going back to last year.
Here are some other trends to consider in this game:
Rockies are 7-16 in Jimenezs last 23 starts as an underdog.
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