Baseball OddsAside from the AL Central, the NL West could be the most competitive division in all of baseball. Only five and half games separate first place from fourth place, and betting people know that anything can happen in the playoff push after the All-Star break.

The San Francisco Giants are currently four and a half games out of first place in the NL West, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are five and a half games out. There has not been a lot of NFL betting going on in Los Angeles in the last few years, but expectations for the Dodgers have been running very high. While the Dodgers have been exciting to watch, they have failed to live up to the hype.

If you bet on NCAA football, then you know that you usually go with the team with the strong quarterback. The San Francisco Giants have a steady quarterback in pitcher Tim Lincecum. The former Cy Young winner is having another stellar season, and he brings his 10-4 record and 2.94 ERA to the mound against the Dodgers in this game.

On the mound for the Dodgers will be Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw is not a spectacular pitcher, he is solid and steady and will give the Dodgers more wins than losses over the course of a season. This year Kershaw has a 9-5 record and a 3.16 ERA. This fastball pitcher had a lot of control problems in his last start which was against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Dodgers are hoping Kershaw can bounce back and get on the winning track again.

When you bet on MLB games, it can almost look like a no-brainer when you have a Cy Young winner on the mound against a guy trying to re-claim his confidence. But you have to factor in team play to really get a feel for how a game could go.

In their last 10 games the San Francisco Giants have won eight, but they have a losing road record of 22-24. The Dodgers have lost six of their last 10, and they have a strong home record at 28-18. Manny Ramirez is unpredictable and the last guy you want as a team leader, and he is also having a lousy season. With only eight homers and 39 RBIs, Manny is hardly living up to his elite player billing.

The Dodgers have lost their last four games in a row, their bullpen has consistently let them down and they cannot get run production from their top players. They are facing Tim Lincecum who, in his last start, pitched a shut out against a good hitting team in the New York Mets.

The Dodgers free fall from grace will more than likely be the theme of their play in this second half of the regular season. In order to have a chance at making the playoffs, the Dodgers need to get production from players that have not produced all season and wins from a starting rotation that has struggled. This is not a good combination for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

BSNblog Pick: San Francisco Giants 3-1

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