Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM

Thursday's NL Tip Sheet

Dodgers (-200, 11 ½) at Rockies – 8:40 PM EST

In spite of losing two of three games at Arizona, the Dodgers (55-27) remain the top team in the National League West as they begin a four-game series at Coors Field. Los Angeles squandered a 3-0 lead in the series opening loss at Chase Field with Clayton Kershaw on the mound in an 8-5 setback on Monday, but the Dodgers rebounded for a 3-2 triumph on Tuesday. Arizona jumped on Los Angeles in Wednesday’s series finale for four runs in the opening inning of an 8-2 blowout, marking the second straight road series defeat for the Dodgers.

Colorado (42-38) returns home from a 5-4 road trip against three division foes, Arizona, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The Rockies pulled off a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks before dropping all three at Dodger Stadium this past weekend (more on that in a minute). Colorado captured two of three games at San Francisco, capped off by Wednesday’s 6-3 triumph as a -145 favorite. The Rockies overcame an early 2-0 deficit thanks to a grand slam off the bat of David Dahl, who drove in five runs for Colorado in the win.

The Rockies held their own with the Dodgers last weekend at Chavez Ravine, unfortunately they had no wins to show for it. Los Angeles slipped past Colorado all three times on walk-off homers, extending its winning streak over the Rockies to 11 games since last season. The Dodgers were heavy favorites in all three games, but rewarded run-line bettors with a two-run walk-off shot to win the series opener, 4-2, while hitting a three-run blast to capture the finale, 6-3.

Walker Buehler takes the mound in the opener for the Dodgers, looking to improve on an 8-1 mark and 2.96 ERA. The former Vanderbilt standout struck out a career-high 16 batters in nine innings of last Friday’s 4-2 victory over the Rockies as a -190 favorite, marking his second win against Colorado this season. Since the start of May, Buehler has put together eight quality starts in nine outings, while winning each of his past three starts away from Dodger Stadium.

The Rockies counter with rookie right-hander Peter Lambert, who won his first two career starts against the Cubs, but is winless in his past two appearances. After getting knocked around for eight runs in three innings to the Padres on Father’s Day, Lambert settled down to yield three runs in five innings at Los Angeles last Saturday. Unfortunately, that was one of the walk-off losses suffered by the Rockies as Colorado led, 4-3 until L.A. tied it with a run in the eighth before winning it in the 11th.

Colorado has won six consecutive home series openers, but the Rockies were swept at Coors Field by the Dodgers back in April. The last time the Rockies beat the Dodgers came on September 8 in Denver last season, 4-2. Who was the starting pitcher that night for Los Angeles? It was Buehler, who allowed all four runs, including two homers, one off the bat of Colorado center fielder Charlie Blackmon, who enters Thursday’s contest with only two hits in his past 17 at-bats.

Diamondbacks at Giants (-110, 8 ½) – 9:45 PM EST

These two NL West rivals are also meeting for the second straight weekend as the venue shifts to Oracle Park in San Francisco. The Diamondbacks (41-41) have won three of their past four since a six-game skid, as Arizona won multiple games in a series against Los Angeles for the first time this season. Arizona not only took the series at Chase Field, but cashed in both opportunities as an underdog, including as a +140 ‘dog in Wednesday’s 8-2 blowout.

The Giants (34-45) remain at the bottom of the NL West after dropping two of three games to the Rockies. San Francisco was blanked in the series opener before winning on Tuesday, 4-2 behind Madison Bumgarner’s six strong innings of work. The Giants lost for the sixth time in seven tries in series finales in Wednesday’s 6-3 home setback in spite of grabbing an early 2-0 advantage. San Francisco failed to win a home series for the first time since losing two of three to Los Angeles in early June, while the Giants are playing a series against a division foe for the sixth time in the last seven opportunities.

These two squads hook up last weekend at Chase Field as the Giants picked up a pair of victories in the first two games prior to Arizona winning the finale. San Francisco outscored Arizona, 18-9 in the first two wins, which included an impressive debut from left fielder Alex Dickerson, who knocked out a grand slam and drove in six runs in last Friday’s 11-5 triumph. The Giants captured Game 2 by a 7-4 count as a +115 underdog before the D-backs squeezed out a 3-2 win to avoid the sweep as a -145 favorite.

Former Vanderbilt hurler Tyler Beede makes his seventh start this season for the Giants, as San Francisco owns a 3-0 record in his last three outings. All three victories came in the underdog role against the Padres, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks, as he received a no-decision in last Saturday’s 7-4 win at Arizona. Beede lasted only four innings and gave up four runs as the Giants erased an early 3-0 deficit by scoring five unanswered runs to get the right-hander off the hook.

Alex Young makes his MLB debut for Arizona as the southpaw compiled a 5.79 ERA in eight starts at Triple-A Reno. Young pitched at TCU prior to getting drafted by the D-backs in 2015, as he faces a Giants’ squad that owns a 2-6 record in the last eight home games against left-handed starting pitchers. In the past six contests at Oracle Park when facing southpaw starters, the Giants have been limited to two runs or less five times.

This series has been dominated by the road team this season, as the home squad has won only twice in nine meetings. Arizona swept San Francisco in a three-game set in late May, as the D-backs posted 34 runs, including 18 in a series opening 18-2 blowout.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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