Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM

Friday's Best Bet

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Friday MLB Betting Preview
L.A. Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks (9:40 p.m. ET)

It was like the LA Dodgers entered an alternate universe in the 4th inning of their series opener with Arizona last night, as a 3-0 lead with Ryu on the hill quickly turned into a 4-3 deficit after that inning, and ended in 11-5 Dodgers loss. An 11-5 defeat is not how any Ryu start is supposed to go – this year at least – let alone one where LA jumped out to an early 3-0 lead.

So tonight the Dodgers send young Tony Gonsolin to the hill for his fourth consecutive start as the Dodgers try to even this four-game set up. Can he do it, or will Arizona build upon what happened yesterday and take the first two games of this weekend series?

MLB Odds: LA Dodgers (-119) vs Arizona (+109); Total set at 9

Gonsolin was more then serviceable in his last start, as he and the rest of the Dodgers bullpen managed to hold down that powerful Yankees lineup in a 2-1 LA victory. Gonsolin was responsible for giving up the only run on a long ball, as that was his first HR allowed since returning to the Majors.

A potential problem for he and the Dodgers tonight is the fact that in his last start before getting sent down to the minors the last time, there was an ugly outing for Gonsolin on this very same field in Arizona. It was the end of June at the time, and Gonsolin was responsible for six runs allowed in just 4 IP, as an 8-2 loss to Arizona that day forced management's hand into sending him down. Gonsolin has hopefully worked a few of those minor issues since then if you are a Dodgers fan, and given that he's pitched rather well in all three of his starts since returning – all against likely playoff teams too in NYY, St Louis and Atlanta – so with Arizona being the worst of that bunch, it's not like fading the Dodgers simply because Gonsolin is on the mound is a great way to start to dissect this game. In fact it's quite the opposite.

The Dodgers have been as great as they have been this year because they made sure they took care of the first thing in baseball that leads to dominant records: win in your own division. LA is 38-20 SU against NL West rivals and that mark has come with numerous different starters out there. Being 18 games over the .500 mark in division games alone will go a long way in building the 19-game lead LA has right now, but that's not even the most impressive part.

That 38-20 record vs NL West rivals has come thanks to LA being 14-3-1 in terms of winning series outright against their rivals. That's just absurd from a consistency perspective and it speaks to how good this team is and how built they are to win in their division. They won at least one game in all but one of those 18 series' against division rivals, and when they do lose – like they did last night – the Dodgers don't tend to lose for very long.

Of those 58 games vs division rivals, LA has had just one losing streak of four games, and one losing streak of just two games. The two-gamer came at the end and start of consecutive series against Arizona and San Francisco earlier in the year, while the four-gamer was getting swept against San Diego and following that up with a loss to Colorado in their next divisional game. That's it. Taking this LA Dodgers team off a loss against a rival has been money nearly all year, and I don't think that changes tonight. Off a loss in general, the Dodgers are on a 45-20 SU run as well.

Zac Gallen might be new to Arizona, but the Dodgers faced him back in mid-July when he was still with the Marlins. LA won that game 2-1 with Gallen going a little over five innings, but he did have issues with command (four walks) and you know the Dodgers would love to make him pay for similar mistakes tonight.

LA has the far better team, and after letting last night's opener get away from them, the Dodgers go out and add to their 6-2 SU run on the road against a righty with a victory tonight to even up this four-game series. The Dodgers record vs NL West rivals in full series this year is too good to think LA will end up coming into Saturday's contest trying to sweep the next two games for a push at best. LA wins tonight and gets things evened up going into the weekend.

Best Bet: Los Angeles ML

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