The Los Angeles Dodgers will host the San Francisco Giants in the final game of a four game series at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers are a -185 favorite with the Giants at +165. The run line has the Giants set at -135 with the Dodgers at +115 and the over-under is 7.5 at -115/-105 respectively.
Talented veteran lefty Rich Hill will take the mound in his season debut for the Dodgers. Hill has made some strange headlines in the last couple of season for unconventional endings to some of his career-best pitching performances.
While pitchers have been lifted late in no-hitters, the perfect game is such a rare occurrence in baseball, 23 in 140 years; it is something that many, including me, feel transcends individuals, teams, or seasons. It is part of what is at the core of baseball a moment in time that is talked about for decades and enshrined in Cooperstown.
You don’t pull a guy from a perfect game because you are possibly tearing up his only ticket to Cooperstown. Rich Hill will not be in the Hall of Fame, but he was six outs from being in the hall of fame when Dave Roberts pulled him out of the game.
Rich Hill was robbed of a chance at Cooperstown so he didn’t risk a blister on his finger and jeopardize a World Series run that didn’t happen. There was a much better chance Rich Hill throws a perfect game that day than the Dodgers winning the World Series in the next 10 years.
A year later Rich Hill took another perfect game into the ninth and Logan Forsythe booted a groundball to end the perfect game bid but the Dodgers couldn’t muster a run. Hill pitched into the tenth and eventually was beaten.
From touted prospect to multiple injuries forcing him out of the game, to returning to the game as the hottest pitcher in baseball in his mid-thirties, to two crazy almost perfect games that didn’t even result in a win, Rich Hill has had a crazy career.
Today Rich Hill just has to outpitch Chris Stratton against an average Giants team with one of the best lineups in baseball behind him. You almost hope the guy gives up a hit in the first just so he doesn’t have to ensure any more of craziness!
While the Dodgers have become one of MLB’s best team, the Giants are beginning to fade from glory as ag strips away what made Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, and Madison Bumgarner so hard to beat in the postseason. San Fransisco added Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria in the offseason, a move that admittedly makes their lineup more formidable.
Yet, without a healthy Bumgarner to rely on once or twice a week, this team is going to have a hard time competing at the level needed to even make it into a one game playoff.
With a balanced roster of veterans and unbelievable young talent, the Dodgers have the edge on most teams offensively. When you put this with the ability of Rich Hill to outpitch anyone in baseball for a day, it is obvious the Dodgers are the favorite in this matchup.
Chris Stratton has respectable numbers for a guy just breaking into the majors but has a tall order facing a fresh and healthy Dodgers lineup. Dodgers 4 and Giants 2!
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