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June 13, 2016

There is one pick tonight.

Take Arizona Diamondbacks (-141) on the ML against LA Dodgers risking 4.23% to win 3%.
(Greinke and Bolsinger must start for wager to have action)

Zack Greinke takes on his former team for the first time since leaving them in a big money free-agency move! Swapping the Dodgers for another NL West team made the switch more controversial in the eyes of many but the fact remains that Arizona was not only offering him an incredible amount of money, but he could finally step out of Clayton Kershaw's shadow! Greinke is a legitimate 'Ace' and yet despite posting an incredible record of 51-15 with a 2.30 ERA in 82 starts over three years with Los Angeles, he was never truly treated as such. Even last year when he was an All-Star game starter and was putting up incredible numbers week after week, the media always seemed fixated on the left-hander and that could not have sit well with him. Geinke is a highly competitive character and wants to be a leader of a franchise. He has a chance to do that with the Diamondbacks, a struggling ballclub that is need of a daring and confident leader.

Greinke and his teammates will have no shortage of motivation against the Dodgers. He'll want to remind them of what they no longer possess, with a quality start and he's capable of doing just that given that he's found his groove in Arizona. After a poor start to the season, the Cy Young runner-up has regained his form and won 5 straight decisions! His ERA is sub-2.00 in that span and it's worth noting that Arizona is 9-4 overall when he takes the mound. He's the type of guy that relishes 'big moments' like this and there's no doubt that he and the Diamondbacks, as a whole, will treat this as a 'statement game' and give it everything they have.

Michael Bolsinger, on the other hand, is not in the same class and has already been on a short leash with manager Dave Roberts. He's yet to go beyond 5 innings in any of his 4 starts this season and can be quite inconsistent. All in all, he's a mediocre pitcher that can be quite hittable and one that Arizona has seen quite a bit of in recent years. Very few of the Dodgers have direct plate experience against Greinke on the other hand, given that they've been teammates until this season and those that do, haven't had much success. Former Philly, Chase Utley is the lone exception. Greinke's team is a perfect 4-0 against the Dodgers, dating back to his days with Milwaukee! His ERA is an impressive 2.52 in four prior career starts against the Dodgers. It's also worth remembering that LA who struggled even against Jake Peavy yesterday, is an ugly 0-12 since August of 2014 as an underdog, off a road game in which they allowed 6 or fewer hits!

The Snakes find themselves quite a few games behind their LA counterparts and know the time to bridge the gap is now. If they want to match their off-season ambition and lofty pre-season targets, they're going to have to get on a winning roll at home and do it against a division rival that they are chasing. They finally have some confidence and momentum on their side, given that they just beat Jose Fernandez and company to win a rare home series by taking 2 of 3 from the Marlins! The boys in blue, on the other hand, head to the desert off a deflating series in San Francisco which saw them fall further behind the division leaders after losing the last two games by 1-run, including an extra innings affair! The LA coaching staff had to go to the bullpen early and often in each of the last two gives since Scott Kazmir and Julio Urias both lasted just 5 innings! The arms in the 'pen aren't as fresh as what the D-backs therefore have in their bullpen. Robbie Ray's scoreless outing yesterday saw him log 7.2 innings and allow Chip Hale to rest the likes of Daniel Hudson and closer Brad Ziegler. Not only do Arizona and Greinke want this game more, they are in a better position to take it as they have the edge in the starting pitching matchup, a more fresh bullpen, a hot-hitting offense that has been seeing the ball well and finally the fact that they haven't had to travel or play a late Sunday night game on national TV as the Dodgers did. They have an advantage nearly everywhere on the diamond tonight and should be heavy favorites.

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