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    The Los Angeles Dodgers (72-62) will look to bounce back from a series-opening loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks (74-60) on Friday when they host them again as small home favorites at sportsbooks. The Dodgers fell two games behind the Diamondbacks in the race for the National League West title with a 3-1 loss on Thursday. MLB betting line: The Dodgers opened as -121 favorites (wager $121 to win $100); the total is at 7.5 runs http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-tom-seaver-jersey , according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)MLB betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 5.2-3.2, Dodgers (MLB picks on every game)Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news. Why the Diamondbacks can pay on the MLB linesArizona got an outstanding pitching performance from Robbie Ray in the series opener, as he allowed four hits and one run with nine strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Next up is ace Zack Greinke (13-8, 2.93 ERA), and the former Dodger is coming off one of his best starts since the middle of July. The 34-year-old did not give up an earned run in 6.2 innings of a 5-2 victory against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, walking two and striking out six. Despite a high 4.38 ERA, he is also 2-0 in two starts versus Los Angeles this year. Why the Dodgers can pay on the MLB linesThe Dodgers will send Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-1, 2.18 ERA) to the mound for just the fourth time since May 2 and hope his recent positive results are an indicator of things to come.Even though the 31-year-old surrendered 11 hits in 5.2 innings to the San Diego Padres last time out on Sunday, he still picked up a win because he only served up a solo homer for one earned run while walking one and striking out eight. He has not given up more than three runs in any of his nine appearances either, making him a solid bet in this spot. Smart betting pickAfter Thursday’s loss, Los Angeles has now dropped nine of the 13 meetings between the teams this year, according to the OddsShark MLB Database. If the Dodgers want to win the division and/or make the playoffs, they simply cannot afford to lose many more games like that.The Diamondbacks also have a 1.5-game lead on the Colorado Rockies, and they have not been able to pull away yet. Expect Los Angeles to rebound here and even this series while drawing closer to Arizona in the standings. MLB betting trendsThe total has gone under in each of Arizona’s last five games.Los Angeles is 5-1 in its last six games.The total has gone under in six of Los Angeles’ last nine games at home. All MLB odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app. /Associated Press/Associated Press”The first week-and-a-half Asdrubal Cabrera Jersey , two weeks of spring training, I don’t know if he made an out,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner says. “It’s been fun to watch. Fun to watch him absolutely dominate the strike zone.”Muncy did not break camp with the Dodgers but was summoned from, yes, Oklahoma City on April 17 after infielder Logan Forsythe injured his shoulder. In his first game, in San Diego, Muncy cracked a pinch-hit single. In his second at-bat the next day, Muncy ripped a home run off the Padres’ Luis Perdomo.”I don’t think he’s stopped since,” Dodgers outfielder and first baseman Cody Bellinger says. “Quality at-bats, day in and day out.”As he rakes, his teammates have moved from intrigued and wowed to wholly appreciative. Not simply of Muncy’s emergence, but also of an organization that continues to dominate the secondhand market the way Muncy dominates the strike zone.This is the third time that a reclamation project has blossomed into a prime-time player in Los Angeles in recent seasons. The Dodgers plucked Turner off the scrap heap in 2014 after the New York Mets released him, and he went on to hit .294 with 16 homers and 60 RBI in 2015. They traded with the Seattle Mariners for infielder Chris Taylor in 2016, and he went on to hit .288 with 21 homers and 72 RBI last year.Justin Turner says the Dodgers welcome reclamation projects like Max Muncy.Gregory Bull/Associated Press/Associated PressNow, Muncy.”It’s a good thing that, compared to other teams, we know how to find talent http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-tug-mcgraw-jersey ,” closer Kenley Jansen says. “It shows you why they talk about the depth we have in this organization.”Says Turner: “I think it’s a product of the culture we have around here, the environment. The way everyone is treated. I’ve been on teams where there is an obvious separation between the veterans and the young guys. That doesn’t exist here. When someone comes up, we see him helping us win ballgames. We see it with Muncy now; we saw it with Belly [Bellinger] last year.”Always, Muncy has known his way around the strike zone. Dodgers starter Ross Stripling faced him in high school (Stripling pitched for Carroll High in Southlake, Texas) and in college (Muncy played at Baylor, Stripling at Texas AM). Though they didn’t get to know each other until both became Dodgers, Stripling certainly knew enough of Muncy to try to avoid him when they were in school.”He’s always been a guy who absolutely commands the zone,” Stripling says. “If you throw it over the middle of the plate, he’s going to whack it. He’s always been that guy. My two losses against Baylor were basically his fault. I think he hit a game-winning single and a game-winning sacrifice fly off of me my junior and senior years.”Stipling says he thinks Muncy struggled with the A’s because he wasn’t getting consistent playing time: “He was playing all over the place and was having a hard time finding a routine. Over here, he got in the big leagues and got a chance to show what he could do everyday, which is command the zone, get on base and hit for slug [slugging percentage] when pitchers make mistakes.”Muncy says his hitting coach in Oklahoma City, Shawn Wooten, and his father helped him fine-tune not only his approach at the plate, but also his mental game during the difficult times in 2017. After his release from Oakland and before the Dodgers signed him, Muncy and his agent even investigated professional opportunities in Japan and South Korea.”It’s been a whirlwind of emotions, a whirlwind of talks Juan Lagares Jersey , not knowing if I was ever going to play baseball again,”Muncysays.”Was a team going to give me a chance? Was I ever going to make it back to the major leagues? Was I going to be a career minor leaguer? You never know. There are not really words for me to describe it other than crazy and unbelievable.”Lee Muncy says he thinks the turbocharge that boosted his son into this new stage of his career is confidence born of desperation.”I think when they released him he realized, ‘I can’t be conservative. I have to be more aggressive and sure of myself,'” Lee says.Max agrees, and as he speaks, the metaphorical odometer counting the miles between him and that Oklahoma City Sheraton continues to practically do cartwheels, the distance traveled so mind-blowing. Take the Home Run Derby, for instance.”Incredible experience,” Muncy says. “It was something very special to me, especially having my dad there. Growing up, it was something my dad and I always watched together. Obviously, you had the All-Star Game, but we always thought the Derby was the coolest thing to watch, and having him there was very cool.”Max Muncy crushes a pitch in the Home Run Derby.Patrick Semansky/Associated PressAs Lee, a geologist in the international oil and gas industry, sat watching the Derby, there was this http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-travis-d_arnaud-jersey , too: So far, the family has made one journey to Los Angeles this season to watch Max. It came during the first Dodgers homestand after he was called up to the majors. In town that late April weekend were the Washington Nationals.Now, here he sat as the Home Run Derby unfolded鈥n Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.Forget the past year. Simply from April to now, who could have conjured up this?”You know what?” Midge says. “We’ve learned to just go with it.””Unbelievable,” Lee says. “It really is a surreal situation. Happy, surprised, wonderful.”Then, after the Derby, Max disappeared with his family to their vacation home in the Finger Lakes, and next thing he knew, not only were the Dodgers acquiring superstar Manny Machado, but everyone was speculating on whether Max would be asked to give up his No. 13, which had been Machado’s jersey number with the Baltimore Orioles.”I was never asked. I was never told anything about it. I just know I was at our family lakehouse, found out we got Machado, and we were all excited,” Muncy says. “Me and my family were talking about how he probably would want that number Noah Syndergaard Jersey , and what number would you go with now?”I didn’t know what was available, what numbers can I get. So I started thinking about it, but I never received any calls, texts, emails … then I showed up in Milwaukee and everyone said he had chosen No. 8. I was fully prepared to give up No. 13.”Max Muncy and the other Dodgers infielders confer during a pitching change.Dylan Buell/Getty ImagesInstead, as he solidifies his MLB resume one home run at a time, maybe this simply is the latest indicator that in his seventh professional season鈥ith his second organization鈥s he bounces around the infield from third base to second base to first base, even playing someshould have had a moment like that,” he says. “But I think because of how crazy this year has been, I still haven’t.”He thinks for a minute鈥攁nother strike zone to conquer tonight, a Los Angeles stretch run close enough to reach out and touch, the Oklahoma City Sheraton still there but fading in his rear-view mirror.”Probably,” he continues, “that’s helping me out in not getting content with where I’m at.”Scott Miller covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow Scott on Twitter and talk baseball.

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