LOS ANGELES — A chance at a sixth consecutive National League West title is not quite hanging in the balance for the Los Angeles Dodgers Kennys Vargas Jersey , but eyebrows have been raised and the calendar is making its presence known.When the Dodgers play host to the San Diego Padres for a three-game series at Dodger Stadium beginning Friday, they will head into the matchup having lost nine of their last 12 games and 10 of their last 14. They opened the current homestand by getting swept in a three-game series against the surging St. Louis Cardinals.The three games this weekend are part of the seven games remaining for the Dodgers in August. Then come 27 games in September as the Dodgers try to rally from a 4 1/2-game deficit in the National League West and a 3 1/2-game deficit for the second NL wild-card spot.Article continues below ...“It sucks losing,” Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen said after Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to the Cardinals. “It sucks going 4 1/2 back. It sucks being in third place. But you’ve just got to be a man and deal with it, and step up Friday. We all need to step up.”Jansen took the loss in two of the three games against the Cardinals as he returned from the disabled list because of an irregular heartbeat only to give up three home runs total. St. Louis hit two home runs off Jansen on Monday and one Wednesday.The Dodgers’ bullpen woes started when Jansen went on the DL Aug. 10 as nobody could get a handle on the suddenly-vacant closer role, but now Jansen is scuffling upon his return.The Padres felt a bit of that Thursday when the Colorado Rockies’ Ian Desmond hit a game-ending, two-run homer off right-hander Kirby Yates, when a San Diego win was one out away. But overall in the second half Bert Blyleven Jersey , the Padres’ bullpen had been solid.The Padres entered play Thursday with a 2.89 ERA from its relievers in the second half, the best in the NL and second best in baseball to Oakland’s 2.63.“The names down there have changed a lot,” manager Andy Green said, according to Padres blog Friar Wire. “There are only a few guys who have been there from the beginning of the year. All the guys who have come up have done a really nice job. One through eight, there are good options down there.”The Padres will limp into Dodger Stadium on Friday as Christian Villanueva went on the DL with a fractured finger, and Wil Myers was reduced to one at-bat in the past two games after he was hit in the face by a ground ball in batting practice Wednesday. And Hunter Renfroe has a sore right forearm after getting hit by a pitch Sunday.After Thursday’s 4-3 defeat, the Padres have lost eight of their past 10 games. They are 10-21 since the All-Star break. The Padres are just 4-9 against the Dodgers this season http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-paul-o_neill-jersey , having lost three of four in a series in L.A. in July.Left-hander Clayton Richard (7-10, 5.11 ERA) will pitch for the Padres on Friday, having gone 7-8 lifetime against the Dodgers in 26 appearances (24 starts) with a 4.51 ERA. Left-hander Rich Hill (5-4, 3.73) will start for the Dodgers, having worked 4-4 in nine career starts against the Padres with a 3.44 ERA. Two of baseball's best pitchers will be on display Monday when the New York Yankees (74-43) host the New York Mets (49-66) as solid home favorites at the sportsbooks.Despite posting a losing record, Jacob deGrom (6-7, 1.77 ERA) has been great for the Mets this year Jacoby Ellsbury Jersey , and he is in better form than American League wins leader Luis Severino (15-5, 3.11 ERA) for the Yankees. MLB betting line: The Yankees opened as -200 favorites (wager $200 to win $100); the total is at seven runs, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)MLB betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 3.0-2.3, Mets (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 Mets can pay on the MLB linesOne word: deGrom. The 30-year-old righty has the lowest ERA in baseball, and he is coming off an outstanding performance against the Cincinnati Reds last time out on Wednesday. The 30-year-old pitched six scoreless innings in an 8-0 victory http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-don-mattingly-jersey , walking one batter and striking out 10 to end a personal three-game losing streak.During that skid, he also gave up three runs or less in each of the three starts with three walks and 24 strikeouts. The problem is, the Mets totaled just three runs combined in those games.Why the Yankees can pay on the MLB linesOffensively, the Yankees are obviously the superior team, and that helped Severino break a three-game losing streak of his own in his last outing. David Banks/Associated PressThe 24-year-old Dominican gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings of a 7-3 win on Wednesday after seeing his team get outscored 21-12 in his previous three starts combined.Before his skid, the Yankees had won six straight times with him toeing the rubber along with 16 of 17. Severino was 12-1 in those 17 games, with the Yankees winning 12 of them by two runs or more to cover the runline at a 71 percent clip. Smart betting pickThe Mets have won two of the past three meetings with the Yankees after a six-game series losing streak Aroldis Chapman Jersey , according to the OddsShark MLB Database. In other words, they have a chance here, especially with deGrom on the mound.Severino has seen his ERA rise more than a run from 1.98 on July 1, which is concerning for the Yankees down the stretch. Take the underdog value on the Mets with deGrom in this spot. MLB betting trendsThe Mets are 4-2 in their last six games.The total has gone over in six of the Yankees' last eight games at home against the Mets.The Mets are 2-7 in their last nine games against the Yankees. 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.