Sunday MLB Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions for Dodgers vs. Padres: Back Clayton Kershaw to Have Another Strong Outing in San Diego

Sunday MLB Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions for Dodgers vs. Padres: Back Clayton Kershaw to Have Another Strong Outing in San Diego article feature image

David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Clayton Kershaw

  • The Padres are short home underdogs on Sunday agianst the Dodgers.
  • Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers as he has had a fast start to the season.
  • Check out Michael Arinze's betting pic. and analysis below.

Dodgers vs. Padres Odds

Dodgers Odds-155
Padres Odds+130
Time4:10 p.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Austin Nola hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to give the Padres a 3-2 walk-off win over the Dodgers on Saturday night. San Diego's victory means the series is still up for grabs when the two teams meet for the rubber match on Sunday. Clayton Kershaw will get the start for the Dodgers, while the Padres will counter with a left-hander of their own in Sean Manea.

San Diego acquired Manea via a trade with Oakland before the start of the season. While his season numbers suggest he's settling in nicely, he'll now try to tame a Dodgers lineup that can make even the best pitchers in the league look rather meek. A good performance could provide more insight into what we can expect from Manea for the rest of the season.

Will Kershaw Clinch the Series Win for the Dodgers?

Kershaw began the season with a bang as he pitched seven perfect innings against the Minnesota Twins. If not for the forearm injury he suffered last October, he might've come back out for the eighth inning to take a shot at a perfect game. The Dodgers are managing his workload beautifully as he's pitched at least five innings in both his starts while not throwing more than 87 pitches.

I've yet to notice any drop-off in his velocity since his return, as his fastball is still hovering around the same speed (90.7 mph) from the previous season. However, he seems to have more movement with some of his pitches.

According to Baseball Savant, Kershaw's slider is averaging a 31.1-inch drop, which would be his highest mark since they began tracking the statistic in 2016. That could be why Kershaw has already struck out 20 batters in 12 innings of work.

As hitters struggle to put the ball in play against Kershaw, his advanced numbers are even better than his traditional 3.00 ERA. It also helps that he's yet to issue a walk this season. If Kershaw maintains his low WHIP (0.50), he'll likely be on the cusp of another Cy Young candidacy.

While the future Hall of Famer doesn't have anything to prove at this stage in his career, he would like to snap his two-game losing streak against the Padres. Interestingly, those outings were both quality starts, so the reality is he hasn't pitched all that poorly.

It's tough to find too many faults with this Dodgers team that sits atop the league with a 2.24 ERA and sixth with a wRC+ value of 118. The Dodgers will win their share of games, so there's certainly some value if you can target them in spots where you don't have to lay more than -150.

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Can the Lefty Manaea and the Padres Pull the Upset?

I'm intrigued by what I've seen thus far from Manaea, as he's registered a quality start in each of his three outings this season. Moreover, he's allowed just three earned runs in 19 innings. Manaea comes into this game at 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP. In 2021, his 3.68 SIERA was the best mark of his career, which certainly bodes well for his projections this season.

Manaea avoided arbitration by signing a one-year deal worth $9.75 million in March, and I'm stunned Oakland didn't sign him to a long-term extension, given his 52-42 career mark with a 3.80 ERA.

Manaea is a starter who has always pitched well, evidenced by his lifetime 2.23 BB/9 and 1.15 HR/9 ratios. After this year, he'll have the opportunity to be an unrestricted free agent, so I think there's undoubtedly some extra motivation for him to perform this season.

Although his looming free agency could be an interesting angle for him for this season, I'm hesitant to rush to the window to back the left-hander against this powerful Los Angeles lineup. Manaea's numbers against this current Dodgers roster are a bit concerning, considering that in 46 at-bats, Los Angeles has a .340 / .366 / .685 line against him.

However, Padres fans can take some solace in the Dodgers' struggles against left-handers to start the year. Los Angeles currently has a .194 / .282 / .255 split in this spot. Thus, when you put it all together, I think it's quite daunting to assess which side has the edge in this matchup, given these conflicting storylines.

Dodgers-Padres Pick

The Padres made it a point to try to go head-to-head with the Dodgers last season. That didn't work out too well, as San Diego finished four games under .500 and 28 games out of first place. This season, I think the Padres are more than capable of making a run to the playoffs if they focus more on themselves and less on what the Dodgers are doing.

San Diego has a bit of little brother syndrome, which makes this series extremely compelling. With both teams showing plenty of promise, you could argue that this rivalry means that both teams are probably closer in quality than the odds would suggest.

The Padres likely need this series more than the Dodgers after losing 12 of the 19 games in the season series last year. However, the Dodgers are on a perfect 10-0 run against the Padres when opening as a -140 favorite or higher.

My model makes the Dodgers as high as a -153 favorite, so I prefer to lean to the visitors in this matchup. However, I'm less inclined to get involved because I'm more interested in watching how Manaea handles this lineup that's had success against him. Instead, I aim to use this game as a learning exercise for how I'll look to play Manaea the rest of the year.

Lean: Dodgers ML (-139, DraftKings)

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