Padres vs. Dodgers MLB Betting Odds & Picks: Expect Yu Darvish to Carry San Diego (Friday, April 23)

Padres vs. Dodgers MLB Betting Odds & Picks: Expect Yu Darvish to Carry San Diego (Friday, April 23) article feature image
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Justin K. Aller/Getty Images. Pictured: San Diego Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish.

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers will finally see a righty on the mound Friday when they take on the San Diego Padres.
  • That righty, however, is Yu Darvish, who LA has struggled against in the past.
  • Check out Kenny Ducey's full betting preview complete with updated odds and a pick below.

Padres vs. Dodgers Odds

Padres Odds +130
Dodgers Odds -150
Over/Under 6.5
Time 10:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Friday afternoon and via DraftKings.

Baseball fans will be treated to yet another exciting matchup between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres when Yu Darvish takes on Clayton Kershaw in Los Angeles.

The two met six days ago in San Diego, where the Dodgers took it, 2-0, behind six dominant frames from the three-time Cy Young Award winner. Will that game serve as blueprint for how this one goes, or could San Diego’s vast experience against Kershaw break through? Let’s break down the numbers.

San Diego Padres

Things may finally be straightening out for the Friars after a 2-7 stretch that spanned the past week.

Splitting a four-game set with the Pirates was bad enough, then the Dodgers took two of three, Fernando Tatis Jr. got dinged up, and they got swept by the Brewers. So, Thursday’s win over the Dodgers couldn’t have come at a better time, and it was Ryan Weathers of all people to be the stopper.

Things should continue to be tough for the Dodgers against Darvish, even though this lineup will finally get a righty, which they’ve been waiting days to face. Los Angeles is considerably worse against left-handers and has struggled against some pretty mediocre ones in back-to-back games. We’ll get to that later, though.

Gone is the automatic splits advantage, and in is the advantage of having your best pitcher toe the mound.

Darvish has been spectacular in his age-34 season, ranking in the top 20% of the league in average exit velocity and hard-hit rate despite losing velocity on his fastball and seeing a decrease in overall whiff rate.

So, why’s he been so good? Well, he ranks in the top 3% of the league in fastball spin rate, getting more drop on his cutter and .4 inches more horizontal movement on his four-seamer.

Darvish just shut down this Dodgers’ lineup, which has a .155 expected wOBA against him since Statcast began tracking such things in 2015.

We’ve seen a mixed bag when it comes to pitchers facing a lineup a second time this year, but Darvish’s ability should rise above any sort of trend involving mainly inferior pitchers.

Having played with some of them, too, it is fair to say he knows how to navigate this lineup.

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Los Angeles Dodgers

At long last, a righty.

It’s hard to get excited about facing Darvish, but anything is better than a southpaw for this team, which was nearly shut out by Marco Gonzales of all people on Tuesday.

That was followed by a painful five innings-plus against Weathers on Thursday, which resulted in just a hit, a walk and six strikeouts. There has been no team better at hitting right-handed pitching this year than the Dodgers, who sit atop baseball with a 133 wRC+ within the split. There have been 26 teams better than the Dodgers at hitting lefties, who they have produced just an 83 wRC+ against.

The matchup may be good for this offense, but it’s not so great for Kershaw.

Sure, the tall lefty shut down the Padres over six innings last weekend, but before that, this team had touched him up for six hits and three runs over six innings in the NLDS last year and scored three runs off him a month prior in September.

He enters in the complete opposite position of Darvish, who has owned the Dodgers; many of the Padres have figured out how to hit him. One of them is Eric Hosmer, who has taken him deep twice since 2015 and has 10 hits in 30 at-bats against him over that span. He wasn’t in the lineup last Saturday and could be something of a disruptor here.

There’s not a whole lot more to say about this team — it’s definitely good. Thursday was the first time it had dropped a game at home all year in seven tries, and it will look to stay strong at Dodger Stadium.

Padres-Dodgers Pick

I thought the Padres would hit Kershaw last Saturday, and I was mistaken.

I am still going to buy them at this great price, however, given their familiarity with Kershaw. I was encouraged by the Padres’ seven hits on Thursday, and as long as they can scratch a few across against Kershaw, I think Darvish should keep a lid on the Dodgers as he has done his whole career.

Obviously, it’s hard to fade the best offense in baseball twice in a row, particularly at home, where they’ve been dominant, but I’d give them more than a 42.6% chance to win this game.

Therefore, San Diego is where the value lies.

Pick: Padres ML (+135)

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