MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions: Padres vs. Dodgers Game 2 Preview (Wednesday, Oct. 7)
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Davies
Padres vs. Dodgers Game 2 Odds
|Padres Odds||+180 [Bet Now]|
|Dodgers Odds||-225 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||8.5 (-115/-105) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||9:08 p.m. ET|
Odds via PointsBet, where you can win $125 if the Dodgers get at least 1 hit tonight.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are 3-0 in the postseason and yet there are still some worrying signs. They’re hitting only .186 through three games in the postseason and now they’ll face Zach Davies, whom their current lineup hasn’t had as much success against at the plate. In 122 at-bats, Dodgers hitters have a .205 AVG / .248 OBP / .303 SLG slash line against Davies.
Los Angeles will counter with left-hander, Clayton Kershaw, against the Padres. Much like the Dodgers lineup, Padres hitters have also struggled against the opposing starter for Game 2. In 114 at-bats, San Diego’s lineup has a .228 AVG / .264 OBP / .360 SLG slash line.
When you factor how both lineups have fared against the opposing pitchers, there’s a chance both teams will continue to struggle at the plate in Game 2 of this National League Divisional Series.
So Fresh and So Clean
Clayton Kershaw went 6-2 on the season with a 2.16 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. His 3.31 FIP, which is higher than his ERA, makes him a candidate for regression. Normally, postseason action in October has been when baseball fans witness Kershaw’s implosions. However, he was stellar in Game 2 of the Wild Card round six days ago when he racked up 13 strikeouts in a 3-0 shutout over the Milwaukee Brewers.
One has to wonder if the shortened schedule has resulted in Kershaw feeling a bit fresher this postseason. Per Baseball Savant, over the last two seasons, Kershaw’s four-seam fastball averaged 90.8 mph and 90.3 mph, respectively. This season, his velocity on the four-seamer is averaging around 91.6 mph. His pitches seem to be much sharper this year as he’s been able to reduce his HR/9 ratio from 1.41 in 2019 to 1.23 in 2020. Hitters are having less success making contact on balls in the zone as their Z-contact % has fallen from 86.3% to 83.3%. However, Kershaw’s biggest improvement might just be his GB/FB ratio which has gone from 1.46 in 2019 to 1.72 in 2020.
Kershaw throws his slider (39.9%) almost as much as he throws his fastball (41.1%) — and with good reason. He has his highest whiff rate (35%) when throwing the pitch and FanGraphs rates it as his best pitch at 8.8 runs above average.
Padres hitters should expect to see a heavy dose of sliders from Kershaw as they’re ranked in the bottom half of baseball at 4.8 runs below average when facing the pitch.
Davies Can Deliver a Quality Start
Zach Davies has been an above-average pitcher in the majors. He’s 50-36 with a 3.79 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. He’s faced the Dodgers twice this season and was on the losing end despite having quality outings in both of his starts.
Per Baseball Savant, Davies throws four pitches: A sinker (42.2%), a changeup (41.3%), a cutter (13.6%) and a curveball (2.8%). Out of those pitches, his sinker is the only one rated below average (-2.6 runs). The changeup has been his best pitch as he has a whiff rate of 35.9% when throwing the pitch.
Earlier, I mentioned that the Dodgers current lineup has struggled against Davies particularly when it comes to hitting for power. LA hitters have a below-average .098 ISO against the right-hander.
There’s no doubt that despite being undefeated in the postseason, LA hitters haven’t necessarily found their stride yet this postseason. Just in yesterday’s game, the Dodgers stranded 11 men on base.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Davies give another quality performance and provide some length in Game 2 after San Diego was forced to use eight pitchers out of their bullpen when their Game 1 starter had to exit after just one inning of work due to a resurfaced injury.
This Game 2 matchup features two quality pitchers on the mound.
I’ve chronicled the struggles both teams have had against the opposing pitcher. Good pitching generally beats good hitting and I think we’ll see that on full display in Game 2.
When facing Davies, the Dodgers are 7-1 to the under and Los Angeles is 17-7-2 to the under in their last 26 playoff games.
Kershaw’s last three playoff games have also gone under the total.
FanDuel is offering a total of 8.5 for this game with juice of -106. I’ll gladly take that price and hope for a pitching duel in Game 2.
The PICK: Under 8.5 (-106) [Bet Now]