Dodgers vs. Padres MLB Odds & Picks: Does Trevor Bauer or Blake Snell Create More Value? (Sunday, April 18)

Dodgers vs. Padres MLB Odds & Picks: Does Trevor Bauer or Blake Snell Create More Value? (Sunday, April 18) article feature image
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Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Trevor Bauer.

  • Arguably the best divisional matchup in baseball concludes its first series on Sunday with a pair of aces on the hill.
  • Los Angeles sends reigning NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer to the rubber to face Blake Snell.
  • Find out if Matt Trebby likes the defending champs to take care of business in San Diego.

Dodgers vs. Padres Odds

Dodgers Odds -120
Padres Odds -100
Over/Under 7.5
Time Sunday, 4:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Saturday and via PointsBet

Potentially baseball’s best divisional matchup will conclude its first series of 2021 on Sunday afternoon in style, with aces pitching for both the Dodgers and Padres.

Reigning NL Cy Young Award-winner Trevor Bauer will start opposite Blake Snell, both of whom are still settling into their new uniforms. One of them is doing so a little better than the other so far.

Let’s dig in and see where the betting value lies on Sunday in San Diego.

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Los Angeles Dodgers

Over the first eight years of Trevor Bauer’s career, he was a solid and reliable starting pitcher. His 4.04 ERA and 3.92 FIP would have been welcomed into any big-league rotation. He had a 2.21 ERA in 28 starts in 2018 before a down year in 2019, but there was clearly something more in Bauer’s right arm.

It appears he unlocked that last season in Cincinnati. Bauer had a 1.73 ERA and 0.795 WHIP (you read that right) in 11 starts last season for the Reds. His 2.88 FIP says he might not have been as good as those first numbers indicate, but it does validate that Bauer was still amazing.

None of Bauer’s first three opponents with the Dodgers have figured him out either. His 2.70 ERA over 20 innings is that high due to allowing three home runs. He’s given up just seven total hits and five walks against the Rockies, A’s and Rockies again.

Granted, Colorado is not very good, and Bauer gave up two of those three home runs and four of his six allowed runs in a start at Coors Field, but he passed his test against a capable A’s lineup. His biggest test will come on Sunday.

At the plate, the Dodgers have continued hitting. They entered play on Saturday with an MLB-leading .861 OPS, and their 86 runs scored through 14 games also paced the majors.

Cody Bellinger is going to miss about 6-8 weeks with a hairline fracture in his leg, but that shouldn’t slow Los Angeles down too much. Justin Turner (1.282 OPS entering Saturday night), Max Muncy (.999), Mookie Betts (.936) and Corey Seager (1.011) provide enough pop, and Bellinger has not been able to replicate his 2019 MVP form since the end of that season.

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San Diego Padres

The Padres will feel they dodged a big-time bullet with Fernando Tatis Jr. missing just a bit more than the minimum time on the injured list after suffering what appeared to be a pretty serious shoulder injury. It’s a boost to a Padres lineup that entered play Saturday ranked sixth in MLB in OPS, although that .750 is closer to league average than the sixth-best number would usually be.

San Diego has gotten great production from Trent Grisham (1.120 OPS entering Saturday), Eric Hosmer (.984), Manny Machado (.860) and Wil Myers (1.022), but a healthy Tatis helps get them closer to matching the Dodgers’ juggernaut lineup.

On the mound for them will be Snell, who had two deceiving seasons to end his tenure with the Rays. His 4.29 ERA in 2019 didn’t match his 3.32 FIP, but his 4.35 FIP last season says he wasn’t as good as his 3.24 ERA indicated.

Control is the reason that Snell has not hit the ground running so far with the Padres, although his 4.35 ERA and 3.72 FIP aren’t bad at all. The southpaw has walked eight batters in 10 1/3 innings and has a 1.645 WHIP. His 17 strikeouts say that his stuff is playing well, as long as it’s in or around the strike zone.

Dodgers-Padres Pick

The Dodgers entered Saturday’s game with a .748 OPS against left-handed pitching this season, which makes sense given that Bellinger, Muncy and Seager are all left-handed and make up some important spots in their lineup. The Friars are no better against right-handers, though, at .742.

The only bit of history we have to go off in this matchup is the Dodgers’ World Series matchups last year against Snell. The lefty allowed three runs on four hits and four walks over 10 innings, striking out 18. He was infamously lifted in the sixth inning of Game 6, which led to a Los Angeles championship. Bauer has faced the Padres four times in his career, with the last time coming in 2019 when he struck out 11 over seven innings of two-run ball.

In a game that is pretty much a pick’em, I’m going to take the starting pitcher that has the least concern entering the game, and that’s Bauer. For the past 10-plus months, he’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball, and the Padres’ lineup isn’t very deep at the moment beyond the four players I listed above. Also, Tatis just returned and isn’t clicking yet. Sunday isn’t the day for him to get going.

Pick: Dodgers -120

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