Dodgers vs. Padres MLB Odds & Picks: How To Bet Clayton Kershaw vs. Yu Darvish (Saturday, April 17)

Dodgers vs. Padres MLB Odds & Picks: How To Bet Clayton Kershaw vs. Yu Darvish (Saturday, April 17) article feature image

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images. Pictured: Clayton Kershaw.

  • After a thrilling extra-innings game on Friday night, the Dodgers and Padres are back for more.
  • Two of MLB's best in Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish take the hill for their respective teams.
  • It's typically dangerous to bet against the two, but Kenny Ducey is doing so.

Dodgers vs. Padres Odds

Dodgers Odds-122
Padres Odds+105
Time8:40 p.m. ET
Odds as of Saturday morning and via DraftKings.

Fresh off a thrilling 11-6 win in extra-innings (yes, it was dramatic even though it was a five-run game) in San Diego on Friday night, the red-hot Dodgers will continue their rivalry with the Padres on Saturday in what promises to be a much lower-scoring affair.

Clayton Kershaw will get the ball against Yu Darvish in what feels like it should be a battle of former Cy Young Award winners. Will these offenses both cool down against great pitching, or will we continue to see fireworks out West? Let's take a look at the matchup and find some value.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are playing some straight ridiculous baseball right now. Despite losing 2019 MVP, Cody Bellinger,  to a leg fracture, Los Angeles has begun the season 12-2 to claim the best record in the league by a wide margin. It sits second in baseball with 6.14 runs per game and leads the way with a 147 wRC+ against righties.

This team has showcased its resilient attitude in recent games. The Dodgers used the bat of Zack McKinstry to pull away from the Rockies on Wednesday. They came from behind late on Friday with a Max Muncy three-run shot.

Then, on Friday, they absorbed a blown save from Kenley Jansen to battle back with a six-run inning in extras to take the series-opener with the Padres. The game had plenty of fireworks, too, with the benches clearing after a hit-by-pitch. It also saw David Price close things out for a second straight game with Jansen already used. It appears he's turning into a dependable late-inning option for an already-rich bullpen.

Finally, there's Kershaw. After a hiccup at Coors Field on Opening Day, the lefty has been unhittable, allowing just one run on nine hits over 13 innings with 14 strikeouts. He's still walked just one hitter all season in three starts. Impossibly, he only made just one regular-season start against the Padres last year, where he allowed three runs on five hits over 6 1/3. He allowed three over six frames in last year's postseason against San Diego as well.

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San Diego Padres

The season got off to a good start for San Diego, but it's now lost three of four, which began with two losses to Pittsburgh last week. Things aren't exactly getting easier here against a team with two wins, but if Friday night was any indication, the Dodgers shouldn't be too tall a task.

It's worth noting that Manny Machado appeared to hurt his side during the Padres' dramatic ninth-inning comeback on Friday in his at-bat against Kenley Jansen, where he eventually worked a walk. He managed to steal second base, cringing along the way, advance to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single from Eric Hosmer. He stayed in the game but was clearly in some pain, and though this is a huge rivalry game for San Diego, it wouldn't be surprising to see Machado get the day off if he's hurting too much. Keep an eye on his status.

On the whole, the Padres have hit lefties pretty well to the tune of a 117 wRC+, which ranks ninth in the league. That, and their history against Kershaw should come in handy. They touched up the three-time Cy Young Award winner for three runs — yes, against Kershaw that's considered "touching up" — each of the two times they saw him last season.

Several Padres have good numbers against Kershaw; Jake Cronenworth is 2-for-6, Fernando Tatis, Jr. has a .342 xWOBA, Eric Hosmer has hit .333 with two homers, and Machado has homered off Kershaw three times. Even if the latter sits, this team is still loaded with players who have seen the lefty plenty of times and who hit lefties well in general.

Dodgers-Padres Pick

I didn't touch on Yu Darvish above, but he's rocking a 3.49 xERA this season through one start, and so far his strikeout rate has dipped a bit from where it was last year. Obviously, we don't have enough data to go off of to make a good judgment on where he's at, but we do know he's lost about 1 MPH on his cutter and four-seamer and is 34-years-old. It's not far-fetched to see the Dodgers hitting him here.

On the other side of the coin, the Padres lead the league in hard-hit balls per swing at 18.4%, signaling they've done a good job blending contact with power and have been efficient at the plate. I think their history against Clayton Kershaw will keep them from slowing down in that area.

The pitching matchup here, combined with some tired bullpens after a long game on Friday lead me to believe this total is very gettable. I think both offenses keep it going.

Pick: Over 7 (-121)

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