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Padres vs. Dodgers MLB Odds & Picks: How to Bet Blake Snell vs. Trevor Bauer (Saturday, April 24)

Padres vs. Dodgers MLB Odds & Picks: How to Bet Blake Snell vs. Trevor Bauer (Saturday, April 24) article feature image

Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Trevor Bauer

  • The Padres have taken the first two games of the series at Dodger Stadium.
  • In Game 3, LA sends Trevor Bauer to the mound against Blake Snell.
  • Can Bauer put a stop to the streak? Michael Arinze previews the matchup below.

Padres vs. Dodgers Odds

Padres Odds+125
Dodgers Odds-150
Over/Under7 (-115 / -105)
Time9:10 p.m. ET
TVMLB Network
Odds as of Saturday morning and via BetMGM.

The Padres are doing what many regarded as impossible, and that’s making the Dodgers look somewhat human. After losing the series to Los Angeles last week, San Diego has clawed back to take the first two games in this four-game series at Dodger Stadium.

What’s interesting is that the Padres haven’t trailed by more than two runs in the ninth inning this season against the Dodgers. Their 6-1 victory on Friday night against Clayton Kershaw guarantees them at least a series split.

It’s only the second time this season that Los Angeles has lost two straight games. The Dodgers will hope for a better fate against Blake Snell, who got a no-decision in the Padres’ 5-2 victory over the Dodgers last Sunday. Snell will be opposed by Trevor Bauer, and having him snap a two-game losing streak is exactly why Los Angeles gave the right-hander a record deal in the offseason.

Bauer has had a quality start in his last three outings but has only one win for his efforts. That lack of success has more to do with the Dodgers’ bullpen than Bauer’s performances.

Thus, if you like Los Angeles, you should consider backing them in the first five innings instead of the full game.

San Diego Padres

San Diego received plenty of plaudits when it traded for Blake Snell in the offseason. Snell became a household name after just his third season in 2018 when he went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and won the American League Cy Young Award. This year, he’s yet to register a win and has a 4.11 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in four starts.

As good as he’s been in his career, there are a few things that, for me, keep him out of the elite pitcher discussion: His high walk rate and his inability to pitch deeper into games.

In his career, Snell has never had a BB/9 ratio below three. Even in 2018, when he won the Cy Young, he walked 3.19 batters per nine innings. This season, that number is up to 5.87 batters per nine innings.

Now, I know all about Snell’s K/9 ratio, which has been in double digits in each of his last three seasons. The reality is that elite pitchers seldom give free passes to first base. Snell rarely facing the minimum amount of batters in an inning marginalizes his quality as a starting pitcher.

He’ll be facing a Dodgers team that will gladly take first base when given the opportunity. The Los Angeles lineup ranks third in the majors with an 11.2% walk rate.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Trevor Bauer’s persona fits right in with Los Angeles and its brewing rivalry with San Diego. Whether it’s imitating Conor McGregor as he struts off the mound following a strikeout or pitching with one eye closed in spring training because he wants to make himself feel uncomfortable, Bauer is must-see television.

Trevor Bauer striking out people with one eye closed. 😳

— MLB (@MLB) March 6, 2021

The truth is that Bauer delivers much more substance than antics in his act.

The 2020 Cy Young winner is off to a 2-0 start with a 2.42 ERA and 0.62 WHIP. He’s posted double-digit strikeouts per nine innings in each of his last four seasons, yet unlike Snell, he’s done a much better job with his walk rate, as evidenced by his 2.08 walks per nine innings this season.

Normally I would be concerned with a pitcher who has a GB/FB ratio below one. Still, Bauer often faces the minimum number of hitters in an inning by not issuing unnecessary walks. Plus, he’s always a threat to strike out the opposition when you consider his 12.46 K/9 this season.

One pitch that’s worked well for Bauer is his cutter.

Per Baseball Savant, it’s his second-most used pitch (29.5%) behind his four-seam fastball (43.4%). The cutter also has his highest put-away rate of 40.7 percent this season.

Look for him to feature that pitch quite often against a Padres team that, according to Pitch Info data, is 3.1 runs below average when facing the cutter.

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Padres-Dodgers Pick

I love Trevor Bauer in this spot as a possible streak stopper. He’s 15-8 (+6.04 units) when his team is on a two-game losing streak. However, my spider-sense has alerted me that this Los Angeles bullpen ranks in the bottom half of the league (20th) with four blown saves.

There are two other things to note about the Dodgers’ bullpen: They’re ranked 20th with 9.21 strikeouts per nine innings, and 25th with a 4.92 BB/9 ratio. That’s not a good recipe in a series where the margins have been so small.

As a result, I think the first five innings is the way to go if you like Los Angeles.

Bauer has a 62% win rate for his career in the first five innings when his team is on a two-game losing streak. In fact, he’s 10-2 in his last 12 games in this situation.

He’s also 3-0-1 in the first five innings this season, whereas Snell is 1-3 in this spot with losses in his last three games.

BetMGM is offering the Dodgers at -145 on the money line for the first five innings, and that price is good enough for me to back the home favorites.

Pick: Dodgers F5 ML (-145)

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