Padres vs. Dodgers MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: Target the Total in Sunday Night’s NL West Clash (August 7)
Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images. Pictured: Yu Darvish.
- The Padres and Dodgers take center stage on Sunday Night Baseball.
- Yu Darvish and Tyler Anderson will get the starts in an enticing pitching matchup.
- Tanner McGrath breaks down the NL West showdown and shares his best bet below.
Padres vs. Dodgers Odds
|Time||7:08 p.m. ET|
The NL West just got a lot more interesting.
Sure, the Dodgers are up 13.5 games in the division, but the Padres just acquired Juan Soto and Josh Bell, as well as some other moves. San Diego made a statement at the trade deadline and they are not backing down from Los Angeles' evil empire.
Essentially, the Dodgers and Padres are turning into the biggest rivalry in baseball. And they play on the sport's biggest stage this weekend.
Who has the edge on Sunday Night Baseball?
San Diego Padres: Were Deadline Deals Enough?
Will the Padres' moves work?
There's no doubt that Soto and Bell provide needed offense as the Padres have been no more than league average (101 wRC+) (granted Fernando Tatis Jr. has been hurt). Despite their solid record, the Padres needed bats.
Speaking of that record, the Padres need to make a move now. They stand just 1.5 games up on Milwaukee, St. Louis and Philadelphia in the Wild Card race. This is still a wide-open dash for playoff spots.
Soto has two more years of arbitration, so the window isn't minuscule. But, this is the start of San Diego's championship run and they need to start capitalizing, ASAP.
The good news is the Padres have an elite rotation. They just extended ace Joe Musgrove (5 years, $100 million) and rank 10th in starting pitcher ERA this season.
The pitching staff has pizzazz and Yu Darvish is a big part of that.
Starting pitcher: Yu Darvish (RHP)
Darvish is largely the pitcher he's always been. He relies on a cutter, pairing it with a four-seam fastball and a slider. Everything is relatively effective, with all six pitches he's thrown this season recording a negative Run Value.
The drop in strikeouts is perplexing. Darvish has never struck out less than 10 batters per nine innings in his career and he is on pace to punch out just 8.91 per nine this season. There's been no noticeable change in his velocity or spin rates, and the same goes for his plate discipline stats.
It's a mystery.
You can argue all day about Darvish's underlying statistics, but he tends to generate outs productively. He's pitched solid this season (3.30 ERA, 3.27 FIP), even if he's due for some regression (3.67 xERA, 3.65 xFIP).
I can't make heads or tails of Darvish this season. But the Padres are 12-8 in his starts so far. Isn't that all that matters?
Los Angeles Dodgers: Is The NL West Already Locked Up?
This is the first season in a while the Dodgers haven't made a major deadline move. They mostly stood put.
Can you blame them? The Dodgers have the best record (73-33) and run differential (+217) in MLB, behind an offense that produces runs at a higher rate than any team except the Yankees.
The NL West was supposed to be competitive this season. The Dodgers have made a joke of it. They're 10-3 against the Giants, 8-5 against the Rockies, 9-2 against the Diamondbacks and 6-2 against the "rival" Padres.
Do the Padres' deadline moves move the needle against this team?
Who knows?!? But, you cannot discredit what the middle of the Los Angeles lineup has done so far. The top third of the Dodgers' order goes as such:
- Mookie Betts: 25 HRs, 138 OPS+, 144 wRC+, 4.1 bWAR
- Freddie Freeman: 36 doubles, 157 OPS+, 161 wRC+, 4.6 bWAR
- Trea Turner: .306 BA, 133 OPS+, 138 wRC+, 3.6 bWAR
The only guy in this lineup with an OPS+ below 100 is Cody Bellinger, who has come around in recent weeks.
Cody Bellinger makes it 8-0 Dodgers! They're pouring it on! pic.twitter.com/6gRRADjZoA
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) August 6, 2022
Add in a rotation that leads the league in ERA (2.75), a bullpen that's fifth in ERA (3.19), a defense that's tied for first in Defensive Runs Saved (62) and you have the recipe for the best team in baseball.
Starting pitcher: Tyler Anderson (LHP)
Tyler Anderson went 22 consecutive innings without allowing a run earlier this season. He's not that good, but Anderson is a top-tier, middle-of-the-rotation pitcher.
He's a soft-tossing lefty who limits hard contact better than almost any pitcher in baseball. Anderson ranks above the 96th percentile of pitchers in hard-hit rate allowed and average exit velocity allowed. He also ranks in the 84th percentile of pitchers in barrel rate allowed.
Interestingly, Anderson gets guys to chase a ton as well. He ranks in the 95th percentile of pitchers in chase rate, with his changeup recording a 39% Whiff rate on the season.
Tyler Anderson's changeup good. pic.twitter.com/lK6gmyeTNt
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 9, 2022
Anderson won't punch out too many batters and his ground-ball rate is surprisingly low (38%), but he's effective.
Anderson is just another top-tier pitcher coming out of the Dodgers organization. It happens every year.
These are two solid pitchers being backed up by top-10 bullpens. The Dodgers are first in reliever xFIP (3.53), while the Padres are seventh in reliever xFIP (3.70).
These staffs can keep opposing offenses at bay.
Sure, both offenses are dangerous, but the Padres' lineup may be slightly overvalued with Soto and Bell in the fold. Who doesn't want to bet on those two in San Diego right away?
Both defenses will hold their own, with the Dodgers ranking second in DRS and the Padres ranking first in Outs Above Average.
This line feels slightly high and considering three of the past four games between these two have gone under, I'm ready to take the under one more time.
Pick: Under 9 (-110 at Caesars Sportsbook | Play to 8.5 at -115)