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Padres vs. Dodgers MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Will L.A. Roll Behind Clayton Kershaw? (Sunday, July 3)

Padres vs. Dodgers MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Will L.A. Roll Behind Clayton Kershaw? (Sunday, July 3) article feature image

Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)

Padres vs. Dodgers Odds

Padres Odds+172
Dodgers Odds-205
Time4:10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Los Angeles Dodgers look to complete their four-game sweep of the San Diego Padres and continue to lengthen their lead in the NL West Sunday evening behind ace Clayton Kershaw.

The Padres will look to bounce back behind a southpaw of their own in MacKenzie Gore, who has had a rollercoaster June.

Can L.A. complete the sweep at home behind one of the best pitchers in baseball, or will San Diego and Gore quiet the Dodgers’ bats?

Will Padres’ Gore Regress in This Game?

Gore rebounded from back-to-back horrid performances with five shutout innings of the Philadelphia Phillies last time out. However, I’m not so sure that’ll continue to hold.

The southpaw ranks average or below average in nearly every Baseball Savant metric. His walk rate has creeped up above double digits and he ranks in the bottom 20% among qualified pitchers in both Hard Hit Rate and Chase Rate.

While he does have a 3.34 ERA, his xFIP (3.90) and xERA (4.18) signify negative regression is looming. Despite being barreled 8.3% of the time, Gore has only given up four home runs. Three of them happened in the elevation of Coors Field, too.

Opponents have seen Gore well in his rookie season. They have a .252 xBA and .431 xSLG — both around league average — and don’t chase outside the zone.

Gore relies on three pitches, with his fastball (62.9%) touching mid-to-high 90s. He’s gotten quite fortunate with the heater, as the batting average (.197) against it is well below expected (.242).

Offensively, the Padres do see a slight boost against left-handed pitching themselves. But they’re in the middle of the pack across MLB; they’re 13th in wOBA, 15th in wRC+ and 19th in isolated power.

Manny Machado has continued to be their biggest source of offense, as he’s hitting .324 with 12 home runs over 69 games.

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Dodgers in Good Hands With Kershaw on Hill

Kershaw looks to rebound from his worst outing of 2022, where he was tagged for six runs over four innings against the Colorado Rockies.

I would consider Kershaw’s struggles in Coors Field to be an anomaly, as in the grand scheme of things, the 34-year-old has been elite in 2022.

Also, expected indicators show no signs of negative regression coming.

HIs xERA (2.93) and xFIP (3.14) sit right around his actual ERA (2.94). He’s in the top 15% in both Hard Hit Rate and Barrel Rate, and he doesn’t beat himself by issuing many walks.

Opponents do have a .240 xBA against Kershaw — slightly above league average — but their success stops there. Rarely do they hit for power against him, nor can they cash in once on base.

There’s a lot to love about Kershaw, who hasn’t slowed down in his 15th season in MLB. All his metrics grade out close to his career average, even with the slow decline in his velocity. He remains elite in chase rate and continues to be the ace on one of the best teams in baseball.

While they’re one of the most daunted lineups in baseball, the Dodgers do see less success against southpaws than right-handed pitching. Yet, they’re still above average and top San Diego in all metrics. They’re 12th in wRC+, wOBA and isolated power.

Where they should take advantage is their double-digit walk rate (second-best in MLB).

It’s important to note that Chris Taylor will miss the series finale with a foot contusion. However, he’ll be replaced with former MVP Mookie Betts, who was activated off the injured list and should play on Sunday.

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Padres-Dodgers Pick

The entire series the Dodgers have been in control, and I don’t expect anything to change on Sunday. Even with Machado’s return from an ankle injury, the Dodgers’ pitching has kept San Diego’s bats quiet.

It’s just a bad matchup for the Padres. They draw one of the best pitchers in baseball in Kershaw, matching with a rookie in Gore who should continue to struggle. He’s not 7.27 ERA bad-like in June, but he’s still due for negative regression and should find himself in the low-to-mid 4s ERA wise.

Betts’ addition to the lineup provides a significant boost for the Dodgers, too. While their offense has been inconsistent in June, Betts provides stability atop the lineup.

The line opened heavily in the Dodgers’ favor and continued to move in their direction, and for good reason. They have the edge at the plate, on the mound and bullpen wise.

It’s a lot of juice, but I think it’s worth backing the Dodgers on the first five innings runline on Sunday. If you don’t want that steep of a price — it sits between -134 and -140 — then add the F5 ML in a parlay with another heavy favorite you trust.

The Dodgers should continue to roll behind Kershaw en route to a series sweep of San Diego.

Pick: Dodgers F5 -0.5 (-134, to -140)

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