Dodgers vs Padres Props | Thursday MLB Korea Series Picks

Dodgers vs Padres Props | Thursday MLB Korea Series Picks article feature image

Masterpress/Getty Images. Pictured: Yoshinobu Yamamoto

The MLB season got underway Wednesday morning as the Los Angeles Dodgers took on the San Diego Padres as part of the MLB Seoul Series. The Dodgers' potent lineup had only managed one run through the first seven innings. However, they rallied to score four runs in the eighth to claim a 5-2 victory over their NL West rivals.

The Dodgers will go for the sweep in the short series and will send Yoshinobu Yamamoto to the mound for his much-anticipated MLB debut. He may get some run support from Freddie Freeman as well. So, let's dig into some Dodgers vs. Padres props and make some MLB Korea Series picks.

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Dodgers vs. Padres Player Props Thursday

Thursday, Mar 21
6:05 a.m. ET
Padres Odds
-120o / -102u
Dodgers Odds
-120o / -102u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-111)

After receiving the largest contract ever by a player who only pitches, expectations are high for Yoshinobu Yamamoto this season. That means it raised eyebrows for some when he posted an 8.38 ERA in three spring training starts.

I am personally not one to obsess over spring training statistics, particularly an abbreviated version with the clubs beginning their seasons a week early. However, I did find it noticeable that Yamamoto has 14 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings because that tracks with his numbers in Japan.

Yamamoto was so coveted this offseason because he won the pitching triple crown three consecutive years in Japan. In doing so, he punched out 176 batters in each of those years, surpassing 200 in two of them. He also averaged over a strikeout per inning, which could prove to be particularly important in this outing.

It is game two of a long season and given the length of their investment in Yamamoto, I do not expect the Dodgers to overextend him here. However, I do expect him to pitch five innings and/or throw in the neighborhood of 75-80 pitches. For reference, Tyler Glasnow went five innings and threw 77 pitches in the first game.

Yamamoto also threw 72 pitches in 4 2/3 innings in his last spring training start. This means if Yamamoto follows suit and goes five innings as well, we only need him to average one strikeout per inning, which he is already comfortable doing.

Additionally, this will also be his first-ever appearance against the Padres. Yamamoto will hold the advantage against the Padres hitters unfamiliar with his arsenal the first time through the lineup. That may help him hit this line through the first three innings of the game.

If that happens, he may offer additional value as well. FanDuel offers Yamamoto up to eight strikeouts at +900. However, for this start, six (+210) and seven (+430) may be a little more feasible.

Pick: Yoshinobu Yamamoto Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-111 at FanDuel)

Freddie Freeman

Over 0.5 RBI (+135)

In the season opener, the Dodgers got all seven of their hits from the top six hitters in their lineup. The lone hitter in that group to not record a hit was Freddie Freeman, who drew two walks instead.

That will not happen often as Freeman is a lifetime .301 hitter and he has over hit .300 in seven of his last eight seasons. He may do so again, but he also stands to drive in a lot of runs this season.

Freeman hit in the third spot in the season opener and that is where he is expected to hit for most of this season. Batting in front of him are fellow MVP candidates (and former MVPs) Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani. Both of them had two hits in the first game and I would anticipate at least one of them being on base at some point during the game. Betts is 6-for-19 (.319) against Padres starter Joe Musgrove while Ohtani will face him from the left side of the plate.

That has not helped him as much as it has helped Freeman, who is 13-for-29 (.448) with three doubles, a triple, a home run and five runs batted in against Musgrove. Freeman also may drive himself in with a home run (+450 on DraftKings) and the right field wall is only 325 feet away at the Gocheok Sky Dome.

Freeman has hit 50 home runs in his first two seasons with the Dodgers, but he also has 106 doubles in that span.

Several of those doubles cashed us last season when we backed him for two total bases. I'm going with the run batted in here for a little more juice. Additionally, if he does hit a double tonight, it will likely score Betts or Ohtani given their speed.

At +135, I have to back Freeman at these odds.

Pick: Freddie Freeman Over 0.5 RBI (+135 at DraftKings)

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