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Dodgets vs. Padres, 9:40 ET
The AL West should be a tight race down the stretch. I would assume that either the Dodgers or the Padres will win the division, but who knows? A few years ago the Giants were able to disrupt things in the division and now the Diamondbacks look to do the same thing. Before we get there, though, we need to focus on this match between the Dodgers and Padres.
The Dodgers are starting to look more like the Dodgers of old with a solid stretch of baseball over the past week or so. You had to figure it was coming and assumed that they would be fine. They lost some key pieces in the offseason, but now they are getting healthier and their offseason additions are filling in fairly well for those that left. One person that is turning back the clock is Clayton Kershaw. This guy was the best pitcher in baseball for a few years and then, as always, father time looked like he was gripping Kershaw and ending a stellar career. So far this year, Kershaw is winning that battle with a 1.89 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 38 innings. Padres hitters have had some success off of Kershaw, but Manny Machado is the only guy that I really feel like has a good edge against him.
The Padres are finally playing a bit better themselves and they needed to. I’m not sure that it was completely due to Fernando Tatis Jr. coming back, but the lineup certainly is better with him than without him. Though that is probably an obvious statement, additions of star players can throw off a club – they can be mad about the steroid suspension, they can think the new guy will take over, etc. Point is, the addition doesn’t always work out. So far it has. Another guy they just got back recently is Joe Musgrove. If you look at his ERA you probably will wonder why anyone would want him back. It is north of 10 right now. That is a bit misleading as he allowed seven earned runs in the Mexico City game, one that had 27 total runs. Musgrove has been good for the Padres though. The Dodgers have hit him pretty well as a team with Freddie Freeman causing the most trouble.
I think we are getting a good opportunity and price on Kershaw in this game. I’ll take the Dodgers to win the game at -125. I think he is in better form and has the better track record. Back the Dodgers.
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