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Padres vs. Dodgers, 10:10 ET
California is known for a lot of things: traffic, celebrities, weather, etc. They also have a sixth of the baseball in Major League Baseball. Now we have a game between two of them, one that continues its run of being one of the best in the game, and another that is one of the biggest disappointments in the game this season. Yes, this series, one that I’m sure was circled as an important one at the beginning of the year, is going to be a dud between the Padres and Dodgers.
I’ve written about the Padres quite a bit this season, and I don’t want to keep writing the same thing about them. I even almost avoided sharing this play, but, frankly, I can’t believe the value we are getting on them tonight. They easily have the better pitcher in this game, and I think they are still good enough that they can win games, even if they don’t do it consistently enough. The Padres are essentially out of the playoff race (they are technically not eliminated) but they’ve been out of it basically all season without any real clear indicator of why. They aren’t hitting terribly, they aren’t pitching poorly, it just seems they can’t get wins consistently – which, rumors suggest are due to poor leadership. Whatever the case, we just need them to win this game. Michael Wacha is who we turn to in hopes of getting the victory. Wacha had a great stretch going but has stumbled a bit lately. Over his past three starts, he’s allowed more earned runs (nine) than he has allowed in his previous 11 outings (seven). None of them have been terrible starts, but he hasn’t been quite as dominant as he was previously. Somehow, he has, ahem, dodged, the Dodgers all season, but has been fairly solid against them in his career.
I’m not really sure that the Dodgers have a switch to flip, because they’ve won so many games over the years and have been a mainstay in the playoffs, but it does seem like something started to click around the All-Star Break this season. After a somewhat average first half, they turned into an absolute monster in August and were the best team in baseball. They traded for Lance Lynn, tonight’s starter, and he even seemed to be reinvigorated or turned back the clock. I was a bit surprised they wanted Lynn at all, but I guess they just needed someone and took a shot on him. For the first five starts, it worked. He turned in four quality starts, and didn’t allow more than three earned in any of those outings. However, the last two starts have been more like the majority of his season. In those two starts, he went a total of nine innings and allowed 15 earned runs. He did face the Padres in his second start with the Dodgers and went six innings allowing just one earned run.
The Dodgers are the better question, there is no doubt about that. In fact, the Padres are a significant embarrassment to the franchise. The team came in with huge expectations and haven’t even come close to meeting those expectations. However, tonight, they do have the better pitcher on the mound and for whatever reason, the books are drastically mispricing this game. They have the Dodgers as -170ish favorites. Take the Padres as they will win the game and you are getting good plus money on them. If you want the protection of a potential tie through five, I don’t blame you, but you might be giving up some value depending where you play it.
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