While the New York Mets were the 100-win team, I’m happy the San Diego Padres won their National League Wildcard matchup to face the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Padres vs Dodgers is one of the more underrated rivalries in the sport. These two SoCal, NL West ballclubs don’t like each other. The Padres are on the upswing with their lineup and there is no shortage of superstars in both dugouts.
Which team has the edge overall? Where does the value lie for Game 1?
Let’s dig in. Read on for our San Diego Padres vs Los Angeles Dodgers starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Game 1 of this National League Division Series.
San Diego Padres vs Los Angeles Dodgers Odds
The Dodgers are massive favorites. They would be big favorites if the Padres hadn’t just battled the Mets for three games and if the Padres weren’t starting L.A. punching bag, Mike Clevinger.
As it stands, the Padres just finished a three-game series with the Mets and are starting L.A. punching bag, Mike Clevinger. As such, the Dodgers are -220 favorites for Game 1.
It’s hard to see how the Padres have any hope in Game 1. But it’s also hard to justify laying the juice with the Dodgers.
There’s a better angle we can take, likely with the total.
San Diego Padres vs Los Angeles Dodgers Game 1 Prediction
My picks: Los Angeles Dodgers F5 TT Over 2.5 (+130 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
The Dodgers have destroyed Clevinger this season. Clevinger couldn’t escape the fifth inning in all three starts and allowed at least four earned in each start.
This is the same lineup that haunted future NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara in the past and took him for six runs earlier this season. When the Dodgers have your number, they really have your number.
Clevinger will also be on the road for this one. He posted a 2.88 home ERA in 50 innings this season but a whopping 5.46 road ERA, including an even higher number at Dodger Stadium.
I think this is a blood bath. The bats will be cooking early for the Dodgers as Clevinger gets knocked around the Padres throw Game 1.
I love this number at the plus-money price, too.
SS H. Kim R
RF J. Soto L
3B M. Machado R
DH J. Bell S
1B B. Drury R
2B J. Cronenworth L
LF J. Profar S
C A. Nola R
CF J. Azocar R
San Diego Padres vs Julio Urias
Julio Urias made a big push for Cy Young in the second half of the season. He posted a 1.29 ERA in the second half – including a .90 ERA over 30 innings in August alone – and he ended up claiming the National League ERA and WHIP title.
The southpaw has always been a consistent plus-pitcher, generally finishing the season with a sub-3.00 ERA. But he took a massive step forward this season, with his fastball getting back to his 2018 levels (-21 Run Value).
Urias has significantly upped his curveball usage over the last few seasons, which has made a significant difference. It’s now become just as effective as his fastball, with the two pitches allowing less than a .200 xBA combined.
Urias isn’t a big punchout pitcher. But he’s disciplined and uses elite spin rates – which have risen season-over-season since he entered the league – to avoid hard contact. Overall, it’s been working.
I think the Padres have a slightly underrated lineup, given they have elite plate discipline and are finally starting to see the power breakout that was supposed to come with the acquisitions of Juan Soto, Josh Bell, and Brandon Drury.
But this just might be a bad matchup. Urias pitched four games against the Padres this year with a 1.50 ERA. Urias pitched six innings of shutout ball the last time these two faced off.
The Padres are already having issues with making hard contact and slugging the ball, and Urias will challenge them as much as any pitcher in that department.
RF M. Betts R
SS T. Turner R
1B F. Freeman L
C W. Smith R
DH M. Muncy L
3B J. Turner R
LF C. Taylor R
CF C. Bellinger L
2B G. Lux L
Los Angeles Dodgers vs Mike Clevinger
I’m worried about Clevinger in this one.
The Dodgers faced Padres’ Game 1 starter Mike Clevinger three times this season:
The Dodger bats should make an early appearance in the NLDS.
— Noah Camras (@noahcamras) October 10, 2022
Clevinger has been the talk of San Diego for a long time. His return should bolster an already formidable rotation.
That hasn’t really been the case. He’s been somewhat consistent but has an ERA above 4.25 and a FIP approaching 5.00 in over 115 innings tossed. His fastball is down over two ticks since his times in Cleveland. The Whiff rate on his secondary pitches are down close to 10%.
And against the Padres’ biggest rival, Clevinger has been a punching bag.
But who can blame Clevinger? This Dodgers lineup is far too immense. The Dodgers finished as a top-five lineup in every major batted-ball statistic while also finishing fifth in batting average and third in walk rate.
Pick your poison with the Dodgers. Freddie Freeman will double you to death. Mookie Betts has a .264 ISO this sseason. Trea Turner hit .300 and stole 27 bags. Will Smith hit 24 home runs.