The Dodgers prevailed over the Padres in Game 1 and enter Wednesday night’s Game 2 looking to take a commanding 2-0 series lead. If Yu Darvish pitches anything like he did against the Mets, it won’t be easy, but the Dodgers will have future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw on the mound to take full control of the series.
Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Wednesday’s game in Los Angeles.
San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Betting Odds
The Dodgers are decisive home favorites again at -196 on the moneyline, with the over/under set at 7.5 runs.
It might be awhile until the Dodgers are underdogs this postseason. The series looked like a mismatch for much of Game 1, and while Darvish is a potential game-changer, a still-effective Kershaw backed by a loaded lineup will keep the Dodgers favored by a solid margin.
San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Game 2 Prediction
My pick: Dodgers Moneyline (-205)
My confidence in Darvish is slightly higher than my confidence in Kershaw, but the offensive advantage – and the bullpen advantage – clearly lies with the Dodgers. It’s no coincidence that LA is 16-4 against the Padres this year. With the Dodgers at home, stars such as Freeman and Betts are bound to get going. San Diego is too risky on the road, even at such a solid value.
San Diego Padres Starting Lineup
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. Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw again didn’t have a fully healthy season, but he was terrific when he was on the mound. The future Hall of Famer posted a 2.28 ERA and a 2.57 FIP over 22 starts (126.1 IP), with a 0.94 WHIP and 9.8 K/9.
The left-hander only allowed 10 home runs in the regular season and continues to strike out a fairly high number of hitters even as he ages. Kershaw has had success against the Padres this year, allowing just 1 ER over 12 IP.
The Padres’ offense had a very respectable series against the Mets, homering four times off of Max Scherzer and notching 10 hits in Game 3. Still, this is a lineup that was 21st in home runs and, to this point, has had a hard time getting several key guys going at the same time. Trent Grisham has been hitting well out of nowhere, but it’s tough to see the Padres winning this game (and series) unless their stars start hitting like stars.
San Diego’s OPS against lefties is only marginally better than against right-handers. Kershaw has a rocky track record in the postseason, which is worth considering.
Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Lineup
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. Yu Darvish
Yu Darvish has had a resurgent season for the Padres, posting a 3.10 ERA across 30 starts (194 IP), with a 3.31 FIP and 0.95 WHIP. Darvish’s K/9 rate was a career-low 9.1, so while he remains someone who strikes hitters out, he’s learning to succeed with more than just the strikeout. For all of the success the Dodgers’ lineup has had, LA strikes out more than half the league. Could Darvish take advantage of that?
The 36-year-old has looked locked-in down the stretch, including in the Wild Card Round against the Mets. He’s learned how to pitch in big games, by all indications. The Dodgers are a unique challenge, though, especially with their MVP-caliber top of the lineup.
Darvish has done a nice job of limiting hits this season, which is a strength against Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner, but he did surrender 22 home runs. The entire Dodgers lineup, even down to Cody Bellinger or Trayce Thompson, is a home run threat. Darvish put together three strong starts against the Dodgers in the regular season but had one rough outing in July.
This could be a low-scoring game, considering how well Darvish knows the Dodgers hitters – I just wouldn’t expect a flawless performance.