The Dodgers have been baseball’s most dominant team over the past month, asserting themselves with a four-game sweep of the Giants earlier this week, but they face a Padres team this weekend that looks nothing like it did earlier in the season. San Diego has loaded up, adding Juan Soto along with Josh Bell and Brandon Drury, who will look to make life difficult for Andrew Heaney on Saturday.
Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Saturday’s matchup.
San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Betting Odds
The Dodgers are -140 favorites on the moneyline, with the over/under set at 9 runs. As impressive as the Padres have been, taking 4 of 5 against the Rockies and acquiring three new bats, it’s no surprise the Dodgers are home favorites. They’re 27-5 over their last 32 games and are 5-2 against the Padres this season, extending a stretch of success against the Friars that dates back many years. Rolling with the Dodgers still requires some trust in both Andrew Heaney and the bullpen, since Heaney is still building up his arm after an extended IL stint. That may be why the line is as narrow as it is.
San Diego Padres Starting Lineup
LF J. Profar S
3B M. Machado R
RF J. Soto L
1B J. Bell S
C J. Alfaro R
2B B. Drury R
DH W. Myers R
SS H. Kim R
CF T. Grisham L
San Diego Padres vs. Andrew Heaney
Andrew Heaney has made only five starts this season, but he’s suddenly become a key piece of the Dodgers’ pitching plans. With Walker Buehler on the IL, Clayton Kershaw dealing with a recurring back injury, and not much trade deadline action for the Dodgers, LA will need Heaney to build on the flashes he’s shown this year when healthy. The lefty has a 0.77 ERA over 23.1 innings, with a 0.99 WHIP and 13.1 K/9. The sample size is small, but Heaney has allowed only 5 hits in 8 innings since returning from a shoulder issue last week. He didn’t get past 4 innings in either of his last two starts, so the bullpen will clearly have to shoulder some of the load Saturday regardless of how well Heaney pitches.
The Padres have had a middle-of-the-road offense this season, but you can safely throw the numbers from the first half out now. With Juan Soto, who is 3-for-8 with 2 walks in a Padres uniform, San Diego became much more potent. Their potential goes beyond just Soto and Manny Machado, who has 3 home runs in his last 8 games. Brandon Drury hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw with the Padres on Wednesday, and San Diego has started to finally get some production out of Trent Grisham. Jurickson Profar and Jake Cronenworth have also been hot – Profar has a 1.202 OPS over his last 8 games. The Padres hit lefties about as well as they hit right-handers, so Heaney isn’t at any disadvantage. He just likely won’t keep a sub-1 ERA forever, and the Padres have enough momentum to punish him.
Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Lineup
RF M. Betts R
SS T. Turner R
1B F. Freeman L
C W. Smith R
3B M. Muncy L
DH M. Vargas R
LF J. Gallo L
2B G. Lux L
CF C. Bellinger L
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Mike Clevinger
Like Heaney, Mike Clevinger hasn’t enjoyed a full season this year. He missed the first month and was eased back into action by the Padres after Tommy John Surgery, sticking to a pitch limit. Recently, Clevinger has started to look a lot like the pitcher he was in Cleveland, and his season numbers are strong. Clevinger has a 3.13 ERA over 60.1 IP, with a 3.61 FIP, 1.08 WHIP, and a career-best walk rate. He has a 1.80 ERA over his last three starts and lasted 7 strong innings in his last two, indicating most limits are off post-surgery.
Though he’s had better control this season, Clevinger’s past propensity for walks is something to monitor against a Dodgers lineup that walks more than any other in the NL. It’s no wonder Dodgers hitters walk as much as they do with Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, and Freddie Freeman at the top of the order plus Max Muncy’s patience later on. Freeman continues to be the leader of the offense with a .438 AVG over his last 21 games, while both Trea Turner and Mookie Betts have started to find their power stroke of late. Turner, who just had a 20-game hitting streak snapped, has 3 home runs in his last 6 games. Clevinger typically limits home runs, but that’s easier said than done against this lineup.
San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Picks & Prediction
My pick: Under 9 Runs (-110)
You could make the case that both of these offenses are in a better place than they were a month ago, but only one of the seven matchups between the Dodgers and Padres has gone over 9 runs this season. This won’t be a game free of traffic on the basepaths – not with Juan Soto on one side and Freddie Freeman on the other – but Mike Clevinger has looked terrific of late and the Dodgers typically limit the damage even when their pitching slips up. At +120, the Padres might be better value than the Dodgers. I won’t tell anyone to bet against the Dodgers until they cool off, but it wouldn’t stun me if this was the start that brought Andrew Heaney back to earth a bit.