The host San Diego Padres took the first of a four-game set last night but the MLB odds are favoring the visitors tonight to get even. Let's breakdown this clash of NL West rivals and see which team to include in our MLB picks.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Before we begin take a look at what the Dodgers have done to their backers this season. Big Blue leads the National League West with a 75-58 record and .564 win percentage yet has cost the blindly faithful of all things Dodgers a total of over 10 units this season. That alone is a cautionary tale for those who cannot resist betting a big favorite. As good as their ace Clayton Kershaw is he has been a money burner on the road with a -42.59% ROI when away from Dodger Stadium.
Okay now that we have that life lesson out of the way let's turn our attention to tonight's game after the Dodgers lost a slugfest last night to the tune of 10-7 in their first game of four with San Diego. Mike Bolsinger (5-3, 2.83 ERA) toes the slab tonight and this will be his first start since July 29th when he allowed two runs on eight hits over five innings of work in, coincidentally, a 10-7 victory over Oakland.
Bolsinger has spent the past month in Triple-A Oklahoma City but had his best performance of the season against these very same Padres on May 23rd when he struck out a career high eight batters and held the Padres to a mere one hit over eight innings in a 2-0 home win. The former Arkansas Razorback has pitched twice at Petco Park with an 0-1 record and a 3.38 ERA over 10 2/3rd's innings.
San Diego Padres
James Shields (10-6, 3.78 ERA) will take to the mound for the Padres this evening after coming off a solid performance in his last outing where he held the Padres to one run over seven innings in what ultimately turned out to be a 9-4 road victory for San Diego. Shields has been tough when pitching at Petco amassing a career 2.56 E RA and a 6-2 record in 14 starts.
San Diego has been sharp at home recently registering a 7-3 mark over their last 10 games at Petco Park. Last night was more of the same as the bats came alive and the Padres bludgeoned their way past LA courtesy of Yangervis Solarte who went 4-for-5 and launched his 12th home run while Justin Upton and Derek Norris had three hits each and second-baseman Jedd Gyorko went long as well as San Diego got a measure of revenge on the division leading Dodgers.
With a pitcher like Mike Bolsinger, who has been shuttled between the big league club and LA's Triple-A affiliate, opposing a premier veteran like James Shields pitching in his home park you would immediately make the assumption that Shields and his team would be favored. But that assumption would be incorrect as the MLB odds makers have installed Los Angeles as a -120 favorite at shops like YouWager.com.
I realize the Dodgers are the better team on paper but I cannot resist grabbing a home dog with a pitcher like Shields on the bump who pitched brilliantly in his last game against the Dodgers that the Padres lost in 12-innings 4-2. Bolsinger opposed him in that game too but lasted only four plus innings after allowing two runs on six hits.
San Diego has been on a nice little run at home and the bats seem to be firing so let's grab the home team with our MLB pick tonight, siding with the better pitcher, and have the bookie pay us the vig for the privilege.
MLB Pick: Padres +110 at YouWager