Last weekend was so much fun, let’s do it all over again. After the world champion Dodgers and No. 1 contender Padres played their first three games, they meet again for a four-game set. Let’s see their MLB odds.
San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Friday, April 23, 2021 – 10:10 PM ET at Dodger Stadium
Last weekend was such fun, let’s run it back again this week.
The Padres, looking to make a run at the Dodgers’ eight-year run atop the National League West, met the world champions for the first three of what promises to be an exciting 19 games.
The Dodgers put the number one contenders in their place, taking two of three in the series. The games were competitive, though. They played a total of 30 innings in the three-game series and were within two runs of each other for 27 of them. There were extra innings, pitchers duels, and bad blood, with players sniping at each other and exchanging words.
Four days later, they were ready to do it all over again, The Dodgers and Padres kicked off this weekend’s four-game rematch last night. They’ll clash for game two on Friday night. The Dodgers entered the series on pace for 126 wins this year. The Padres were five games out and losers of three straight.
Back On Top … of the Order
The Padres made a change to their batting order to start the series. Fernando Tatis Jr. was moved into the leadoff spot, with Trent Grisham dropped to the No. 2 hole. Tatis led off in 63 games as a rookie in 2019. Last year, he split time almost evenly between leadoff and second in the order but hit two more home runs from the top of the order. This year, heading into Thursday, he’d played just two games as the leadoff hitter but has one of his two homers on the season from that spot.
Tatis was in a 3-for-21 slump but responded to his old leadoff spot, getting a hit and scoring a run in the game.
Grisham also seemed to like the change, hitting a sixth inning homer as the No. 2 batter. Grisham has battled leg tightness in recent games, one of several nagging injuries that have hit the San Diego batting order. Manny Machado has had shoulder and back pain, and Wil Myers started just four of the eight games leading into the series, with knee tendinitis. He was back in the lineup on Thursday, though.
The Padres will start Yu Darvish on the mound Friday night, his second straight game against the Dodgers. He allowed just one hit and two walks in seven innings last week, striking out nine but took a hard-luck loss in the game to drop to 1-1, 2.55 on the year.
The Dodgers got Mookie Betts back on Thursday. He’d missed time after getting hit in the arm by a pitch to start the week, but the former MVP got the nod on Thursday night.
Los Angeles had plenty of other injury drama, however. Center fielder Chris Taylor was a late scratch from the starting lineup with lower back stiffness, as was second baseman Zach McKinstry. The Dodgers were already without another former MVP, Cody Bellinger, as well as Gavin Lux, both of whom are on the injured list.
In typical 2021 Dodger fashion, second baseman Sheldon Neuse, added to the lineup after McKinstry was scratched, homered in the seventh inning to tie Thursday’s game.
Los Angeles will send Clayton Kershaw to the mound to face Darvish for the second time in a row. He won a pitchers duel, turning in six scoreless innings and striking out eight, while allowing just four baserunners. He also drove in a run at the plate with a bases loaded walk. Kershaw has won three straight decisions, allowing one run over 19 innings, including a current 18.2 inning scoreless streak. He’s struck out 22 over that span.
The Dodgers would be the easy pick in all 162 games this year, but this is a good night to go out on a limb and call for a loss. Kershaw has been lights out, but winning back-to-back battles with Darvish is a lot to ask, even of a surefire Hall of Famer. For your MLB picks, look for the Padres to keep the divisional race from getting called early with a win in game two of the series.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.