The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will close out a three-game series on Sunday afternoon at Petco Park. The Dodgers are in search of a sweep after winning the first two games in San Diego, 11-6 and 2-0. This series has had a playoff atmosphere for two games, especially last night which was a barnburner.
Despite attendance limited at Petco, it still had a playoff atmosphere in San Diego. The confrontation between Clayton Kershaw and Jurickson Profar after a catcher’s interference call looked like something out of the playoffs. Kershaw was playing with playoff intensity, no doubt about that.
Kershaw believed that Profar intentionally made contact with catcher Austin Barnes to collect a free base. I see where he’s coming from, but Kershaw got out of the inning shortly after, as Jake Cronenworth flew out in the next at-bat. The scariest situation for Kershaw was a 1 out runner on the corners situation. However, he calmly got out of the inning with a double play ball to avoid any damage.
The play of the game had to be from outfielder Mookie Betts, who sprawled out and went full Superman to end the game in the bottom of the 9th. That ball gets past Betts and the game is tied, with the Padres having an opportunity to walk the game off in the next at-bat.
The Dodgers needed extra innings on Friday night, and narrowly got through last night, but good teams win tight games against quality opponents. They find a way, while the teams that choke in the postseason don’t come up with the play or two needed to win. San Diego must win with Blake Snell on the bump Sunday afternoon to avoid getting swept.
Snell was traded to the Padres for a group of prospects. It’s no surprise that the Tampa Bay Rays aren’t a viable contender this season. They are without Snell along with Charlie Morton in their rotation, and that’s a lot of talent gone in one season. The Rays know they’re not going to be going back to the World Series, and might have traded Snell at the peak of his career for some nice value. The Dodgers will counter with Cy Young winner, and biggest free agent of the offseason, Trevor Bauer. Head below for our free Dodgers vs. Padres pick on April 18, 2021.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres MLB Betting Odds:
Dodgers vs. Padres Prediction:
The Dodgers have been red-hot to start this season. The first month of the regular season is not a clear indicator of what’s going to happen in October, but the Dodgers look more than prepared to defend their World Series crown. Oftentimes you have teams in professionals sports that are coming off a championship and have a hangover. That isn’t the case with the Dodgers, who are off to a sizzling hot 13-2 start in the NL West.
There isn’t another team in their stratosphere at the moment. The Padres at 9-7 and Giants at 8-6 are 4.5 games behind the Dodgers. The Red Sox and Padres are the only teams in the major leagues that have recorded double-digit wins going into Sunday. With Bauer on the bump, there’s a good chance that the Dodgers sweep and get to 14-2 on the season. There was speculation that Bauer was going to take the money and regress, but that hasn’t been the case so far.
Bauer has been in good form through three outings. He struggled in his first start, though Bauer has been able to respond well. The same went for Yu Darvish and Clayton Kershaw in their first starts this season. However, all three hurlers have bounced back and all is fine. Bauer gave up 4 earned runs in 6.1 innings against the Rockies. The key thing to note is that game was at Coors Field. He didn’t like the air in Denver, as Bauer was tagged for 2 home runs, conceding 3 hits, 2 of which were long balls.
He allowed 3 hits and 2 earned runs in 6.2 innings against the Athletics on April 7, then his debut at Dodger Stadium was special. Bauer gave up only 1 hit and no runs in 7 innings on the hill. In all through 20 innings, Bauer owns a 2.70 ERA and 0.60 WHIP. Opponents are hitting .103 against Bauer. He’s feeling it right now, while his counterpart, Blake Snell, hasn’t been so hot. Snell has posted an ERA of 4.35 and 1.65 WHIP through three tilts and 10.3 innings of work.
He has conceded an OBP of .353 thus far. Snell didn’t make it out of the 1st inning against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. He was rocked for 3 hits, 2 walks, and 3 earned runs. It was clear that Snell didn’t have it last week. With the Dodgers on the docket, he must be much better to help the Padres avoid a sweep. Mookie Betts is the only Dodger that he’s seen in more than one at-bat. Betts is hitting .307 with a home run and 6 RBI against Snell in 23 at-bats. The Padres might be “due”, but it’s not the best handicapping technique for baseball. I like the Dodgers to sweep at Petco on Sunday.