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Padres at Dodgers – Free Pick for April 14th

San Diego Padres +125 @ Los Angeles Dodgers -135

Joe Weiland vs. Ted Lilly

There’s something Magic going on in Los Angeles so far this season… ugggh.  Ok, cheesy pun out of the way – in all seriousness, the Dodgers are off to their best start since 1981, racing to a 7-1 record.  With the combination of hitting and their talented pitching staff highlighted by defending Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, it is hard to see why so few pundits liked this team before the season started.  They appear to be a legit contender to win the NL West and I’d be surprised if they aren’t in the mix all season.

Matt Kemp is off to another ridiculous start.  I’m not sure he can get to the 50/50 lofty standard he threw out for himself as a goal, but I wouldn’t put it past the five-tool superstar to capture an NL MVP award.  Through eight games he is hitting .417 with three homeruns and eleven RBI’s.  That pace is a little unsustainable (over 200 RBI’s and 60 HRs) but in a season where a lot of sluggers are still finding their swing, Kemp is tearing through opposing pitchers.

Taking the mound tonight for the Dodgers for the first time this season is Ted Lilly.  Lilly had a rough start in his first appearance in Spring Training, however, said it was good to get a rehab start under his belt and find some of his pitches.  Expect a much better outing tonight from the veteran lefthander.

Her is opposing promising Padre rookie Joe Weiland, who will be making his first major league start.  I expect him to pitch well, and he certainly has the stuff to be pitching in the majors for quite a long time.  However, making your debut against a red-hot Dodger lineup on the road in Chavez Ravine is not an easy task.  I don’t see tonight being another wild 9-8 affair like last night, but I do expect the Dodgers to scratch out four or five runs and provide Lilly with enough cushion to earn a win in his return.

The Dodgers have beaten the Padres in 14 of their last 17 games, good for a .770 winning percentage.  Tonight, they face a rookie making his major league debut and they are only -135.  Those are pretty fair and slim odds considering the game and the trends favor them pretty heavily.  I’ll take the Dodgers to win tonight with a nice value line.

Free Pick:  Los Angeles Dodgers to WIN -135