MLB Baseball: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres Preview, Prediction & Odds -- 8/26/21

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 6:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Petco Park, San Diego, CA
Where to watch: SportsNet LA, Bally Sports San Diego

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Dodgers -120, Padres +100
BetMGM: NL
FanDuel: NL

Season record (entering Wednesday)
Dodgers: 79-47 (2nd place, NL West)
Padres: 68-59 (3rd place, NL West)

Frank Sawyer is on an 8-of-10 MLB Game of the Month/Year run after delivering his 25-star MLB Tuesday ESPN Game of the year with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Frank is on a 24-of-33 All-Sports run, and now 17-of-23 with MLB. Check out Frank’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Dodgers - Padres preview and analysis


Recent form (entering Wednesday)
Dodgers: 9-1 in last 10
Padres: 2-8 in last 10 

The San Diego Padres are hanging on by a thread. The Los Angeles Dodgers have the scissors.

All it takes is one snip from the Dodgers to put an end to the Padres’ playoff hopes, and that could happen Thursday when the teams wrap up their three-game series at Petco Park.

It may have taken this far for the Padres to start losing home, but between the Cincinnati Reds gaining ground on them in the National League Wild Card race and the Padres just falling short of meeting expectations, it may soon be time to just call it.

The Dodgers took the first game of the set 5-2 behind five shutout innings from Julio Urias, and A.J. Pollock robbing Manny Machado of a home run in the fourth inning to push the Dodgers to victory. L.A. still trails the San Francisco Giants by 2.5 games for first place in the National League West, but also pushed the Padres to an insurmountable 14-game deficit with 35 games to go entering Wednesday.

While the Dodgers’ offense is dangerous from 1-8, it’s the pitchers that have made it a memorable August for the reigning World Series champions. Urias won his team-leading 14th game on Tuesday, with Walker Buehler (on the mound for Wednesday’s matchup) right behind him at 13. There’s also an 11-game winner sitting in the wings with Max Scherzer, who will take the mound in the series finale. There’s also the matter of Clayton Kershaw, should he return in time for the playoffs. That group that has the lowest ERA in the league may still get the best pitcher of this century back for a repeat chance. Think about that.

Kershaw will throw another bullpen session on Friday.

That’s where the Padres were supposed to be after acquiring Blake Snell, Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove, but instead the Padres’ bats have been the culprit. The Padres are 10-16 since July 24, and outside of Fernando Tatis Jr., no one has really stepped up. Manny Machado has been inconsistent; Eric Hosmer has only 10 home runs; Wil Myers is batting .261; and it’s been an up-and-down roller coaster for Jake Cronenworth despite a career season.

San Diego got only three hits on Tuesday; Hosmer, Myers, and Jurickson Profar. Other than robbing Machado of the homer, no one came to play for San Diego. It’s efforts like that that will push them away from the playoff picture. The Padres are expected to turn to Darvish for this all-important game.

Prediction


Since arriving to L.A., Scherzer has not lost. The Dodgers brought him in to be the big-game pitcher he’s proven himself to be. With a series up for grabs, and a slim chance to move ahead of the Giants, Scherzer should be able to bring down the Friars. Dodgers win 6-2.

Betting trends


The Dodgers are 6-1 (+4.8) as a road favorite when Scherzer starts.

The Under is 61-57 when the Dodgers are a favorite of at least -110.

Players to watch


Dodgers: While not confirmed, there is a chance Mookie Betts will be activated from the IL for Thursday’s matchup. Before dealing with him problems, Betts had a hit in nine of his last 10 games, including a two-homer game Aug. 4 against the Houston Astros.

Padres: Shortstop Jake Cronenworth has been stellar with the glove, but his bat has come alive, too. He’s got a hit in six of his last eight games coming into Wendesday.

Projected lineup


Dodgers:
Trea Turner (R) 2B
Max Muncy (L) 1B
Justin Turner (R) 3B
AJ Pollock (R) LF
Corey Seager (L) SS
Chris Taylor (R) RF
Will Smith (R) C
Cody Bellinger (L) CF
Max Scherzer (R) P

Padres:
Trent Grisham (L) CF
Fernando Tatis Jr. (R) RF
Manny Machado (R) 3B
Jake Cronenworth (L) SS
Austin Nola (R) C
Eric Hosmer (L) 1B
Wil Myers (R) LF
Adam Frazier (L) 2B
Yu Darvish (R) P

Statistical leaders


Dodgers:
Batting average: Justin Turner (.286)
Hits: Chris Taylor (120)
Home runs: Max Muncy (28)
RBI: Max Muncy (76)
Stolen bases: Chris Taylor (12)
Wins: Julio Urias (14)
Saves: Kenley Jansen (28)
ERA: Walker Buehler (2.11)

Padres:
Batting average: Fernando Tatis Jr. (.287)
Hits: Jake Cronenworth (128)
Home runs: Fernando Tatis Jr. (34)
RBI: Manny Machado (84)
Stolen bases: Fernando Tatis Jr. (24)
Wins: Joe Musgrove (8)
Saves: Mark Melancon (34)
ERA: Joe Musgrove 3.04

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All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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