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

by Chuck Sommers

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
FanDuel: NL

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

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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.


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

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

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

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)

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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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

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

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