The Los Angeles Dodgers were not a good team early in the season. Through 72 games, they were just 39-33, on a pace to win fewer than 90 games, which has been unheard of for this team over the past several years, given the high standard they have set in the regular season. The memories of the first two and a half months of the season, however, have been put in the rearview mirror. The Dodgers won 24 games in the month of August, a month in which Mookie Betts went wild and collected 51 hits and 11 home runs. Freddie Freeman has relentlessly hit well. The Dodgers have extremely reliable hitters who take walks, work counts, and can spray the ball to all fields. The team's hitting prowess, combined with an improved bullpen, have led to a second-half surge which has catapulted the Dodgers more than 30 games above .500, which is where they expect to be in September. They are comfortably in position to get a bye in the wild card series. They will move directly to the National League Division Series and will be predicted to face the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series. The 2023 regular season, which started so poorly, has ultimately lived up to the Dodgers' expected standard. What makes this season even more impressive is that the Dodgers have done this with Walker Buehler out for the whole year, Tony Gonsolin injured for part of the year and very ineffective when pitching, and Julio Urias injured and ineffective as well before his off-field problems and subsequent suspension. The Dodger starting rotation has been a shell of its former self, but Dave Roberts has done some of his best work as Dodger manager.
Now this team will try to prepare for October and get its starting rotation set up for the playoffs.
Here are the Padres-Dodgers MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Padres-Dodgers Odds
San Diego Padres: +1.5 (-182)
Los Angeles Dodgers: -1.5 (+150)
Over: 8.5 (-104)
Under: 8.5 (-118)
How To Watch Padres vs. Dodgers
TV: MLB (Padres) / SportsNet LA (Dodgers) / MLB Extra Innings
For the inside story on the next Shohei Ohtani, listen below:
Time: 10:10 p.m. ET/7:10 p.m. PT
*Watch Padres-Dodgers LIVE on fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Padres Could Cover The Spread
The Padres are not going to make the playoffs. They are the most disappointing team in the majors for 2023. However, in terms of this specific game, they have staff ace Blake Snell going against young Dodger starter Ryan Pepiot. It's as good a pitching matchup as the Padres could possibly hope for. They are riding with their best guy against a back-end rotation starter — a fill-in — for the Dodgers. This is a situation tailor-made for the Padres to win. They have no pressure on their backs and can just play freely right now. Without that pressure, they can go out and mash the ball the way they are capable of.
Why The Dodgers Could Cover The Spread
The Dodgers have been able to mash San Diego pitching all season long. Los Angeles has owned this head-to-head series for a few years. There's no real reason to abandon faith in the Dodgers right now. Their hitters are elite. Only Atlanta has better hitters among National League teams this season.
Final Padres-Dodgers Prediction & Pick
The Dodgers are a much better team, but Blake Snell is an equalizer. Stay away from this game.
Final Padres-Dodgers Prediction & Pick: Dodgers -1.5