After Los Angeles won Game 1 of the NLDS, let’s shift our attention over to Game 2. Here’s how I’m betting Dodgers – Padres odds in their best-of-five series.
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Dodgers – Padres Odds: Game 2
For starters, the best available odds for San Diego to split the first two games of the NLDS is — equivalent to a 37.3% implied probability. Although Bob Melvin’s club is up against future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw, that percentage is a bit too low.
The southpaw allowed just one earned run in two starts versus the Padres this season. But his peripherals noted that it should’ve been more — given his combined 90% strand rate across those outings.
Kershaw, who dealt with a back injury twice this season, has made a living off his 12-6 curveball throughout his 15-year career. However, its spin rate has dipped considerably — good for the 34th percentile overall (via Baseball Savant).
Moreover, the Padres boast the top-rated run value against that particular pitch type (+0.85) since acquiring Juan Soto, Brandon Drury and Josh Bell from the Nationals on Aug. 3. They even rank above league average versus the slider, which is Kershaw’s primary pitch (42.6%).
Related: World Series Odds
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Trust San Diego’s Pitching?
Kershaw opposes Yu Darvish, who’s coming off his stellar performance against the Mets in the Wild Card round. Darvish is also making his first playoff start at Dodger Stadium since he was reportedly tipping pitches in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. It was a night to forget for Davish, yielding four earned runs in only 1.2 innings pitched, so there should be motivation entering this matchup.
Look for Darvish to mix in his slider more often, considering the Dodgers’ efficiency versus his cutter. While Freddie Freeman & Co. showcase an elite success rate against most pitches, their 13th-rated run value against sliders (-0.26) is their lowest among any pitch type.
The 34-year-old delivered a 2.63 ERA and 3.04 xFIP, respectively, in four starts versus Los Angeles this season. The latter metric indicates that his expected outcome was roughly in line with the results.
Josh Hader, Robert Suarez, and Luis Garcia — San Diego most valuable relievers — are well-rested, too. Hence, I’m backing San Diego on the moneyline. Don’t be surprised if I go back to the well with Blake Snell in Game 3.