Padres vs. Dodgers MLB Picks: Is San Diego Dangerous as a Potential Spoiler?

Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP
Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

The Los Angeles Dodgers have a must-win game when they host the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night. Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and MLB picks.

San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 – 10:10 PM EDT – 09:40 PM EDT at Dodger Stadium

The Dodgers are two games behind the Giants for first place in the National League West and they would love to avoid playing a Wild Card game, so this contest means a lot to them. The results are not important to the reeling Padres anymore but they have a hand in affecting the National League West outcome. How will they fare as spoilers?

The Padres will give the ball to Yu Darvish (3.91 FIP), while Walker Buehler (3.25 FIP) takes the hill for the Dodgers. On paper, the Dodgers have a favorable matchup, as they’re 20-11 in Buehler’s 31 starts but they’re break-even (+0 units). The Padres, on the other hand, are down 3 units on a 17-12 record in Darvish’s 29 starts.

Yu Darvish (8-10, 4.21 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) is winless since September 8th and the Padres have lost his last eight road starts. The right-hander gave up four earned runs on three hits (one home run) with seven strikeouts and three walks over 5 1/3 innings to get a no-decision in a 7-6 home win against the Giants last Thursday. The current Dodgers roster is 22-for-133 (.128) against Darvish. Max Muncy is 2-for-11 (.182) with one RBI.

Walker Buehler (14-4, 2.58 ERA, 0.98 WHIP) struggled at Coors Field last Wednesday, allowing five earned runs on seven hits (one home run) with two strikeouts and zero walks over just 3 2/3 innings to get a no-decision in a 10-5 loss against the Rockies. The right-hander is just 1-2 with a 7.32 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP in his last four starts. Fernando Tatis Jr. is 6-for-19 (.316) with three home runs and four RBIs against Buehler.


The Dodgers opened at -165 at DraftKings, but over at FiveThirtyEight, they already have them at -186 based on our calculations (they suggest the Dodgers will win this game 65 percent of the time). The projections say there is some value on the Dodgers but I still don’t like their price.

The Padres are all about Fernando Tatis Jr. (.987 OPS). He’s by far the best bat in their lineup, which ranks a disappointing 15th overall in hitting at 18.8 WAR according to FanGraphs. Manny Machado (.841 OPS) is doing his part and 2B Jake Cronenworth (.808 OPS) made the All-Star team as a sophomore, but none of their other starters has an OPS above .750 this season. San Diego’s starters and relievers have been mediocre, too. This is not a postseason team but the Dodgers rank No. 13 in hitting value (3.7 WAR) in the last 30 days according to FanGraphs and No. 16 in Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) at .314.

Los Angeles is hitting .235 against right-handers in the last 30 days, with a .175 ISO and a .311 wOBA and Yu Darvish is 2-2 with a 2.42 ERA and an 0.73 WHIP in four starts against the Dodgers this season, giving the Padres ample value. Keep that bet size small.

MLB Pick: Padres +1.5 (-128) at BetMGM

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