SD vs. LAD Sept. 29: Odds, preview, prediction

September 29th, 2021

Padres vs. Dodgers Odds

Padres Odds: +240

Dodgers Odds: -295

Over/Under: 8

Time: 10:10 p.m. ET


Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

It’s hard to figure out what’s more baffling coming into this Wednesday night matchup: How the Dodgers are still two games back of the Giants in the National League West despite winning 101 games, or how the Padres now have a losing record.

Regardless of what surprises you more, that is the reality of this matchup. The Dodgers, somehow, still need to win games at this point in the season, and the Padres actually represent something of a layup game for them.

With a left-hander on the hill for San Diego, and a tight one-run contest on Tuesday, are we perhaps ready to take a shot on San Diego on Wednesday?

Let’s have a look at this matchup.

San Diego Padres

By now, we know the Padres’ World Series dreams have faded along with their dreams of making the postseason to avenge their defeat at the hands of the Dodgers last season.

With Tuesday’s loss, the Padres are now 78-79, one game under .500. They are just 6-17 in September, putting them right in line with the same month the Diamondbacks are currently having. Things have become grim, though it’s not for a lack of trying.

The Padres rank 14th in wRC+ over the past two weeks, have struck out in just 16.7% of plate appearances and rank third in contact rate with it coming on 80.1% of swings. What’s more, over 41% of those batted balls are traveling at least 95 mph.

So, while you may look at a 2-1 loss on Tuesday and assume the Padres are just struggling at the plate, that couldn’t be further from the truth. San Diego is hitting the ball in bunches, and hitting it hard.

The issue has been the pitching, with one of the league’s worst bullpens in the second half. Ryan Weathers carries a 5.19 xERA into this matchup. He’s part of that struggling Padres bullpen, and will get the first inning or two here before making way for some other arms.

Los Angeles Dodgers

It’s really hard to say anything negative about the Dodgers right now. It’s not the their fault the Giants are allergic to losing, and that has actually made the Dodgers’ good play go unnoticed. Not only has L.A. won seven in a row now against San Diego, it has won 13 of its last 16 games.

It hasn’t been on the back of the offense, however, with just the 13th-best lineup over the past two weeks judging by wRC+ and missing contributions from Max Muncy and Chris Taylor. The Dodgers are currently relying on AJ Pollock and Trea Turner and some sporadic big hits from Mookie Betts and Corey Seager. It’s not quite the complete lineup it was at this time last year.

What has sustained the Dodgers late in the season is their pitching. The bullpen owns the second-best ERA in baseball over the second half of the season at 3.12, and the starters on this team haven’t given it much to do.

Max Scherzer is one of those guys who has continued dominating in a Dodgers uniform after coming over from Washington. He went five outings without allowing an earned run before surrendering five at Coors Field last week.

We will give him a pass considering that ballpark does bad things to almost every pitcher, and focus on the fact that the Padres will need to dig deep to do so much as get one run off of this guy.

Padres-Dodgers Pick

I do think this Padres team has shown something at the plate, but this is Scherzer. I think the best way to play this game is with the under, trying to capitalize on some lackluster Dodgers bats and projecting a shutout or a one-run outing for Scherzer.

Pick: Under 8 (-110)