San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
The San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers look for a NL West win as the rivals battle in their 2012 MLB season opener. The Dodgers are -155 favorites over the Padres with an over/under run total set at 6.
After nearly winning the National League West two years ago the San Diego Padres weren’t competitive in 2011 and if you look at their roster they may have trouble competing again. For the Padres it was the un-magical combination of no hitting and mediocre starting pitching which translated into a lot of losing last year. San Diego went out and got Carlos Quentin and if he can stay healthy he’ll do nothing but help especially if Cameron Maybin can set the table. Chase Headley needs to bounce back or he may be getting a change of scenery and Will Venerable was so bad last year he was sent back to the minors at one point. Yonder Alonzo was another big pickup and the expectations are big as well while Nick Hundley and Orlando Hudson will be counted on to contribute big if this team is going to exceed expectations. Edinson Volquez gets the opening day start, something he did in Cincinnati last year but it was due to an injury to Johnny Cueto. Volquez has never played to his potential and made a trip to the minors last season to work on some things. Huston Street is the new closer for San Diego and Luke Gregorson is the last remaining of what was one of baseball’s best bullpen trios. Even with the new faces it would be a big surprise for the Padres to be competitive this year.
The Los Angeles Dodgers had the Cy Young Award winner in the NL last season and the player who finished second in the MVP race but they finished third in the division as a team. Matt Kemp is back to make another run at the MVP and Andre Ethier had a 30 game hitting streak last season and has been showing for the past few years he may have the talent to be among baseball’s elite. James Loney needs to be more consistent and should dimply be better than his numbers and Juan Uribe looks to prove he isn’t a financial liability. With the ownership situation settled look for the Dodgers to get active in acquiring talented players. Speaking of talented Los Angeles send Clayton Kershaw to the mound for the opener and when we last saw Kershaw he was out battling every top pitcher and every batting order in the game but he will be up against it as the Dodgers struggled on the road last year. The Dodgers bullpen looks to be deep and that brings about competition which usually means strong play.
San Diego is 6-14 in game one of a series, 7-20 as an underdog, and 1-10 in their last 11 games against a left handed starter. Los Angeles is 5-2 in their last seven games against the NL West, 10-3 in their last 13 game one of a series, and 20-7 in Kershaw’s last 27 starts. Los Angeles has won 10 of the last 12 meetings of these two.
The total in this one is set at six which is about double where the runs scored should be so that makes the under and easy play here.