Matchup: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers

Date/Time: April 8, 10:00 p.m. ET


MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook

Probable Starters: SD: Andrew Cashner (First start) vs. LAD: Brandon McCarthy (First start)

Moneyline: Los Angeles -151

Total: 7

Andrew Cashner will square off against Brandon McCarthy in the series finale between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cashner will make his first start of the season after being limited to just 19 starts and 123.1 innings last season. McCarthy found a nice home with the Yankees, posting a 7-5 record with a 2.89 ERA in 14 starts covering 90.1 innings of work. The Dodgers are a big favorite here against the pitcher who was supposed to be San Diego’s ace prior to the free agent signing of James Shields.

Andrew Cashner has good stuff, but there have been some alarming developments since he became a full-time starter. His strikeout rate dropped, which is hardly a surprise, but his inability to stay healthy is a much bigger issue. Cashner has been dealing with elbow soreness over the last two seasons and that often leads to bad mechanics and further injury. Cashner was very effective when he was healthy last season, but there are some signs of regression. He elevated the ball more last season and was fortunate to escape some of the jams that he did.

The Padres were one of the big winners this past offseason, adding Justin Upton, Wil Myers, James Shields, Matt Kemp, and also made a splash by adding Craig Kimbrel just before the start of the season. As a result, the Padres were a team with a lot of betting steam in the futures market and perception is sure to be high on them over the first few weeks of the season. It’s not present in this situation because of the opponent, but the Padres will get some betting attention and it may be unwarranted. Defensively, this is not a sound team, and that’s something that often gets overlooked.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the National League favorites this season with the league’s highest payroll by a healthy margin. One of the offseason additions was Brandon McCarthy, whose ground ball stylings and improved velocity didn’t work out until he got to the American League. With Arizona, McCarthy was victimized by a bad defense and terrible batted ball luck. He’s a guy that limits walks and often performs better in the advanced metrics, so the Dodgers may have found a diamond in the rough.

The Dodgers, as a whole, are full of big names. Jimmy Rollins was just one of several moves by the team to gear up for another postseason run. One of the biggest was adding Andrew Friedman to the front office. Friedman was like a kid in a candy store with the Dodgers big payroll after coming over from the cash-strapped Tampa Bay Rays. The Dodgers do have some bullpen questions right now with Kenley Jansen on the disabled list, but they won comfortably in their first game against the Padres and are a big favorite to take the series finale.

Free MLB Picks: Los Angeles Dodgers

Brandon McCarthy, like most sinker/slider pitchers, has more trouble with lefties. The Padres have a very right-handed heavy lineup and they’re going to have trouble with a lot of right-handed starters this season. The Padres will also have to play good defense behind Cashner and that’s not a strength of this team. All the preseason hype will wind up being unjustified by the end of the season.

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