Dodgers and Padres MLB Preview

The Padres are looking to end the Dodgers hopes of playing in the postseason in the second game of this crucial four-game series.

San Diego Padres (62-42) at Los Angeles Dodgers (54-52)

Los Angeles opened as a slight -112 favorite at and the total stands at 6.5. San Diego averaged just 3.9 runs per game during the 2009 season, but the offense has blossomed this season in scoring 5.3 runs since June 30, which is the second-most in the National League over that span.

The team hopes that recent additions of Ryan Ludwick and Miguel Tejada can help provide even more production heading into the final seven weeks of the season. The Padres 29-20 road record is the best in the National League (+1,560) and join the Giants and Reds as the only other teams in the Senior Circuit playing over .500 baseball away from home.

Padres staring pitcher Mat Latos is 11-4 with a 2.45 ERA in 19 starts this season and leads the majors with a .195 opponents batting average. San Diego has won his last eight starts overall. The hard-throwing right-hander is 7-2 with a 2.63 ERA in 11 road starts. The road team is 22-16 against division opponents this season, winning seven of their last eight opportunities.

The total is 16-20 O/U in the team’s games versus the NL West. Los Angeles is suffering through a six-game losing streak, which matches their longest of the season. The Dodgers have scored just 2.3 runs per game and lost 13 of 18 since the All-Star break. “You have to make sure you don’t lose composure,” manager Joe Torre said. “It doesn’t mean you’re just going to sit back and wish for things to happen.” The club is still a solid 25-14 against divisional opponents (+1,090).

Newly-acquired left-hander Ted Lilly will make his first start for the Dodgers, coming over from the Cubs at the trade deadline. He received just 2.31 runs of support per nine innings pitched with Chicago this season, which was the lowest average run support in the Majors. The left-hander is 5-2 with a 3.18 ERA in nine career games (eight starts) versus the Padres. Playing the Dodgers in this contest represents some value, as the team is 49-21 in their last 70 games as a home favorite of -110 to -150. Don’t get too carried away, with the Padres being 4-1 in Latos’ last five starts as a road underdog.