Dodgers, Still Trailing Giants, Go For Sweep of Padres

The Los Angeles Dodgers pulled out a wild 11-9 win over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night to stay within striking distance of the San Francisco Giants in the NL West. But even after 102 wins, every game remains a must-win game for the Dodgers. Los Angeles will now attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Padres on Thursday, knowing that they have little margin for error if they want to avoid the Wild Card Game. 

According to BetUS, the Dodgers are heavy favorites on Thursday with a -230 moneyline compared to San Diego’s +190 moneyline. On the contrary, BetOnline lists the Dodgers with a -208 moneyline and the Padres with a +190 moneyline. Both sportsbooks list the over/under for Thursday’s game at nine runs.

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The Chase Continues

With Wednesday’s dramatic comeback win, the Dodgers remain two games behind the Giants in the NL West standings. San Francisco’s magic number is down to three with four games to play, so the Dodgers need to win out and hope the Giants lose two of their final four games. The only silver lining is that LA is 8-2 in its last ten games and playing well down the stretch just in case they are forced to play in the Wild Card Game.

As for the Padres, they will play a big role in the NL West, as they play the Giants this weekend after completing their series with the Dodgers on Thursday. In terms of San Diego’s season, the Padres need to win three of their four remaining games to avoid finishing with a losing record in 2021. Of course, they are 2-10 over their last 12 games, so things are not going well for them late in the season.

Bottom of the Barrel

One of San Diego’s problems down the stretch has been a lack of starting pitching amidst several injuries. Those injuries will force them to send Vince Velazquez to the mound on Thursday. Velazquez was released by the Phillies earlier this month and owned a 6.22 ERA over 20 starts and four relief appearances this season.

That’s the type of pitcher who the Los Angeles lineup can feast upon. For what it’s worth, the Dodgers had been in a slump recently, scoring just 11 runs over four games, although they matched that total on Wednesday by scoring 11 runs thanks to six home runs. That could be a turning point for the team, especially with Trea Turner, Corey Seager, and AJ Pollock red-hot right now.

Tony’s Time

Tony Gonsolin will make the start for the Dodgers in Thursday’s critical game. Over 12 starts and two relief appearances this year, Gonsolin is 4-1 with a 3.00 ERA, which makes him better than most no. 5 starters. He’s had a few subpar starts this season and doesn’t always have a long leash, but he’s been a competent starter all year.

Of course, the Padres are hoping that the nine runs they scored on Wednesday, albeit in a losing effort, can help jumpstart their sluggish offense. Fernando Tatis and Manny Machado, in particular, have struggled down the stretch, hurting the entire San Diego lineup. However, Adam Frazier, Victor Caratini, and Eric Hosmer have all come on strong lately, so the Padres still have plenty of bats that can do damage.

Play the Blues

The Dodgers felt the pressure after falling behind on Wednesday and responded accordingly. That should give them the confidence and momentum to knock around Velazquez on Thursday, giving Gonsolin all of the run support he needs. Bet on the Dodgers to complete the sweep of the Padres.

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