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San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers Betting Preview

The top two teams in the NL West will square off in the first of a four-game series Thursday as the San Diego Padres (46-31) take on the Los Angeles Dodgers (46-28). Los Angeles will host this one at Dodger Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 10:10 pm ET.

The Padres split their brief, two-game series against the Diamondbacks earlier in the week. After losing Tuesday’s game 7-6, they bounced back with a 4-0 shutout Wednesday.

Mike Clevinger allowed just one hit in six scoreless innings while Jake Cronenworth went three for five with two runs batted in.

Coming into Thursday’s game, the Dodgers lost their series to the Colorado Rockies, but they salvaged the finale on Thursday, 8-4.

The Dodgers hit three home runs on Wednesday, including Will Smith’s 12th of the season. Julio Urias picked up the win after allowing three runs in 5.1 innings.

The Dodgers are the favorites on Thursday playing at home. They are -126 to win while the Padres’ moneyline sits at +108. The runline features San Diego +1.5 (-178), and the over/under for total runs is eight.

Padres Have Big Opportunity To Overtake First Place

At 46-31, the Padres sit just 1.5 games back of the Dodgers for first in the NL West. With four games against the Dodgers this weekend, they have a great opportunity to overtake the division if they can win the series.

Luckily, the Padres have played better on the road this year than at home. While they are 21-16 at Petco Park, they are 25-15 on the road this year.

Taking the mound for the opener will be righty Joe Musgrove. In 13 starts this season, Musgrove has been one of the Padres’ best pitchers as he is 8-1 with a 2.12 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and has 82 strikeouts in 85 innings.

Musgrove’s one loss did come in his last outing as he allowed six earned runs on seven hits in six innings to the Phillies. He will look to bounce back on Thursday.

It will be interesting to see whether Manny Machado can play this series. He hurt his ankle back on June 19, and while he was not put on the injured list, he has not played since then.

This season, Machado is hitting .328/.400/.545 with a team-leading 12 home runs and 46 runs scored.

On the season, the Padres rank 10th in scoring averaging 4.64 runs per game (5.46 on the road).

Dodgers Look To Create Separation

While the Padres are looking to overtake L.A., the Dodgers are trying to create separation in the division. Los Angeles will look to use their home-field advantage, where they are 20-12 thus far, to pick up the first game.

Taking the ball for Dave Roberts’ team on Thursday will be 27-year-old righty Mitch White. In 10 games this season, White is 1-1 with a 4.25 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and has 30 strikeouts in just 29.2 innings.

White took a no-decision in his last start against Atlanta, giving up three runs on five hits in just four innings of work.

Keep an eye on Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy in this one, as they have both hit Joe Musgrove well in their careers. In 15 at bats, Freeman is hitting .400 with a home run and three runs batted in.

For Muncy, he is hitting .467 in 15 at bats with a home run and two runs batted in. Aside from these two, Trea Turner has also homered off of the righty in his career.

Take Padres To Win Opening Game

This one comes down to the pitching. Despite getting rocked in his last start, Joe Musgrove has been one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball to start the season.

On the flip side, Mitch White has done a respectable job this season, but he has yet to go past five innings this season, meaning that the Dodgers’ bullpen is going to have to do a lot of the heavy lifting Thursday.

If the Padres can get into that bullpen, it might not only help them on Thursday, but it may help the rest of the series.

It is always tough to bet against the Dodgers, especially when they are at home, but there is just a lot of value in taking San Diego with Musgrove on the mound at +108 on Thursday.

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