Dodgers vs. Padres odds, prediction: MLB Seoul Series picks, best bets

New York Post
Dodgers vs. Padres odds, prediction: MLB Seoul Series picks, best bets

The Dodgers will test out their shiny new toys halfway across the globe in the early 2024 MLB season opener against the Padres in Seoul, South Korea on Wednesday (6:05 a.m. ET first pitch, ESPN).

Tyler Glasnow will make his highly anticipated mound debut in Dodgers blue opposite Yu Darvish, who is looking to wash his hands of a disappointing 2023 in San Diego. 

After establishing the third-highest payroll in baseball last season, the Padres finished third in the NL West and two games out of a wild-card spot. 

Los Angeles outspent the other 29 teams combined in the offseason, forking out over $1 billion to ink Glasnow, Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, among others.

The Dodgers are desperately seeking to clear the hurdle after another failed postseason run. 

Glasnow is coming off of a fine season in Tampa Bay where he reached a career high in innings pitched and strikeouts.

The 30-year-old has sky-high expectations to fulfill, beginning his five-year extension for over $136 million as this dream team’s ace. 

Darvish is returning from an elbow injury that ended the first season of his long-term deal.

The 37-year-old especially struggled against left-handed hitting, posting splits significantly worse than his numbers against righties. 

The Dodgers’ lineup on Wednesday will deploy six lefty hitters, including Ohtani, who batted .327 against right-handed pitching last year, and Freddie Freeman, who owns a .286 career average against Darvish. 

This will be the first time Ohtani and Darvish, the Samurai Japan teammates, face each other in a regular-season MLB game.

Glasnow had a -0.03 difference in xERA to Darvish’s 0.73 in 2023, but the real disparity was revealed in xFIP — a metric in which Glasnow was more than a full run better than Darvish.

Both bullpens posted a top-10 ERA, but there are several lingering question marks surrounding how the Padres bullpen will support the rotation with Josh Hader and other key names gone.

San Diego’s core of Xander Boegarts, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado are under the spotlight after a season of underwhelming contact numbers.

Machado’s recovery from elbow surgery pegs him into the DH role, knocking the Padres’ defense down a notch.

All the optics considered, finding solid value on the Dodgers will be tough to come by this season. It’s going to take some creativity with betting them this year, but they carry enough edge in various facets of this matchup to back them with confidence. 

Pick: Dodgers run line -1.5 (-113, BetRivers)