MLB Korea Series Odds & Lines: Dodgers vs. Padres

MLB Korea Series Odds & Lines: Dodgers vs. Padres

While Opening Day isn’t until March 28, the 2024 MLB season officially kicks off this week with a two-game series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres in Seoul.

The two NL West rivals will split a two-game series at Gocheok Skydome from March 20-21. Since the games are at a neutral site, the Padres will be the home team in the first game, while the Dodgers will be the home team in the second game.

All eyes are on Los Angeles after its blockbuster signings of reigning MVP Shohei Ohtani and Japanese star pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto this winter. The Dodgers committed more than $1 billion combined to those two players and enter 2024 as World Series favorites after winning their division by 16 games last year.

MLB betting sites have odds available for these games, allowing baseball fans to wager on the first regular-season action of 2024.

Below, we’ll examine the matchups for both games and provide some MLB betting tips to consider for this exciting international series.

Odds from FanDuel Sportsbook. Subject to change.

March 20: Tyler Glasnow (LAD) vs. Yu Darvish (SDP)

Game Details

  • Matchup: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres
  • Date: Wednesday, March 20 
  • Time: 6:06 a.m. ET
  • Location: Gocheok Skydome (Seoul, South Korea)

Odds Summary

  • Moneyline: Dodgers -194, Padres +162
  • Runline: Dodgers -1.5 (-120), Padres +1.5 (+100)
  • Total: Over/Under 8.5 (-122/+100)

Los Angeles will send new addition Tyler Glasnow to the mound in his Dodgers debut. LA acquired him from the Tampa Bay Rays in the offseason via trade to bolster its rotation.

The 30-year-old righty cuts an imposing figure on the mound at 6-foot-8. Injuries have plagued him throughout his career, but he’s one of the nastiest pitchers in baseball when healthy. Last year, he threw a career-high 120 innings, going 10-7 with a 3.53 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP and a 12.2 K/9 for the Rays.

He’ll face San Diego’s ace, Yu Darvish. Darvish is 37 and appears to be fading after 11 MLB seasons following his career in Japan. His 4.56 ERA and 1.30 WHIP last year were the second-worst marks of his career, and he’s now posted an ERA over four in two of the past three seasons.

Darvish will have his hands full with a loaded Dodgers lineup that added Ohtani and Teoscar Hernandez. They’ll bring even more firepower to an offense that ranked second in the National League in runs, home runs and OPS last year.

However, Darvish has pitched well against Los Angeles in his career. The five-time All-Star owns a 2.38 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and a 10.9 K/9 in 12 starts against his old team.

The pitching matchup favors the Dodgers, especially when you factor in the platoon splits. With Ohtani and Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles has several elite lefty bats to counter Darvish, while San Diego’s biggest bats (Fernando Tatis, Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado) are right-handed.

The Dodgers won 18 more games than the Padres last year and dominated them during the season, going 9-4 against their division rivals with a plus-22 run differential. Los Angeles got even stronger over the offseason, whereas San Diego seems to have diminished, so look for the Dodgers to pick up where they left off and open the year with a win.

March 21: Joe Musgrove (SDP) vs. Yoshinobu Yamamoto (LAD)

Game Details

  • Matchup: San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Date: Thursday, March 21
  • Time: 6:06 a.m. ET
  • Location: Gocheok Skydome (Seoul, South Korea)

Odds Summary

  • Moneyline: Padres +140, Dodgers -166
  • Runline: Padres +1.5 (-156), Dodgers -1.5 (+130)
  • Total: Over/Under 8.5 (-122/+100)

While Ohtani’s Dodgers debut will receive unprecedented hype in Game 1, Yamamoto’s MLB debut in Game 2 will be nothing to sneeze at. 

One of the best pitchers out of Japan, Yamamoto signed a 12-year, $325 million contract with Los Angeles in the offseason after leading Nippon Professional Baseball in wins, ERA and strikeouts last year. He won the Japanese version of the Cy Young Award in each of the past three seasons, going 49-16 with a 1.44 ERA during that time.

He’ll square off against Joe Musgrove, who made only 17 starts and threw just 97 ⅓ innings last year due to a shoulder injury. He still pitched well on the mound, going 10-3 with a 3.05 ERA for the Padres. 

The biggest thing to watch in this game will be how Yamamoto attacks MLB hitters. While he was incredible during his time in Japan, MLB is a different animal. His first assignment is also a tough one, as San Diego led the NL in walks last year and has a patient, powerful lineup.

On the other side, Musgrove will have to tame a juggernaut offense with plenty of experience against him. Seven Dodgers have recorded 10-plus career at-bats against Musgrove, with Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy and Miguel Rojas all batting .300 or better against the former All-Star.

Still, this seems like a game where the Padres could play spoiler. Yamamoto had an 8.38 ERA in 9 2/3 innings in Spring Training and admitted he was “still making adjustments.” Look for San Diego to pounce on Yamamoto early and ride its strong bullpen (3.80 ERA last year) to the win, with new closer Robert Suárez netting his first save in the post-Josh Hader era.

Los Angeles also has an excellent bullpen (3.42 ERA last year), so it might be worth taking the Under at plus odds in this game.

Gocheok Skydome Park Effects

The Gocheok Skydome – home to the KBO’s Kiwoom Heroes – is in Seoul, South Korea. It opened in 2015 and seats 16,744 – less than half the size of most MLB stadiums. 

While this is the Skydome’s first time hosting MLB games, it also hosted the first round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic. 

The indoor park has basic dimensions at 400 feet to dead center and 325 feet down the foul lines. It was renovated ahead of the series with new lighting, clubhouses and playing surface. 

With that in mind, it’s not surprising to see most sportsbooks setting the Over/Under around 9 runs for these games, which is typical for an MLB contest. With the games taking place in a seemingly neutral park in a climate-controlled environment, the location shouldn’t have much impact on the final score. 

This won’t be like previous international series in London and Mexico City, where smaller ballpark dimensions and higher altitudes created high-scoring games. 

Both teams have played exhibition games in Korea leading up to the series, all of which had normal baseball scores except for the Dodgers’ 14-3 beatdown of the Heroes on March 16 (which had more to do with the difference in talent than the ballpark).

When picking a total bet for either of these games, you should base your decision on the stats and matchup, as the ballpark is unlikely to have much of an effect.

Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images