San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Odds, Preview, and Prediction 3/20/24
San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Odds, Preview, and Prediction 3/20/24

The 2024 Major League Baseball season starts with the Seoul Series in South Korea, as the Dodgers and Padres play a two-game set at the Gocheok Sky Stadium. This will be a 6:05 a.m. ET first pitch on Wednesday March 20 and the second game will be at the same time on Thursday.

I’ll fire up my daily MLB best bets article on the official Opening Day on Thursday March 28, but didn’t want these two games to go by without a preview breaking down the action.


When: Wednesday March 20, 6:05 a.m. ET

Where: Seoul, South Korea at the Gocheok Sky Stadium

Dodgers: -205

Padres: +170

Total: 8.5 (-122/102)

Odds current from DraftKings at time of publish

The Padres will send Yu Darvish to the mound and the Dodgers will counter with new toy Tyler Glasnow, as the former Tampa Bay Ray makes his debut in Dodger Blue. This is an early start to the season and Darvish and Glasnow are not really stretched out, so the potential for a short start is definitely there, leaving this one in the hands of the bullpens.

Glasnow has allowed one run on four hits with 14 strikeouts against just three walks in 10 Spring Training innings over three starts. He did go 5.1 innings in his last start against the Giants on March 12, but he only threw 36 pitches. Getting five innings from him in real game conditions against a full-fledged Major League lineup seems like a stretch, especially with his long-standing injury history.

Darvish has only thrown 9.1 innings in the Spring over three starts. He’s allowed three runs on nine hits with 10 strikeouts against one walk. Darvish did not pitch at all in Spring Training last season because he played for Team Japan in the World Baseball Classic. When he came back from the WBC, he missed his first start because of some discomfort.

Glasnow had a 3.53 ERA with a 2.91 FIP in 120 innings for the Rays last season. That was the most innings he had ever thrown at the MLB level in a season, topping his previous career high of 111.2 back in 2018. Darvish finished with a 4.56 ERA and a 4.03 FIP, as he only worked 136.1 innings and missed the final month of the season.

All hands will be on deck for both bullpens. It will be a special day for new Padres RP Woo-Suk Go, who was signed in January after a successful seven-year stint in the KBO. He is part of a rebuilt Padres pen that includes Japanese left-hander Yuki Matsui and southpaw Wandy Peralta, formerly of the Yankees. The Padres no longer have Josh Hader, Nick Martinez, and Luis Garcia, who combined for 185 appearances.

The Dodgers are running it back with the same bullpen as last year for the most part. That group was third in ERA and second in FIP, so they may have a modest advantage here with short starts likely for both Glasnow and Darvish.

On the offensive side, we all know that the Dodgers added Shohei Ohtani to the second-best lineup in baseball last season. Ohtani led MLB with a 180 wRC+ in 599 plate appearances, meaning he was 80% better than a league average hitter. Teammates Mookie Betts (167 wRC+) and Freddie Freeman (163 wRC+) also ranked in the top 10. Juan Soto of the Padres did as well, but he’s in the Bronx now.

San Diego revamped the pitching staff, but the lineup is the same, minor Soto and plus Jackson Merrill, the organization’s 20-year-old top prospect. He’ll draw the assignment in CF in his debut. This is still a talented Padres group with Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado, and Fernando Tatis Jr., but a group that lacks the star power the Dodgers have.

This is a very unique environment and a very early start to the season. While the Dodgers are certainly the deeper of the two squads, it is a big line given the circumstances. I don’t have an official bet on this game for several reasons, but my lean would be the Padres at a big plus-money price. It’ll be a bullpen game and the Padres have several arms that will look different to Dodger hitters, whereas the Padres are more familiar with the guys that they’ll be facing.