MLB Baseball Predictions: Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Diego Padres
Thursday, April 05, 2012
by Joe Rodriguez
Clayton Kershaw makes his second consecutive opening day start when the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the San Diego Padres, who had a busy offseason after finishing last in the National League West a year ago.
The Dodgers were 13-5 against San Diego last season, including 6-3 at Petco Park.
Los Angeles, which finished third in the division last season with 82 wins, has reason for optimism after being sold to a group headed by Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten. The Dodgers will continue to build around Kershaw and Matt Kemp, who led the National League in runs, home runs, and RBIs last season. San Diego’s offense ranked among the league’s worst last year, prompting new general manager Josh Byrnes to make seven trades and sign two free agents during the offseason.
Both teams are without their No. 2 starters for the opening series, with the Dodgers’ Ted Lilly (neck) expected to make a minor league rehab start before making his season debut on April 14. San Diego’s Tim Stauffer (strained right triceps) could make his first start April 10.
The reigning National League Cy Young award winner, Kershaw led the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts (248) last season. His 2.08 walks-per-nine ratio in 2011 was the 19th-best among qualified starters. Chase Headley is 5-for-27 (.185) lifetime against Kershaw, and Nick Hundley is 6-for-18 (.333).
Acquired during the offseason from Cincinnati in the Mat Latos trade, Volquez was named the Padres’ opening day starter after going 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA in 20 2/3 innings this spring. Volquez gave up one run on three hits over seven innings in his only career start against the Dodgers in 2008, when he was 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA.
1. Padres broadcaster Jerry Coleman, 87, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
2. Kemp had a disappointing spring training, striking out 25 times in 64 at-bats through Tuesday.
3. San Diego was 9-17 last April, and the Padres were shut out seven times in their first 25 games.
MLB BASEBALL PREDICTION: San Diego 3, Los Angeles 2
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