Top MLB Betting Series of the Week (August 23rd, 2021)

The most heated rivalry in Major League Baseball right now isn’t Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees but Los Angeles Dodgers-San Diego Padres. They open a big three-game set from Petco Park on Tuesday night. Be sure to check out for our Baseball betting odds and daily sports betting odds and lines at our online Bitcoin sportsbook!

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres

  • When: Tuesday, August 24 // Thursday, August 26
  • Where: Petco Park, San Diego, California
  • TV: ESPN (first 2), MLB Network (Thursday)
  • Radio: Bloomberg 960 AM, A’s Cast
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: TBA

This will be the last meeting of the season between the teams in San Diego. They will play six more times at Dodger Stadium, from Sept. 10-12 and Sept. 28-30. It’s quite possible that the clubs also meet in the National League Wild-Card Game. The Dodgers are going to make the playoffs, either as NL West champion or a wild-card team. The Padres have zero chance at this point of winning the NL West but can earn the second wild-card spot.

It’s a shame, frankly, that the Giants, Dodgers and Padres are all stuck in the same division – they could all make the playoffs yet two would then have to immediately play each other. San Diego leads the season series 7-3 and is 4-2 at home.

The Los Angeles lineup is littered with All-Stars but will former AL MVP Mookie Betts be back for this series? He has been on the IL since Aug. 8 after being diagnosed with a bone spur in his hip and recently received a second cortisone injection. Betts said the hip had been bothering him since the start of spring training in February. He described the pain as being so intense that it “locked me up pretty good.” He may need offseason surgery but may not need a rehab assignment before being activated.

Betts is slashing.277/.378/.521 with 17 home runs and a 142 wRC+ while putting up 3.3 WAR in 87 games. When he’s back, Manager Dave Roberts will truly have difficult decisions daily on which players to sit. That’s how deep the Dodgers are. If all goes well, Betts is on track to be activated Thursday.

Los Angeles remains without two former NL Cy Young winners in Clayton Kershaw, who is working his way back toward a September return, and Trevor Bauer. He likely won’t pitch again this year due to some off-field issues.

One reason San Diego has fallen back in the NL West race and is no sure thing for the playoffs is because the rotation has been hammered by injuries. But superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. has missed plenty of time with shoulder problems, although he’s back now.

Because both clubs are a bit thin in the rotation, it’s not 100 percent clear what the pitching matchups will be for each game. Los Angeles is listing Cy Young contenders Walker Buehler on Wednesday and Max Scherzer on Thursday but not yet anyone for Tuesday. It may be Julio Urias activated off the IL. He landed on that with a left calf contusion. Urias is 13-3 with a 3.29 ERA this year.

The Padres are listing lefty Ryan Weathers for Tuesday. He’s 4-5 with a 5.06 ERA and allowed five runs in just four innings last time out against the Rockies. He’s allowed at least five runs in three straight starts.

San Diego isn’t listing a starter yet for Wednesday and lefty Blake Snell on Thursday. It may well be Yu Darvish on Wednesday. After throwing two bullpen sessions over the weekend without incident, Darvish is apparently ready to return from the injured list without having to make a minor-league rehab start beforehand.

Even though the Dodgers are World Series favorites, they haven’t been great in close games overall. They are 19-21 in one-run games. That could be a warning sign.

READ MORE: Top MLB Betting Series of the Week (August 30th, 2021)

Feel free to browse sports betting guides. While you are at it, go ahead and check out all the latest MLB betting odds and more in our online Bitcoin sportsbook.