MLB picks and expert predictions: Dominant Dodgers to overpower Padres

Our expert MLB handicapper John Lepore looks ahead to Sunday night's clash between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers...

Andrew Heaney LA Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Andrew Heaney - © Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

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John Lepore

MLB Betting Expert

John is a respected MLB analyst, author and handicapper who has over 10 years' experience of betting big on baseball.

MLB expert picks: San Diego Padres @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Sunday, September 4: 7.00 EDT)

FixtureSan Diego Padres @ Los Angeles Dodgers
WhenSunday, September 4, 7:00 EDT
Likely StartersMike Clevinger vs. Andrew Heaney
Where to watchESPN

The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to be the best team in baseball. They logged their 90th win before September 1st. They are a juggernaut and should lock up the top seed in the National League in a few weeks. Meanwhile, their division rivals, the San Diego Padres, continue to fight to keep that last Wild Card spot. Only 2.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Padres will need every win they can get over the final four weeks of the season. 

Mike Clevinger goes for the Padres. The right-hander has been up and down this season. He still has a good 3.59 ERA. His strikeout rate is at its highest since 2019 and his walk rate is the lowest of his career. Clevinger has a talent for inducing soft contact with an average exit velocity of 87.2 (MLB average is 88.4). He will need everything working for him against the Dodgers. 

Andrew Heaney has found new life in a Dodger uniform. While he has had a short leash recently, the lefty has 28 strikeouts in his past 15.2 innings. He has given up three or fewer runs in all 10 of his starts this season. He is a new pitcher lately and could have his way with the Padres. However, in the outing he had against San Diego on August 6th, Heaney struck out just three which was the fewest of the season.  

Padres player to watch: Juan Soto 

While Soto hasn’t been the dominant player the Padres envisioned, he has been better than Josh Bell and Brandon Drury, their other two big trade deadline acquisitions. Soto is slashing .269/.424/.449 with three home runs and six RBIs in 23 games for San Diego. He has scored 18 runs in that time and has been obviously his usual on-base machine. He is starting his second career with a new team; Soto will be looking to bring his game to another level before a new contract in a couple of years. 

Dodgers player to watch: Mookie Betts 

While there are other players that get hyped up in the major leagues much more like Aaron Judge or Mike Trout, make no mistake, Betts is in that top tier with them. Betts is third in the NL behind Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado in WAR and has 32 home runs with a .917 OPS. He has also chipped in 12 stolen bases and leads the league in runs scored with 101. Betts also gets it done with the glove, winning five Gold Gloves already at just 29 years old. He is one of the best and will be a Hall of Famer when his career is over. 

San Diego Padres @ Los Angeles Dodgers conclusion and prediction 

The Dodgers are an absolute force right now. They have also won eight of the 10 games against the Padres this season so far outscoring them 55-18. Clevinger has been a little inconsistent and Heaney seems to have found his groove at the right time. Despite Los Angeles likely being heavy favorites, I’ll take them to win this one with some power to show as well. 

MLB Picks: 

Dodgers if the line is -130 or better 

Over if the line is 7.5 or better 

Betts Over 1.5 total bases if the line is +110 or better 

MLB Odds

Run Line
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Odds updated: Feb 2, 2:43 PM UTC

MLB standings

  • Division
  • American League Central
  • American League East
  • American League West
  • All Divisions
American League Central W L Pct GB Home Away Conf Div NL Money OU
1 Chi. White Sox Chi. White Sox 0 0 .000 0.0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0-0-0
2 Cleveland Cleveland 0 0 .000 0.0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0-0-0
3 Detroit Detroit 0 0 .000 0.0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0-0-0
4 Kansas City Kansas City 0 0 .000 0.0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0-0-0
5 Minnesota Minnesota 0 0 .000 0.0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0-0-0

Last updated: Feb 2, 2:07 PM UTC