Aug. 3 MLB Preview — San Diego Padres (51-58) at Los Angeles Dodgers (72-40)

(Cody Bellinger photo courtesy Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports)

When and Where: Saturday, Aug. 3, Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif., 9:10 p.m. EDT.

It has been one step forward and two steps back in terms of pitching performances since the All-Star break for Walker Buehler, who looks to get back on track Saturday night for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the San Diego Padres.

Quantrill looks to continue groove for Padres

Padres rookie Cal Quantrill (4-2, 3.57 ERA) has proven he can thrive with or without an opener of late, limiting opponents to one run in 17 innings in three appearances since the All-Star break.

The right-hander is coming off back-to-back wins for the first time after limiting San Francisco to one run in 5 1-3 innings of San Diego’s 5-1 victory last San Francisco. Quantrill did have some command issues, walking a season-high four, but also worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth with the game still scoreless.

“I don’t think he shies away from any situation whatsoever,” said pitching coach Darren Balsley to the Padres’ official website. “Routine’s good. It’s nice to know when you’re going to pitch, what days you’re going to pitch, what innings you’re going to pitch. But, you can spring something on him … and he’ll be the same guy.”

Balsley is right in the sense Quantrill’s road and overall splits are roughly the same as the righty is 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts and six overall appearances. Quantrill, who will be making his first start outside Petco Park since June 14, has never faced the Dodgers.

Buehler hopes return to Chavez Ravine sparks rebound

Buehler (9-2. 3.38) is putting his perfect home record on the line, looking for his fifth win in 10 starts and entering this contest with a 2.78 ERA at Dodger Stadium.

While Buehler has a 2.95 ERA in his three starts since the All-Star break, it hides the fact he has yielded 13 runs — only six earned — in starts bookending a sharp outing at home versus Miami. The right-hander was drilled for a season worst-tying seven runs — four earned — in 5 1-3 innings of an 11-4 loss to the Washington Nationals on Sunday that spoiled his 25th birthday.

“I got myself in bad counts, made some bad pitches that caught too much of the plate,” Buehler told The Orange County Register. “Left it in the middle (to Dozier). He’s been around a long time and he can hit fastballs. The Parra one is a little frustrating just because you feel like you made a good pitch. I just wasn’t in enough good counts.”

Buehler dominated the Padres in winning both his starts against them last year, pitching the first six innings of a combined no-hitter in a 4-0 victory May 4, 2018. He then conceded one run and four hits in seven innings of a 5-1 triumph at home later that month.

The righty has gone 6-0 with a 2.11 ERA in his 14 starts at Dodger Stadium since losing to the Milwaukee Brewers on July 31, 2018, limiting opponents to a .176 batting average while striking out 112 in 89 2-3 innings.

Notable Trends

The Dodgers are:

  • 5-0 in Buehler’s last five starts following a team loss in the previous game.
  • 10-1 in Buehler’s last 11 starts on five days of rest.
  • 13-3 in Buehler’s last 16 starts vs. NL West teams.

The Padres are:

  • 0-6 in their last six games following a win.
  • 0-5 in their last five games vs. starters with a sub-1.15 WHIP.
  • 3-8 in their last 11 games vs. above-.500 teams.

*****5-Star Pick*****

UNDER 8.5 runs (-115)

The number came in on the high side of expectations, making the under a solid play. Friday’s result improved the under to 6-1 in the last seven meetings between the teams overall and at Chavez Ravine while also moving to 12-3 in San Diego’s last 15 road games.

The under is also 7-2 in San Diego’s last nine games versus NL West teams and 6-2-1 in its last nine coming off a victory. The under is also on a six-game run with the Dodgers coming off a loss and has posted an 8-1 mark in their last nine against division rivals.

Lastly, the under is 15-5-3 in Buehler’s last 23 home starts and hit in all three games Quantrill has pitched since the All-Star break.

****4-Star Pick****

Dodgers 3-way money line first 5 innings (-155)

The money line offers a far better return than laying the half-run with Los Angeles at -196, and Buehler’s home form offers confidence in this selection. The Dodgers are 7-1-1 at the midway point in his last nine home starts and 7-4-1 in their last 12 overall.

San Diego is 3-7-1 after five innings in its last 11 road games and 1-4-1 in its six games at Dodger Stadium.

***3-Star Picks***

Dodgers -1.5 runs (-125)

The stat that stood out in taking the Dodgers is Buehler emerging as a stopper of late with wins in his last five starts following a Los Angeles loss. His home form is another key ingredient — the Dodgers are 11-3 during his unbeaten run at Chavez Ravine, and the righty has yielded more than three runs just twice in that span.

Bellinger 3+ bases (+108)

With home runs in back-to-back games, Bellinger is worth a flyer at plus-money for bases as opposed to going deep for a third straight game — which would result in an automatic win. He has totaled three or more bases in five of 10 games versus San Diego this year despite a .235 batting average (8 for 34).

A .354 hitter at home overall, Bellinger is 6 for 19 with two homers and two doubles at Dodger Stadium since the All-Star break.

Dodgers UNDER 4.5 runs first 5 innings (-105)

The under has performed well at Dodger Stadium in this series, delivering in five of the last six meetings as part of a 7-3-1 overall mark in the season series. The under has hit in all three of Quantrill’s appearances since the All-Star break and in five of San Diego’s last six road contests.

The five-inning under is 7-2-1 in Los Angeles’ last 10 games but 4-5 in Buehler’s nine home starts. The Dodgers have also held opponents to two or fewer runs in nine of their last 14 games.

UNDER 0.5 runs/NO to 1st inning run (-115)

Quantrill has not yielded a first-inning run in his last six starts after doing so in his first three, and Buehler sports a 1.35 ERA in the opening inning on the season while holding opponents to a .171 batting average.

Buehler has also been reached for a first-inning run just once in his nine starts at Dodger Stadium and on only two occasions in his 20 starts overall.


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