Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres
First pitch: 12:40 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Clayton Kershaw (15-5, 3.15 ERA) vs. Joey Lucchesi (10-9, 4.28 ERA)
Regarding some veteran starting pitchers entering their final start, there may be a concern if they’re packing it in to close out the year, whether it be related to getting content with the upcoming offseason or may be thinking ahead to the playoffs.
In the case of Kershaw — who is a regular in the postseason — you never have to worry about that given what the future Hall-of-Famer has showcased throughout his storied career when conducting his final start of the year.
In Kershaw’s previous 11 seasons, he typically closed out the campaign with a gem. In fact, up until last year, he had never yielded more than three earned runs in any of these starts. How about these overall numbers for the 11 outings: 2.36 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 76-10 K/BB and only three homers allowed across 68.2 innings.
So, we know Kershaw won’t be taking this one off despite the impressive renaissance he’s enjoyed in 2019. Obviously, he certainly also wants to tune up for October. And sweetening the deal even more is that he’ll get to face a familiar foe, one he’s had a lot of success against during his time in the big leagues.
Kershaw is 20-6 in his 38 meetings with the Padres, stringing together a pretty 2.03 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in these matchups. He’s been even stingier on the road at San Diego’s pitcher-friendly Petco Park, where he’s 8-2 lifetime with a 1.79 ERA and 0.79 WHIP.
Does the other starter in this affair, and fellow southpaw, Lucchesi, seem like the type to cut his season short? Not at all. The second-year hurler impressed me last year with his whole package, and that includes being an emotional competitor.
Lucchesi exhibited in his sophomore year that last season’s success as a rookie was for real. He even registered a lower batting average against (.235), a mark that actually ranks him tied for 15th in the National League.
Perhaps most importantly as it alludes to Lucchesi’s outlook is that he’ll be working from home today. He’s been far superior at Petco (2.64 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .185 BAA) than on the road (6.22 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, .289 BAA), which hopefully helps ensure that he doesn’t get hammered by a hard-hitting Dodgers lineup.
Fortunately, Los Angeles has been a bit more vulnerable with a lefty on the hill in recent years. And this being a day game after a night game, they might have some backups in as well. Play: UNDER 8.5 (-120)
Yesterday’s Result: Athletics-Angels Under 9 (WIN)
2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 87-77-12, +0.15 unit
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit