2012 MLB Predictions: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres

The Los Angeles Dodgers (0-0) and San Diego Padres (0-0) will start up their 2012 MLB seasons on Thursday night inside Petco Park.

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres 

Los Angeles Dodgers SP Clayton Kershaw has allowed just two home runs in 85 1/3 career innings versus the San Diego Padres

Los Angeles finished third in the NL West last year with an 82-79 record, capturing wins in 25 of its last 35 games.  The Dodgers were recently sold for $2.15 billion to a ground involving former Lakers great Magic Johnson, as the team looks ahead to potentially a turnaround season with NL MVP runner-up Matt Kemp leading the charge.  He finished the year hitting .324 with 39 home runs and 126 RBI.  Los Angeles is 22-28 in April over the last two years and the “over” is 32-15 in that span.

Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw captured the NL Cy Young Award last year, posting a tremendous 21-5 record and 2.28 ERA in 33 starts.  The left-hander was 9-4 with a 2.87 ERA on the road, as he looks to improve his April numbers from a year ago.  Kershaw registered a losing 1-3 record and 4.31 ERA in five starts during the month.  He will be making his 14th career start versus the Padres, going 7-3 with a 2.32 ERA, as he’s surrendered just two home runs in 85 1/3 innings.

San Diego finished behind tonight’s opponent in the divisional standings with a 71-91 record last year.  The Padres finished Spring Training with a 20-16 overall record, as they were tied for the Major League lead with 195 runs scored coming into yesterday’s contest against the Kansas City Royals.  Offensively, the team’s 41 home runs through Wednesday was second in baseball.  San Diego is 24-25 in April and the “under” is 27-19 in that situation the last two years.

Padres starting pitcher Edinson Volquez comes over from the Cincinnati Reds, as he comes off a 5-7 season with a 5.71 ERA in 20 starts.  The right-hander is just three years removed from winning 17 games and making the NL All-Star team in 2008.  Volquez will be facing the Dodgers for just the second time in his career, surrendering just a single run in seven innings in a 8-1 home victory on April 22.

Bettors will likely back the Dodgers due to their 10-2 record in the last 12 meetings in this series, while the Padres are 1-10 in their last 11 games versus left-handed starters.

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