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Unless you were up way past your bedtime, you didn't see that the San Diego Padres lost again. But you could have guessed.
Wednesday night's loss was the toughest yet. San Diego lost a lead in the eighth inning, then failed to score a run in six of seven extra innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers somehow won 5-3 in 16 innings.
And with that the Padres, who loaded up in the offseason to make a run at the Dodgers, are a game back in the wild-card race. They're 2-11 in their last 13 games. They're somehow 15 games out of first place in the NL West behind the San Francisco Giants. And in a cruel twist, the Padres get to face Max Scherzer — the ace they thought they'd traded for at the deadline, only to have the Dodgers steal him at the last second — on Thursday. The Dodgers are -145 favorites at BetMGM.
The Padres desperately need a win, but can they get it? The Dodgers have taken off the past few weeks, leaving the Padres well behind. A lot of the stars the Padres acquired in the offseason are either slumping or have been injured. San Diego seemed to have its confidence shaken earlier this month in losing series to the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, and they haven't recovered.
Even with the Padres needing a win, and both teams taxed from a marathon on Thursday night, I still have to take the Dodgers. They've been so much better the last couple weeks and the -145 line doesn't reflect the true difference. Yu Darvish returns for the Padres from the injured list, and they need him to eat up innings after Wednesday night's marathon. That's not a great formula for a pitcher coming off the IL.
The Padres are in a tough spot. They can still rally and make the playoffs, but this is far from the team anyone expected this season.
Here's a first look at the sports betting slate for Thursday:
No NFL preseason on Thursday?
No, you have to wait until Friday. But we'll have you covered at The Daily Sweat then.
So what's on tap for baseball on Thursday?
There are three afternoon games. The Baltimore Orioles, fresh off a win finish a series against the Los Angels, are just +105 underdogs. I still prefer the Angels. The Milwaukee Brewers are in the process of ending the Cincinnati Reds' small hopes at making a run at the division; they go for the sweep on Thursday. The Brewers are -120 favorites and I like that side. The Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays finish an entertaining series with the White Sox as -115 favorites. I'll take the Blue Jays getting the slightly better -105 number.
There are nine night games, including the New York Yankees trying to win their 12th in a row at the Oakland A's. The Yankees are -110 and at this point, why would you bet against them? Ride the streak until it ends.
Who cashed tickets on Wednesday?
The Orioles did! After 19 straight losses, the Orioles had a huge eighth inning, coming back to beat the Angels. The Tampa Bay Rays kept it going, with a late rally to toppled the Philadelphia Phillies, who have little interest in making a run at the winnable NL East. And quietly the San Francisco Giants keep winning, taking a 3-2 win over the New York Mets as a small -115 favorite. The Giants, who are 82-44, have been mispriced by oddsmakers all season.
What's the best bet?
There's a few games that stand out, but let's go with the Giants. The Giants are -115 again against the Mets, a somewhat insulting line given the Giants' MLB-best record. They've been good to bettors all season, and there's no reason to get off the bandwagon.