Los Angeles (Maeda) -130 at San Diego (Cashner) O/U 7
Recommendation: Los Angeles
Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda will make his major league debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers today as they close out their series against San Diego. The Padres will send Andrew Cashner to the hill in hopes of avoiding the sweep. The Dodgers outscored the Padres 18-0 the first two games of the series.
The Padres only managed one hit and a total of only two base runners through seven innings against Clayton Kershaw on Opening Day. They didn’t fare much better last night against Scott Kazmir who held San Diego to just one base runner through six innings of work. Maeda was an elite arm in the Japan Central League for eight years, only twice logging an ERA north of 2.60. He is already being compared to Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma, with scouts stating, “Maeda will succeed where most Japanese pitchers have not in the transition to American baseball by maintaining his low walk rate. His command is really impressive, and even when his stuff isn’t at its peak he can get guys out with superior location.” He posted a 15-8 record with a 2.09 ERA last year playing for the Hiroshima Carp.
Cashner has not fared well against the Dodgers with an .871 career OPS against and there have been rumblings his stuff during spring training wasn’t sharp. San Diego’s lineup is built to hit lefties but as we saw the last two games, the offense is limited. Tonight they face a right-hander who they’ve obviously never seen. Foreign pitchers often have a big advantage the first time through the league. We’ll support Maeda at the modest road chalk price.