Great Matchup Out West

It took all of one start for reigning Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy to pick up from where he left off last season. That could spell trouble for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Peavy looks to continue his dominance over the Dodgers when the NL West rivals continue their three-game series Saturday at Petco Park.

In San Diego's 4-0 season-opening victory over Houston on Monday, Peavy (1-0, 0.00 ERA) allowed three hits and three walks in seven innings. The Padres (3-2) ace also struck out four, and added an RBI single and a sacrifice fly at the plate.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made San Diego -131 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 6.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 56% of bets for this game have been placed on San Diego -131 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

"He's pretty good," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "It wasn't by accident that he won the Cy Young last year."

The right-hander Peavy improved to 5-0 with a 0.73 ERA in his last seven starts at Petco Park, where he has been just as overpowering against the Dodgers (3-1), going 4-0 with a 1.22 ERA in six career starts - all wins for the Padres.

San Diego also won all five of Peavy's outings versus Los Angeles last season, as he went 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA. He has not lost to the Dodgers since Sept. 13, 2003, and is 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 18 career starts against them.

While Peavy has excelled at pitcher-friendly Petco, Dodgers starter Brad Penny (1-0, 0.00) has had no luck there, going 0-3 with a 6.16 ERA.

Penny has not defeated the Padres since Sept. 11, 2005, and is 3-6 with a 5.61 ERA in 14 career starts against them. The two-time All-Star was sharp in his only start against San Diego last season, though, allowing one run and five hits while striking out seven in seven innings of a 3-1, 12-inning home loss on June 30.

On Monday, the right-hander gave up four hits, struck out three and walked two in 6 2-3 innings of Los Angeles' 5-0 season-opening victory over San Francisco, although he wasn't entirely satisfied with his performance.

"I didn't have command early, I was all over the place," said Penny, who improved to 4-0 with a 1.62 ERA in March and April since the start of last season. "Later, I settled down, started throwing strikes. The walks will kill you.''

Los Angeles defeated San Diego 7-1 in Friday's series opener behind a brilliant major league debut from Japanese import Hiroki Kuroda, who allowed one run and three hits in seven innings.

Dodgers catcher Russell Martin broke out of an 0-for-13 start to the season year with a two-run single in the seventh. He may have a tough time recording his second hit Saturday, however, as he's just 2-for-19 (.105) lifetime against Peavy.

Los Angeles center fielder Andruw Jones, who is only 3-for-15 on the season, has one hit in 15 career at-bats versus Peavy.

San Diego right fielder Brian Giles, who hit his first home run of the season on Friday, is batting .345 (10-for-29) with two doubles and nine walks in his career against Penny.

Here are some key trends for today's matchup:

-GERMANO is 0-4 when starting against LA DODGERS with an ERA of 6.75 and a WHIP of 1.828.

-His team's record is 0-4 (-4.1 units) in these starts. The UNDER is 3-1. (+2.0 units)

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

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