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MLB Seoul Series | 2024 Season Opening Games

Thomas Snodgrass

Updated: Mar 19, 2024

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First pitch of the 2024 MLB regular season will be in Seoul, South Korea on March 20th and 21st in a two-game set between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles and San Diego are separated by about 120 miles on Interstate 5, but they’ll bring their SoCal feud nearly 6,000 miles across the Pacific to the Korean Peninsula, inside the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul.

It was the “Godfather of Soul”, James Brown that said, “you gotta pay the cost to be the boss”.

The Dodgers have paid that cost, bringing in Shohei Ohtani on a 10-year, $700 million contract and signing Japanese pitching superstar Yoshinobu Yamamoto to a 12-year, $325 million contract, with Los Angeles setting their sights on being the boss in 2024.

LA will now have a lineup that features three MVP winners at the top of the lineup, including Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Ohtani.

Other than Yamamoto, the Dodgers rotation will feature former Tampa Bay Rays’ hurler Tyler Glasnow, sophomore starter Bobby Miller, and eventually the return of their injured arms, Walker Beuhler and Clayton Kershaw.

For the Padres, it’s been an offseason largely focused on subtractions.

The most notable subtraction from San Diego is outfielder Juan Soto, with the lefty slugger being dealt to the New York Yankees.

Soto’s departure has left the Padres with a patchwork outfield around right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr., with 20-year-old prospect Jackson Merrill slated for center, and journeyman Jurickson Profar penciled into left field.

The other big San Diego subtraction is southpaw starter Blake Snell, who recently signed a 2-year deal with the NL West rival San Francisco Giants.

Although the Padres made a recent deal to acquire former Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease to shore up a very solid top-of-the-rotation of Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and Cease.

With back-to-back games being played between Los Angeles and San Diego, let’s take a look at each game and pinpoint some potentially profitable wagers.

Seoul Series: Dodgers vs. Padres – Projected Lineups

These lineups are unofficial, and subject to change.

Los Angeles DodgersSan Diego Padres
1.Mookie Betts, SS1.Xander Bogaerts, 2B
2.Shohei Ohtani, DH2.Fernando Tatis Jr., RF
3.Freddie Freeman, 1B3.Jake Cronenworth, 1B
4.Will Smith, C4.Manny Machado, DH
5.Max Muncy, 3B5.Ha-Seong Kim, SS
6.Teoscar Hernandez, LF6.Jurickson Profar, LF
7.James Outman, CF7.Luis Campusano, C
8.Jason Heyward, RF8.Eguy Rosario, 3B
9.Gavin Lux, 2B9.Jackson Merrill, CF

Seoul Series: Game 1

Los Angeles Dodgers (-194 ML) vs. San Diego Padres (+170 ML)

The first game of the Seoul Series will have the Dodgers’ Tyler Glasnow and the Padres’ Yu Darvish on the mound.

With Darvish entering his fourth season in San Diego, he has faced LA plenty of times, and he’s built a strong track record against the Dodgers.

In 12 starts against Los Angeles, Darvish has recorded a 2.38 ERA and has struck out 92 batters in 75.2 innings pitched, allowing just a .170 opponent batting average and a 0.846 WHIP.

In short, Darvish has been electric against the Dodgers in his career, but his age (37) and his 4.56 ERA from 2023 is concerning.

Add in the fact that Darvish has only thrown 9.1 innings this spring and not being properly stretched out, and you’ve got a potential meltdown for the Padres pitching staff in Seoul.

Glasnow has only tossed 10 innings this spring too, so there may be an early hook for the first-year Dodger as well.

Glasnow is a true strikeout artist, punching out 162 batters in 120 innings of work in 2023, and he picked up at least seven strikeouts in 15 of his 21 (71.4%) starts last year.

The Padres had a team strikeout percentage of 21.2% last season, which was the seventh-best mark in the MLB, but with the subtraction of Soto, I’m expecting that number to rise in 2024.

Glasnow may only need to go five innings to pick up seven or more strikeouts again.

Pick: Dodgers (-1.5) | Best Odds: (-110) Caesars

Prop: Glasnow – OVER 6.5 Strikeouts | Best Odds: (+120) DraftKings

Seoul Series: Game 2

San Diego Padres (+140 ML) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (-165 ML)

San Diego’s starter, Joe Musgrove only made 17 starts last season, but when healthy, he was nearly as effective as Cy Young-winning teammate Blake Snell.

In only 97 innings, Musgrove compiled a 3.05 ERA and struck out 97 batters in as many innings.

Since joining the Padres in 2021, Musgrove has produced an identical 3.05 ERA in 459.2 innings (58 starts) over the last three seasons combined, quietly becoming one of the MLB’s best right-handers.

Los Angeles will send rookie phenom Yoshinobu Yamamoto to the bump.

Yamamoto was a wildly accomplished pitcher in Japan, winning the Eiji Sawamura Award for three consecutive seasons prior to signing with the Dodgers.

In his career in the Nippon Professional Baseball league, Yamamoto went 70-29 with an ERA of 1.82, and he struck out 922 batters in 897 innings.

How quickly Yamamoto can adjust to the Major League game is the big question. Based on how much LA paid Yamamoto, they’re expecting the answer to be: immediately. 

Los Angeles’ lineup is absolutely stacked, with their one-through-seven in the lineup capable of hitting 25 or more home runs.

And one thing that should benefit this loaded Dodgers’ lineup is the fact that they’ve faced Darvish and San Diego’s Game 2 starter Joe Musgrove in the past.

Other than Padres’ infielder Xander Bogaerts, no other San Diego bat has faced either Glasnow or Yamamoto.

On paper, and with no other games to really build any information from, this looks like a two-game sweep coming up for Los Angeles in Seoul.

Pick: Dodgers (-1.5) | Best Odds: (+130) DraftKings

A two-leg parlay on both Los Angeles Dodgers’ runlines in the Seoul Series is valued at +335  at DraftKings.

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