Hometown “Hero” Ha-Seong Kim Looks for San Diego Padres Rebound

When Major League Baseball announced last July that the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres would open the 2024 season in Seoul, South Korea, Padres shortstop Ha-seong Kim was a big consideration. Before moving to San Diego in 2021, Kim played seven years in the Korean Baseball Organization.

On Wednesday, the Dodgers and Padres opened their two-game series in the Gocheok Sky Done, the home of the Kiwoom Heroes, where Kim starred for his seven seasons. He won three KBO Golden Gloves and hit 133 home runs as a member of the Heroes.

He was a Gold Glove winner last year with the Padres and the guest of honor this week back in Korea. But his return was spoiled by the Dodgers. Backed by their MVP-laden lineup, L.A. won the season and series opener, 5-2.

Game 2 Odds

For the second game of the series, to be played early Thursday morning back in the United States, the Dodgers are -185 on the moneyline. They are +110 on the -1.5 run line, a number which they easily cleared on Wednesday with Tyler Glasnow on the mound. The former Tampa Bay Ray did not get the win in his Dodger-debut, as the L.A. bats didn’t open up until a four-run eighth inning. He was gone after the sixth.

Along with acquiring Glasnow this off-season, the Dodgers picked up another good and expensive arm in Japanese import Yoshinobu Yamamoto. After seven years of starring in Japan – he won three Pacific League MVPs – he is in the U.S. and teaming up with the other Japanese star, Shohei Ohtani.

Together, the two were given contracts of more than a billion dollars (with a B) to come play baseball in Los Angeles. Ohtani signed for $700 million, and the contract given to Yamamoto before he’d thrown a single pitch in the United States was $325 million.

He makes his Major League Baseball debut on Thursday, and he is the runaway favorite to win the National League Rookie of the Year. Baseball betting markets are paying +175 on Yamamoto to win the award.

Getting the start for the Padres is right-hander and former All-Star Joe Musgrove. Injuries limited Musgrove to just 17 starts last season, but in his final 12 outings of the season, his ERA was an impressive 1.84. Musgrove has made at least five starts against 18 different teams, and the only one he hasn’t beaten is the Dodgers. He is 0-7 in 11 previous starts against L.A.

Game 2 Prop Bets

Kim was 0-3 with a walk on Wednesday, and he is paying -155 to get a hit in Game 2 on Thursday. Jackson Merrill is the 20-year-old starting center fielder with the Padres. He also went 0-3 on Wednesday, and he is -135 to get a hit in Game 2. He is just the fourth Opening Day starting center fielder to be under 21 in the last 55 years.

Ohtani finished Game 1 with a pair of singles and an RBI, and a home run in Game 2 for the two-time MVP is paying +300. Fellow MVP candidate Mookie Betts is at +340 to get his first home run of the season. The shortest odds on a Padre to hit a home run is the +320 on Fernando Tatis Jr.

As for the two starting pitchers, Yamamoto is +146 to record at least six strikeouts in the game. That goes all the way up to +680 if he can get to eight or more. Musgrove is +116 to get six strikeouts, and +475 if he can record at least eight.

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