MLB Season Underway After Dodgers and Padres Open in Seoul

March 22, 2024 by Staff

If you're wanting to know when the first pitch will be thrown to open the 2024 Major League Baseball season, you missed it. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres opened the season a week ahead of the rest of the league when they played two games in Korea on Wednesday and Thursday of this week (March 20 and 21).

The rest of the league opens on March 28.

The teams split those games which took place in Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul in the first regular season games played in that country. Interestingly, the 18,000 seat venue was not sold out for either game with just 15,928 for Thursday's game after 15,592 attended Wednesday's contest.

The Dodgers, who are the World Series betting favorites at +320, were suppose to win both games but had to settle for leaving Seoul with a 1-1 record. The Padres' odds of winning the series sit at +5000 which puts them in the middle of the pack.

The Dodgers won the opener won 5-2 as Shohei Ohtani collected his first hit for the Dodgers to help account for his 10-year, $700 million contract, the biggest in all of professional sports. His single to left in the 8th was his second hit of the evening and scored Gavin Lux from second for his only RBI of the game as he finished 2-for-5. That hit finished a 4-run rally from a 2-1 deficit, but he also was the final out of the eighth when he passed second base on Freddie Freeman's fly-out and failed to retouch that bag while retreating to 1st.

The Padres outscored the Dodgers 15-11 on Thursday to even the series. Ohtani was just 1-for-5 with a sac fly that again scored Lux in the second. Ohtani's interpreter was fired the organization on Wednesday after his was reported he stole over $4.5 million from Ohtani to pay gambling debts to a bookie.

In addition to Japan's Ohtani, Korean fans had high interest in seeing Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim, who was born and raised just outside Seoul and his played his home games in the same ballpark from 2014-2020. Kim was 0-for-7 for the series with a walk and a sac fly.

Thirty years after becoming the the first Korean MLB player in history, pitcher Chan Ho Park threw out the ceremonial first pitch to begin the series and the season on Wednesday, He played for the Dodgers' organization from 1994-2001 and also played for the Padres from 2005-2006.

The Los Angeles Dodgers' MLB win total is listed at over-under 103.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook. The Padres are at 83.5.

The Houston Astros have the best odds to win the American League pennant, followed by the New York Yankees

The favored division winners are the Yankees (AL East), the Minnesota Twins (AL Central), the Astros (AL West), the Atlanta Braves (NL East), the St. Louis Cardinals NL Central), and the Dodgers (NL West).

Ohtani is one of two players at +400 to hit 50 or more home runs, along with Kyle Schwarner. But three players - Aaron Judge, Pete Alonso and Matt Olson - are sitting on odds of +300.