Padres-Dodgers Series Preview (April 12-14)

Credit: MLB

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Credit: Padres

After their first series victory of the season, the San Diego Padres head up the I-5 to take on the class of the National League in the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

Following a series which contained comebacks and all sorts of high-leverage situations, the Padres travel to Los Angeles for their second swing at their division rival Dodgers. Both of these teams’ meeting in Seoul last month marked the downbeat to the 2024 season, with the series resulting in a split between the two teams. Now, several weeks later, the two sworn rivals meet for a three-game tilt at Chavez Ravine.

Leading Off…

– The Padres are 3-3 over their last six games, averaging 4.67 runs per game and allowing 3.5 runs per game.
– The Dodgers are 3-3 over their last 6 games, averaging four runs per game and allowing 4.33 runs per game
– For the Padres, first baseman Jake Cronenworth has been on a tear as of late, recording two home runs and four runs batted in his last three games.
– Dodgers catcher Will Smith went 4-for-10 in their last series against the Minnesota Twins, including this three-run home run.

Dodgers Hitters

The Los Angeles Dodgers have established a more concrete lineup since the last time they faced the Padres. When facing a right-handed starting pitcher, Dave Roberts’ ball club will send out a starting nine akin to this:
Mookie Betts – Shortstop
Shohei Ohtani – Designated Hitter
Freddie Freeman – First Baseman
Will Smith – Catcher
Max Muncy – Third Base
Teoscar Hernandez – Right Field
James Outman – Center Field
Chris Taylor – Left Field
Gavin Lux – Second Base

It is worth noting that, on the injury front, the Dodgers are without Jason Heyward, whom they placed on the injured list last Friday with lower back tightness. In his stead, they are carrying depth outfielder and former Padre prospect Taylor Trammell on their bench.

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Dodgers Pitchers

In this series, the Padres will be facing off against some new faces. James Paxton makes his first appearance in Dodger blue against the Padres in the Sunday evening game. Gavin Stone, a former top prospect for the Dodgers, will start Saturday’s game against San Diego. Stone made one start against the Padres last season in September, and while he was economical with regards to pitch count (65 pitches over 5 ⅓ innings), he surrendered seven runs on nine hits and two home runs in an eventual 11-8 loss. Friday night’s game will see the Padres face Yoshinobu Yamamoto for the second time this season. While it is in a small sample size, the Padres have scored five runs in an inning off Yamamoto before. Yamamoto has rounded to form since that start, posting quality starts in his subsequent outings, so the Padres will have their work cut out for them.

Keys to the Series

Dodgers: No Place Like Home

The Dodgers have a very productive offense when playing at Dodger Stadium this season, averaging 5.86 runs per game when playing at home. For the Dodgers to take this series against a Padres rotation that is finding its groove, they will need to break out the big bats.

Padres: Lock Down Leads

The Padres have had a plethora of additions to their bullpen this season, and while these arms have a wide variety of experience, very few roles have officially been carved out. Robert Suarez is the Padres’ closer, but outside of him, not much is set in stone. With arms like Yuki Matsui coming into their own, bridging the gap from the starters to Suarez will be critical.

The series begins this Friday at 7:10 pm, with Michael King on the hill for the Padres. Watch the series on or listen live on 97.3 The Fan. Sunday’s game will be streaming on ESPN for Sunday Night Baseball and will still be on the air on the Padres Radio Network, 97.3 The Fan.

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