The San Diego Padres are in Los Angeles for a two-game series with the Dodgers.
After a quick off day on Monday, the San Diego Padres will head to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers for the second time of the season. Though its only a quick two-game set, there’s a lot on the line in this series.
The Padres, after losing two out of three to the Colorado Rockies in Denver, are looking to stay afloat in the NL West standings as they continue through the season without Fernando Tatis Jr. The shortstop, while originally expected to return as soon as this past weekend, will be out for at least another week as the Padres play things safe with their young superstar. With a series sweep, the Padres can get right back into the thick of things and position themselves two games back of first.
The Dodgers have been playing solid ball lately, splitting a series with the Nationals and a sweep at home against the Braves.
Los Angeles has proved to be the class of the division once again, which is shown by their four-game lead over the Padres and Diamondbacks. While it’s still early, two more wins against the Padres would expand the division lead and give them some breathing room as the early NL favorites continue to navigate their schedule.
The series will start Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, and wrap up the next night to conclude the Padres’ short five-game road trip.
Game 1 (Tuesday, May 14 – 7:10 PST)
Game 2 (Wednesday, May 15 – 7:10 PST)
Game one will feature two of the better pitchers in baseball, as Paddack and Kershaw lock horns for the series opener. This will be one of the most highly anticipated games of the entire season so far, and the Padres can only hope that Paddack brings the same stuff he brought eight days ago against the Mets when he struck out 11 over 7 2/3.
Kershaw will counter for the Dodgers, and in his only start against the Padres this season, he was roughed up a bit. He still went six innings but gave up three earned runs, including a massive two-run shot against Manny Machado. Kershaw’s still good but isn’t the same unbeatable Kershaw that we’ve seen in years past.
Game two brings the Padres’ other most consistent starter to the mound in Strahm. Since his first outing against Arizona, Strahm has settled into his role in the rotation and gone at least five innings and fewer than three runs in each successive start. His left-handedness will prove to be a weapon for the Padres, who will be facing a lefty-heavy Dodger lineup.
Maeda takes the ball for the Dodgers, sporting a 3-0 record and 1.86 ERA at home. He’s also been just average against the Padres in his career, evidenced by his 4.55 ERA against San Diego. His last time out against the Padres, he went six innings and allowed four earned runs.
If nothing else, the Padres may hold the slight advantage by running out two pitchers Los Angeles hasn’t seen this year. Kershaw and Maeda both threw in the series just a week ago, both earning no decisions.
Players to Watch
Machado’s always going to be someone to watch, but maybe especially so against his old team. In the last series between the two teams, Machado went deep three times and played spectacular defense at shortstop. It took them a while, but the Padres may have finally found their Dodger killer. It just cost them $300 million.
Muncy has been deployed strategically all year by the Dodgers, who have used him at first, second, and third. He’s been playing well as of late, but it’ll be interesting to see how he’s used against Strahm on Wednesday. Without his bat in the lineup, it makes one less weapon to have to navigate. Expect him to be used off the bench if he doesn’t start the second game of the series.