The San Diego Padres kick off their 2022 season this week, and there are plenty of exciting games ahead on the schedule.
The Padres are set to begin their 162-game marathon this week in Arizona. With the Padres hoping for a postseason run, they will lock horns with plenty of fellow contenders.
Here are three series on the road for Padres fans to take an extra look at.
Atlanta Braves (May 13-15)
It’s always good to test yourself against the best in the game. This will be the Padres’ only trip to the home ballpark of the defending World Series champion Braves. If the Padres have visions of grandeur about hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy themselves, this is a good, early-season measuring stick.
Despite losing franchise icon Freddie Freeman to the Dodgers, the Braves do not lack star power. Matt Olson arrives from Oakland to fill Freeman’s shoes at first base. Last year, he was an All-Star and finished eighth in AL MVP voting.
Ozzie Albies is a two-time All-Star. Ronald Acuña Jr. is set to return after missing the better part of a year with a torn ACL. He will remind everyone why he is a perennial MVP candidate very quickly.
Lastly, this will be the first time the Padres appear on Apple TV+ as part of Major League Baseball’s new streaming deal with the service.
St Louis Cardinals (May 30-June 1)
Playing in a city dripping with baseball history is always a treat. The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the most well-run organizations in baseball. This one might be personal for one member of the Padres staff. Mike Shildt was inexplicably fired following last season, even after the Cardinals won an astounding 17 games in a row to squeak into the playoffs, and he won NL Manager of the Year. The Padres staffer has been open about his heartbreak in being dismissed from the organization.
Plus, Nolan Arenado is somewhat of a rival of Manny Machado, at least in the eyes of fans. Arenado has likely stood directly in the way of Machado winning multiple Gold Gloves at third base in San Diego.
2022 is also Albert Pujols’ final season of his highly decorated career. He will be chasing 700 homers while playing for his original team and will be just five years away from being elected into the Hall of Fame following this year. Go see a legend before it’s too late.
Los Angeles Dodgers (July 1-3)
Astoundingly, the Padres do not travel to Chavez Ravine until almost the All-Star break. The fireworks between these two teams over the last few years have been well documented. If the Padres have any aspirations of winning the NL West, they will need to go through the loaded Dodgers.
On paper, the Dodgers don’t appear they will be skipping a beat despite losing Corey Seager, Max Scherzer, and Kenley Jansen. Freddie Freeman comes to town just one season removed from an MVP campaign and fresh off a World Series title.
Plus, dare fans dream that this could be the series where they see the return of superstar Fernando Tatis Jr.? The timeline has been said to be around three months. This series falls almost exactly three months from Opening Day. What theater that could be if it comes to fruition.