Here we are again. Another meeting between the two top teams in Southern California. Despite what Dodgers fans say, this is absolutely a rivalry. Each time the Dodgers are in San Diego you feel that extra juice playoff-like atmosphere inside of Petco Park.
Dodgers fans are just as eager to defeat the Padres as Padres fans are to dethrone the Dodgers from their 11 consecutive seasons of being higher in the standings. A great series on a perfect Friday night to kick things off in San Diego.
A set of three
The Dodgers are scheduled to throw three left-handed starting pitchers against the Padres. This season San Diego is 4-1 vs left-handed starters. In 226 fewer at-bats, the Padres have four more home runs as a team in those matchups.
Padres splits vs LHP/RHP
Friday nights starter Julio Urias doesn’t have much data to go off since he only has pitched seven innings this season. For what it’s worth Urias was awful in his only road game in Colorado, lasting just two innings. The mile-high can definitely have a negative effect on pitchers. Dave Roberts may opt to keep Urias at a hard five-inning cap since it’s just his third start of the season. If so, the Padres will have to jump on Urias early as he allowed four more home runs last season when he faced a batter the first time in a game compared to the batter’s second at-bat.
The second lefty will be Tyler Anderson. The thirty-two-year-old is now on his third NL West team and his fourth team in three years overall. In two starts last season both with the Pirates, Anderson did not allow more than two runs vs the Padres. For someone that posted a road 5.42 ERA last season, you’d hope that change.
The series finale against Clayton Kershaw seems too fitting. At the end of last season, we weren’t too sure if we would ever see a Los Angeles Dodgers Kershaw vs Padres matchup again. After a hot start, the Braves brought Kershaw’s ERA back to reality after being spotless. Despite entering his 15th season, Kershaw still has much to offer.
Create the Narrative
Last season before the second-half collapse by the Padres they actually started the season 7-2 vs the Dodgers which included a three-game sweep at Petco.
I understand we are in April but for a team, without Fernando Tatis Jr available. A series victory or a sweep for first place outright would go a long way for this team. Get your popcorn ready as this is the first of many between these two southern California squads.