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Friday night key for Sean Manaea and the Padres

The key for Sean Manaea and the Padres as Juan Soto makes his second return to Los Angeles since the all-star break.

MLB: Game One-Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

It will be an emotional night at Dodger Stadium as the life of the legendary commentator Vin Scully will be celebrated before the first pitch.

After Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin throws the first pitch game, I expect the emotions continue. It’ll be up to San Diego Padres starter Sean Manaea to control that emotion and not let the expected sell-out crowd start rock the Ravine.

First visit since the Soto sweepstakes

There were three teams (Padres, Dodgers, and Cardinals) in negotiations with the Nationals for Juan Soto. Tonight will be Soto’s first visit to Los Angeles as a member of the Padres. I am sure he’ll get a good laugh being heckled by the same fanbase that just was chanting “future Dodger” a couple of weeks ago.

Soto saw Gonsolin eleven days ago and it was Soto who started the rally against Gonsolin. The nationals were trailing 1-0 and Soto hit a 2-run triple in the 5th giving Washington the lead as they didn’t look back winning 4-1. Is it possible we will see another clutch Soto moment tonight?

Key for Manaea

The Padres are 10-9 when the lefty takes the mound. Considering the Padres are 14-games over .500 that’s pretty average. Manaea needs to be better and he has the tools to be better. An opponent’s batting average of .285 over his last 8 starts simply isn’t going to cut it. Subsequently, his ERA is 5.49 over that stretch.

Now his last start will be the key for this one. Against Minnesota, Manaea allowed two earned runs and that resulted in a win. Frankly when Manaea allows two runs or less the Padres are 6-2 in his starts.

Get the ball to the bullpen with two runs or less (yes preferably zero) and I really like the Padres chances in this one despite their least effective starter opening up a rivalry series vs their all-star.

An advantage over the Dodgers

If Manaea can do his things and this is a late one-run game, advantage San Diego. This season the Dodgers are 8-9 in one-run games. While the Padres are 20-10, plus they have Josh Hader to close the game out now instead of Taylor Rogers (no disrespect, of course).

Head-to-head the Padres have the lone one-run game victory over the Dodgers. Preferably this isn’t a one-run game in favor of the Padres. But, when the opposing starter is an all-star with a 2.41 ERA it is an advantage to note.

If you are making it out to Los Angeles be safe and have fun, this should be an exciting series.

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