The Dodgers and Padres will kick off another series today when the two heavyweights square off in Los Angeles. The Dodgers won the initial matchup two games to one. The Padres may feel like they’re on the precipice of winning their first series against the Dodgers since July 2019.
But, Former SportsNet LA reporter Alanna Rizzo believes there’s one great separator between the two teams – the starting pitching. Rizzo provided her perspective during Wednesday’s edition of High Heat with Christopher Russo on MLB Network Sirius XM.
“When you look at the rotation that’s going into this four game series, [the Dodgers] have their big guns going against the Padres. I’m not certain the Padres have that luxury when it comes to a starting staff to be able to roll out guys…they’re gonna run out of pitchers. You’re not going to be able to go ace against ace every series.”
San Diego will have Yu Darvish and Blake Snell going once again in this series, and third offseason import Joe Musgrove will also face LA for the first time, so maybe there’s a little more ace against ace than meets the eye.
Notably, the Dodgers currently own the third best starter ERA (2.46) in the MLB. Ironically, the Padres are fifth in starter ERA (2.53), but own the best overall team ERA (2.50). The Dodgers rank third (2.77).
Rizzo’s belief that the Dodgers starting staff provides an advantage is objectively and subjectively true. Especially considering that Padres starters Adrian Morejon and Dinelson Lamet are both back on the IL as of this week.
Rizzo also thinks that the full season schedule will continue to highlight the Dodgers advantage when it comes to starting pitching.
“The season is too long to fight against the Dodgers. The series are too long, the games are too long.”
The Dodgers and Padres appear destined to battle it out this year for the 2021 NL West crown.
Contrary to a popular sports adage, it may be who starts, and not who finishes, that defines this chapter for the Dodgers and Padres.