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Dodgers Series Preview: The Padres Come To Los Angeles For Another Showdown

Paddack v. Kershaw Highlights 2-Game Series

Dodgers
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 08: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers makes his way to the dugout prior to a MLB baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

It seems like just days ago the Dodgers were in San Diego. Actually, it was. They were in San Diego for a 3 game series May 3rd through May 5th. The Dodgers took 2 out of 3 in San Diego, but it was decidedly more competitive, along with a walk off grand-slam for the Padres in the last game of the series.

This short 2-game series should bring some of the same competitive fire, but with some differences. This series is in the friendly confines of Dodger Stadium. We can refer to Petco Park as “Dodger Stadium south” all we want, but it’s nice to be back at home.

Let’s break down the pitching matchups, as well as some interesting notes for the new-look Padres.

Tuesday May 14th, 2019

Chris Paddack v. Clayton Kershaw

This is a matchup everyone seems to be talking about. Andy Green himself is singing his young righty’s praises. The moniker “The Next Clayton Kershaw” was even dropped here.

Chris Paddack has had a sensational start to his rookie campaign. He has posted a 2.30 FIP, with a 0.689 WHIP, and has 46 strikeouts in 40 innings. These numbers are genuinely striking. To dub him “The Next Kershaw” is hilariously premature, but you can’t blame the Padres to have hype around their young phenom.

The Dodgers have not faced Paddack, so we should temper expectations. It takes any professional team of hitters some time to see the ball and what the pitcher is throwing. It could be a tough night for the Dodgers, but luckily they have Clayton Kershaw on the hill.

Clayton Kershaw

King Kershaw’s velocity, his 2019 performance, and all of the results that Clayton Kershaw is measured against have been discussed ad nauseam, so I won’t parse them again. Suffice to say, Kershaw has still been effective. His FIP is 3.75 to go along with his .980 WHIP. That FIP is a bit high, but it is still early/mid May. Let’s see how the Padres hitters have fared against Clayton.

The Padre batters are hot and cold vs. Kershaw. The ones who have struggled against him have really struggled. The guys who have hit him have hit him pretty hard.

Every Dodger fan has fresh in their mind the home run that Manny Machado hit off him just days ago. Eric Hosmer’s success against Kershaw surprised me, being that he’s lefty and that he’s just not been great in San Diego except early this year. Wil Myers is a miserable 3 for 29 against Kershaw, so look for him to hit lower in the lineup or have the day off.

Analysis

The Dodgers are going to need keep their feet back, literally. Paddack has a tremendous changeup that he throws 32.5% of the time. The Dodgers have historically (in the last few years) struggled against the changeup. They’ll have to see the fastball out of the hand to have success. Luckily, Paddack is a right handed pitcher, and the Dodgers have a bit more leeway with their lineup against righties.

Wednesday May 15th, 2019

Matt Strahm v. Kenta Maeda

Kenta Maeda has been very up and down in 2019. In his previous start against San Diego, Maeda went 6 innings and surrendered 4 earned runs, with 3 BB’s and 6 K’s. Those walks are a little high, and obviously we’d love to see him surrender less than 4 runs. Is it terrible? Not really, but Kenta has better stuff than those results show. Let’s see how the Friars hitters have fared versus Kenta.

Some of the Padres definitely have some good experience against him. Overall, Kenta has good numbers against the Padres. He eats up righties most of the time, and this could be very beneficial. Even Eric Hosmer, who is a lefty, has struggled against Kenta Maeda.

Matt Strahm has done pretty well in his starting role. He was previously a bullpen arm for the Padres. In 39 innings he’s posted a 3.00 ERA, a 3.32 FIP, and a 1.103 WHIP in 2019. Let’s see how the Dodgers have faced against him.

Nobody has more than 2 at bats against Strahm, and of course Max Muncy has the lone home run. It’s very different seeing a guy out of the bullpen versus seeing him as a starter. I predict the Dodgers hit Strahm pretty hard after one time through the order.

Dodger Batters To Watch Out For

Max Muncy has been swinging a hot bat. He has odd reverse splits, so I’m not worried about the left versus lefty matchup. Justin Turner has obviously been swinging a hot bat and will look to continue to do so. Muncy, Turner, should have two good games, as they’re probable to start both.

Final Thoughts

The Padres are no longer the lowly division team the Dodgers can automatically assume they will push around. They have a legitimate lineup. Their pitching isn’t elite, but they have just enough scrappy changeup happy pitchers, to give the Dodgers a hard time. The Dodgers have to treat these two games as must wins. They’re at home, and despite being improved, the Padres are not elite. Therefore, look for the Dodgers bats to come alive at Chavez Ravine.

Written by AJ Gonzalez

AJ is a lifelong Dodgers fan who grew up in California. His whole family are also lifelong Dodgers fans. He lives in Tennessee with his wife, daughter, beagle, and strat.

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  1. After what happened in San Diego, the tough series win by the Dodgers, I hope the Dodgers do Not take the Padres lightly. Think of the Padres as if you are playing the Cubs, Brewers, Cardinals, or the Astros, Red Sox, Yankees i.e. potential playoff teams.

  2. PaulDodgerFan1965, I’m more concerned about this Paddack pitcher the Dodgers will face i.e. first time to hit against him. They were supposed to face Paddack in San Diego, but the Padres switched their pitching-matchups.

  3. Good point here, Robin because not having seen Paddock and the Dodger’s struggles with hitting change ups, it could as this page says, be a tough night, especially if we see Dodgers striking out 10 or more times against him.

  4. Actually Robin let’s just think of the Padres as the Padres. Not really different than past years. This is a overrated team right now. We have dominated the west for years because of the really bad teams in the division. Nothing has really changed. A rookie And 3rd basement won’t make the Padres a contender

  5. Never having seen Padres pitcher Paddock does pose some questions for the Blue. However, there is so much video of Paddock pitching that I am sure the Dodger game plan will be a review of that footage to try and come up with tendencies or patterns. Regardless, it should be a good 2 game series before we hit the road. As Paul said above, the Pads will play us tough so we need to be ready. Thankfully, we are at Dodger Stadium!!!!Go Blue

  6. Nice win, Dodgers. Although the Padres are not yet an “elite” team, they have definitely improved. Let’s do it again tonight! GO BLUE!!!!!!

  7. CK has accepted the fact that he will serve up the long ball more frequently now in a sense. of course if Dodger do what they do offensively it won’t hurt the game’s outcome. However, it is somewhat more difficult when he, Hill or Maeda allow bombs in the 1st inning with men aboard, putting team in a hole right at the outset. But Dodgers have overcome most of those instances so far.

  8. Anybody else have issue with StubHub? Bought a ticket for tonight’s game, and never got it. Lost out on only $26 and StubHub would not refund. Messed up. Not using SH again.
    Not Dodger related, but a watch-out. Oh well.

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