Well, that was a fun weekend series, wasn’t it? The first three games of the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres NL West showdown brought a little bit of everything – great pitching, extra innings, benches clearing, and everything in between.
Yesterday, Dennis covered five things that we learned from the first of initial series between the two best teams in baseball. As we know, the Dodgers won two of three, not having Cody Bellinger and having two rookies roam the outfield with Mookie Betts. The Padres were also not playing at full strength because while Fernando Tatis Jr.had returned to the lineup, he was not at 100 percent, with as many strikeouts and errors that he had.
While the Dodgers are overall the better team, the Padres will make every game a playoff-like game and will get the better of the Dodgers and may even take a series or two down the line. However, at this point, the Dodgers are still in first while the Padres are in third in the division, three and a half games out of first, percentage points behind the surprising San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers now play in a quick, two-game series in Seattle before they head back home to face the Padres four more times starting Thursday at Dodger Stadium.
The Mariners are the owners of a 10-6 record and are quietly in first place in the AL West. While they currently enjoy a half game lead on the Los Angeles Angels, and a game on the Houston Astros, Seattle has a -3 run differential, the only first place team with a negative number. They’ve won seven of their last 10, and just took two of three from the Astros.
Mitch Haniger is leading Seattle offensively, with a .338 batting average, four homers and .988 OPS. Kyle Seager, brother of Corey Seager, had started off hot—at one point, both men were hitting .347. Kyle has since cooled off, much like his younger brother.
The pitching matchups for the short series will see Dustin May taking on Justus Sheffield. The Mariners’ left hander has pitched in two games so far this season, going 0-1 with 10 strikeouts through 11 innings. He does not walk many batters, only two in each game so far.
In Tuesday’s matinee, Julio Urías will get his fourth start of the season, going up against Marco Gonzalez of the Mariners. Gonzalez was Seattle’s Opening Day starter. The lefty has a 1-1 record with a 8.22 ERA. He has 13 strikeouts over 15.1 innings of work, with his last outing being his best so far.
This short series has a possibility of being overlooked by the Dodgers, being sandwiched between two high energy series with their new division rivals, and the back and forth of the travel all the way up the coast. Hopefully they will play like the team that they are and keep their series win streak going.