Four Keys to Dodgers Winning Next Series Against Padres

(Harry How/Getty Images)

After a subpar two-game split with the Seattle Mariners, the Los Angeles Dodgers are now set to start a four-game series against the San Diego Padres.

The first series between the two NL West contenders did not fail to provide entertainment and fireworks. If that series is any indication of how the whole 19 games will go this year, then we are in for a treat.

The Dodgers have yet to lose a series in which they’ve played, the only team left who can state that. Being a four-game series, it might be easier to keep that streak alive, needing only to win two games. But if the Dodgers want to continue to make a statement against the Padres and widen their lead for first place, there are a few things they’ll need to do.

The offense was sputtering in Seattle, and one of the main issues with it was that the patient nature of the lineup seemingly disappeared. The Dodgers were chasing pitches more than they have been all season. One wonders if this could be a result of the horrendous strike zone calls from the umpiring staff lately or if the Los Angeles hitters just lost that little mental edge. Either way, that’s not a trend they can continue if they want to beat Padres pitching.

Blake Snell especially likes to nibble around the edge of the strike zone, one of the reasons he drives up his pitch count and is taken out of the game before the sixth inning so often. The Dodgers offense can’t beat themselves before they give opposing pitching a chance to do it.

The offense starts at the top of the lineup, so Mookie Betts and Corey Seager will have to get their bats going. Seager is 3-for-21 in his last five games after a hot start to the season. Betts is 4-for-17 in his last four games, and was hit by a pitch in Monday night’s game. X-rays came back negative and he is expected to return to the Dodgers lineup for Thursday’s game. Especially with Cody Bellinger and Gavin Lux on the Injured list, the table setters for the team need to be the spark that gets the whole team going.

Dodgers fans have seen Kenley Jansen looking like he did in 2017. But for the big man to keep pitching like he has been, he cannot be used in back-to-back outings. With the off day on Wednesday, the Dodgers should be able to use Kenley twice in this series. Blake Treinen and Corey Knebel are also going to be well rested, giving manager Dave Roberts good options that aren’t Jansen.

Finally, the Dodgers starting pitching needs to stay hot. The Padres are coming into Dodger Stadium having just been swept by the Milwaukee Brewers. Los Angeles cannot afford to let San Diego get hot at the expense of their pitching.

Matchups for the four game series will be Thursday, Ryan Weathers and Walker Buehler; Friday, Yu Darvish and Clayton Kershaw; Saturday, Blake Snell and Trevor Bauer; and Sunday, Joe Musgrove and Dustin May.

12 thoughts on “Four Keys to Dodgers Winning Next Series Against Padres

  1. Turner, Muncy, and McKinstry the only guys with decent averages. As this article mentions Betts and Seager needed to get hot. Bellinger and Lux out hurt team depth. Rios has been very disappointing as has Pollock. Smith has gone cold. Yet the Dodgers are 14-4! What happens if they start to hit? The pitching staff has been incredible overall. Urias was on and hopefully figured out his issue. 7 innings 11 strikeouts no runs is an amazing stat.

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  2. Both the Padres and Dodgers offenses have been very lackluster of late and both are due to break out of their slumps.
    I predict four 10-9 games this weekend. You heard it first here!

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    1. Hmmm Machado is not hitting and it looks like Tatis is not right with the shoulder. Kim is an unknown and I am not confident of Myers ability to continue to hit.
      So I don’t think it’s going to be that high scoring. Especially against Dodger pitching.
      Smith, Pollock and Taylor need to get hot.

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    1. Been quite a few line drives caught in IF last 3 games and fly balls to warning track. Won’t be easy to break out against Padre pitching. Earlier in season seems a lot of grounders found holes and line drives were just out of reach. Seems like lately, they take too many first pitches down middle, then end up behind in count and get called third strike on questionable calls.

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  3. What’s with all these young athletes getting scratched with tight backs. Jeez, they have all kinds of trainers. Cmon man! I bet Garvey and Ripken had an occasional tight back too. They played.
    I have a tight back every day, but I’m 40 years older than these guys.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tight back Gary? Does this mean you aren’t available for tonight’s game?
      Scoop’s analysis may well be correct. With everyone swinging from the heels these days, it may be leading to back problems.

      This is admittedly unlikely to happen, but if everything goes their way, the Giants could be in sole possession of first place on Sunday night.

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      1. I think your backswing is causing your back problems. Try just sticking to putting. I realize this could add a few strokes to your score, but………………………………………….at our age, we sometimes have to make sacrifices.

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