The last time the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres met was on June 23, when the Padres had just finished a three-game sweep of the Dodgers at home. The following day, the Dodgers would get no-hit in a combined no-hitter by the Chicago Cubs.
Since that night in June, a lot has changed. The teams almost had identical records, the Dodgers were 44-30 while the Padres were 45=32. It was the first time the Padres swept the Dodgers since 2013.
Since that last meeting, the Dodgers are 34-17, while the Padres are 23-26. The Dodgers hold the second-best record in all of the Majors at 78-47 and are 2 ½ games back of the Giants in the NL West. While the Padres are 68-58 and have fallen out of a playoff spot, they trail the Cincinnati Reds by one game for the second wild card.
Between the Dodgers and Padres, there is a difference of 10 ½ games. Starting tonight, the teams will play nine games, six in San Diego and three at Chavez Ravine.
The Padres hope to turn on a different type of switch when they play the Dodgers. The fans get amped up as well as the whole team, in a type of playoff atmosphere. They’ve enjoyed success against the Blue Crew this year as San Diego is 7-3 against them this year.
Every time they’ve matched up it appeared to be sell-out crowds, in which the meetings felt like a playoff-type atmosphere. However, that was throughout the first half of the year. Now with a little over a month left in the season, the stakes are much higher.
The Dodgers are an N.L. West division race with the Giants, while the Padres are in a race to just secure a wild card spot.
In their last ten games, the Dodgers are 9-1. They just had their nine-game winning streak broken against the Mets on Sunday. The Padres in their last ten games are 2-8 and just dismissed their pitching coach Larry Rothschild yesterday.
It is important that the Dodgers take at least two out of three from San Diego in this series. If Los Angeles lingers around two games back from the Giants, they will be in a good position once they play their three-game series in early September in San Francisco.
Both the Dodgers and Padres have not announced a starter for Tuesday’s opener. For Wednesday’s game, the probable starter is Walker Buehler, who has the league’s lowest ERA at 2.11, against Blake Snell who’s struggled this year with a 4.82 ERA, but has had success against the Dodgers in the past.
Closing out the series for the Dodgers will be Max Scherzer, who will probably receive some sort of warm welcome in San Diego after the whole debacle at the trade deadline, in which all of the baseball world thought he was headed to San Diego to only be dealt to Los Angeles hours later.
The first pitch for Tuesday’s opener is scheduled at 7:10 p.m. Pacific.