The Los Angeles Dodgers are off to one of the league’s hottest starts. However, this early in the season things are changing daily, as four out of the five best records in the National League are in the West division. The Mets became the first team to win 10 games, while the Dodgers had an off day yesterday.
Friday night will mark the beginning of the first series between the Dodgers and Padres, which made for some great games last season. The Padres and Dodgers have each faced the same competition the last two series, and they both swept the Reds, who currently have the worst record in the league at 2-11. Cincinnati has lost nine straight games.
Each team has also faced the Braves. The Padres split a four-game series with the Braves while the Dodgers recently took two out of three. San Diego and Los Angeles won’t meet until the end of June into the beginning of July, when they will play a four-game series at Dodger Stadium.
Beginning this series Friday will be Julio Urias, who had a much better start compared to his first outing of the season. Urias in his last start went five innings only allowing one hit against the Reds. He will face right-hander Nick Martinez, who has posted a 4.50 ERA in ten innings on the young season. Martinez is back in the big leagues after five years. He was last with the Texas Rangers in 2017.
Tyler Anderson is expected to fill in the rotation spot for the Dodgers on Saturday, after Andrew Heaney was placed on the injured list with left shoulder discomfort. Anderson will face former Dodger Yu Darvish. To end the series will be a pair of left handers with Clayton Kershaw getting the start against Sean Manaea, who the Padres acquired shortly before the season from the Oakland Athletics.
On Thursday, the Dodgers also announced they had recalled left handed pitcher Garrett Cleavinger. The moves comes as the Dodgers placed right hander Blake Treinen on the injured list with shoulder discomfort that kept him out of the series against the Braves. Cleavinger was optioned to Triple-A on Sunday to make room for right hander Phil Bickford.
The Dodgers will have several pitchers return from injury throughout the season. Right handed pitcher Tommy Kahnle continues his rehab assignment. Kahnle was signed after the 2020 season but missed all of last year after having Tommy John surgery. We saw Kahnle in some limited action during Spring Training, so the Dodgers will look for him to finally make his Dodger debut.
Gavin Lux is also expected to be back in the Dodgers lineup perhaps as soon as tonight, as he was a late scratch from the lineup on Tuesday but avoided the injured list. Lux has been one of the best Dodger hitters in the young season with an OPS of .888 and an average of .276.
The Dodgers bullpen has great depth as they can plug in someone like Brsudar Graterol or Bickford into Treinen’s role. Not to mention, they still have several pitchers who will return from injury such as Caleb Ferguson, Danny Duffy, and Dustin May.
First pitch for Friday is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. Pacific.