After sweeping the Brewers in the wild card round, the Dodgers get set to play division rival San Diego at neutral site Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX. Both of these teams are the cream of the crop in the National League, so you can guarantee that this series will be entertaining.
The Dodgers come in as huge -166 favorites for Game 1, but will they be able to stop the power-hitting of Fernando Tatis, Jr. and the Padres? Can San Diego compete with the strong pitching of Los Angeles?
The Padres have yet to announce their starting pitcher for Tuesday, but the Dodgers go with Walker Buehler in the opener. Between these two titans of the National League, who will take Game 1 and who should you have on your ticket? Let’s take a look at what each of these teams bring to Tuesday’s contest.
Padres and Dodgers Bad Blood Continues
There’s no love lost between these two NL West teams, but they’ll finally get to settle the score this season in the NLDS. The two met ten times in the regular season, with the Dodgers taking six of the games. These two do play each other close though.
The Padres possess two of the most efficient hitters in the MLB in Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. Batting and putting runs on the board will be vital against the best pitching staff in baseball. The Padres can put runs on the board, as evidenced by their 11-9 game two win over the Cardinals in the wild card round.
Dodgers Are Red Hot
After sweeping the Brewers, L.A. has their eyes set on San Diego. A sweep against the Padres is unlikely, but that doesn’t mean the Dodgers won’t try to get out of this series as quickly as possible. Mookie Betts hit three homers in one game against this Padres team this season. You shouldn’t be surprised if Betts repeats that success in Game 1 against a Padres team thin at the pitching position.
The Dodgers have announced Walker Buehler to start in the series opener and Clayton Kershaw going in game 2. The Padres have question marks on the mound, but could get Mike Clevinger back in the rotation by Tuesday’s game.
Clevinger is a solid pitcher, but hasn’t taken the mound since September 23rd. Regardless of who the Padres start at pitcher, the Dodgers should be able to adjust and perform at the plate rather well.
Who To Take In Game 1?
Both of these teams are in the top-tier of the MLB and are set for an entertaining best-of-five series. The Dodgers have the superior pitching staff, but San Diego has hit the ball well this postseason. L.A. would normally have home field advantage here, but the neutral site of Arlington evens the playing field a bit for San Diego.
The Dodgers aren’t all the way in the clear either as far as pitching goes, Buehler only went four innings in his start against the Brewers before exiting due to a blister on his finger. This one’s going to be a slugfest and will likely be decided in the final innings, but take the Padres to pull off the upset in this one.