MLB Postseason Preview: San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

MLB Postseason Preview: San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

by October 6, 2020 2 comments

The San Diego Padres begin their second-round series against the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight at 9:38 p.m. ET at Globe Life Field in Texas. The Dodgers shut down the Milwaukee Brewers offense and took both games of the first-round series. The Padres offense looked stagnant into Game 2 against the St. Louis Cardinals but came alive and is looking tough right now. Something has to give.

Let’s take a look at three keys to victory for each team.

Three Keys to Victory for the San Diego Padres

A Ray of Sunshine?

The Padres managed to get out of the first round. The Dodgers won’t be so easy. Mike Clevinger is starting Game 1 and needs to have a strong outing. With San Diego missing ace Dinelson Lamet for this round, Clevinger will have to take over that role. The bullpen took over and pitched their way to a Game 3 victory over the Cardinals, but this is a best-of-five series and they can’t be overworked as they were in the previous round or the Dodgers will pounce.

Hitting, Hitting, and more Hitting

The Padres need to hit. During the season they finished third in the NL in runs scored (325). They also finished third in HRs (95) and fourth in OPS (.798). Not only do Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Wil Myers need to keep the power going, but Jake Cronenworth and Trent Grisham will have to contribute. The lineup will need to string together some hits against a tough stable of pitchers that the Dodgers can throw at them.

Bullpen Help

The pen will be called upon to keep games close so the offense can do their thing. Craig Stammen, Drew Pomeranz, and the rest of the relief crew will need to match the rotation of hitters that Dave Roberts can throw out there. It will be cat-and-mouse for much of this series once the games get late. Jayce Tingler needs to be on his game and pick the right guys. The bullpen will have to perform when called upon.

Three Keys to Victory for the Los Angeles Dodgers

A Few Big Starts

Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw have to show they can keep the Padres offense at bay. The bullpen of the Dodgers has not been dominant. Kenley Jansen and Blake Treinen have had hiccups. Roberts will need to mix in his lesser-known relievers like Dylan Floro, Adam Kolarek, and Victor Gonzalez. If Buehler and Kershaw can throw solid innings then the pen gets to work minimally and will remain fresh throughout the series.

Calling All Bats

The Dodgers offense managed only seven runs against a weak Brewers staff. San Diego has a better rotation with Clevinger coming back and Chris Paddack likely set for Game 2. The bullpen of the Padres showed their moxie by shutting down the Cardinals in Game 3 of the first round. Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, and Justin Turner need to get going and break out of their cold streaks.

Defense

Finishing with the fourth-most errors in the NL doesn’t help in a short series. The San Diego offense is clicking now and Los Angeles can’t afford to give them any extra outs. Allowing Tatis, Machado, and Myers to consistently come up with runners on base is a recipe for disaster.

Prediction: Dodgers 3, Padres 1

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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images

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