The Los Angeles Dodgers try to keep up in the race for the NL West title when they face the San Diego Padres in the second of a key three-game series between division rivals on Saturday night. The game is scheduled for a 9:10 p.m. ET first pitch at Dodger Stadium.
The Padres dropped the series opener, 3-0, their second loss in three games. San Diego is 74-66 and in third place in the NL West, trailing the second-place Dodgers by 14 games. The Padres are still holding the second Wild-Card spot in the National League, but only by percentage points over the Cincinnati Reds, who won on Friday night.
The Dodgers snapped a two-game losing streak, improving to 89-53. Los Angeles trails the San Francisco Giants by 2½ games. The Dodgers are comfortably atop the National League Wild Card standings.
Friday started a 10-game road trip for the Padres, with four games at San Francisco and three at St. Louis following this series. San Diego is just 30-35 away from home this season, but it has to find a way to be competitive over this stretch to stay in the Wild Card race.
Right-hander Chris Paddack will be on the mound. Paddack is 7-6 with a 4.95 ERA this season, though he hasn’t taken a decision in his two starts since missing more than a month with a strained left oblique.
Paddack’s last start was a six-inning outing against Houston on Sunday, as he allowed three runs on six hits, including two home runs, in a 4-3 San Diego win. He has won his last three decisions and is 4-2 with a 3.74 ERA on the road in 2021.
The San Diego offense has been hot and cold this week, scoring 10 runs in a win over the Astros on Sept. 2 and eight runs in a win over the Angels on Wednesday but getting shut out twice in the last three games. The Padres did outhit the Dodgers 6-4 on Friday night but couldn’t push a run across the plate.
Fernando Tatis Jr. was 2-for-4 in the loss, though both were singles, and he struck out twice as well. Manny Machado was 0-for-3 with a strikeout, snapping his 11-game hitting streak.
The Padres may have had a costly loss besides the game, as shortstop Jake Cronenworth was hit on his left hand by a pitch in the third inning, leaving the contest a little later. San Diego says he has a small fracture on his left ring finger and will be re-evaluated over the next few days.
The Dodgers’ starting rotation continues to establish itself as possibly the best in baseball, with Julio Urias earning his MLB-best 17th win on Friday night. Urias may be competing for NL Cy Young favorite with some of his teammates on some sportsbooks, but he’s just been one of the best in the league this season.
“He’s a frontline starter,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Urías after Friday’s win. “When he takes the baseball, we expect to win. For him to go deep tonight — just that growth and maturity — I can’t say enough about him.”
Another top-line starter will be on the mound for Los Angeles in Walker Buehler, who is 13-3 with a 2.31 ERA, which ranks second in baseball.
This will be Buehler’s fourth start of the season against San Diego, but, despite a 1.83 ERA in those previous three starts, he has yet to record a decision against the Padres. Buehler is coming off a difficult loss on Sunday, going just three innings against the Giants and allowing a season-high six runs on seven hits, including a home run.
First baseman Max Muncy had a two-run home run on Friday night, his second home run in three games. Muncy is still batting just .122 against the Padres this season, with two doubles, one home run and three RBIs.
Dodgers Win Again
San Diego just has not been consistent enough offensively of late, and facing Buehler as he tries to rebound from a bad outing isn’t going to help. The Dodgers should be able to make it two straight with a win on Saturday night.
When doing your MLB betting, take Los Angeles to win at home.