We are in the middle of a rare situation in the NL West, as the Los Angeles Dodgers open up their first three-game series with the San Diego Padres trailing in the division. The Padres currently boast a 1/2 game lead on the Dodgers and will have home-field advantage. Tonight’s weather conditions are expected to be 62 degrees with mostly clear skies.
It will be a battle between two left-handed pitchers, Dodgers Hyun-Jin Ryu and Padres Robbie Erlin. Both teams look to gain ground on the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies in the division. In two starts, Ryu has posted a 2-0 record and a 2.79 ERA, which bodes well for a team that is four games below .500. His most recent start, he was wheeling and dealing, pitching a one-hitter in six innings of work and striking out eight batters. Ryu displayed plenty of swagger on the mound, working on both sides of the plate and keeping batters off-balanced with a nasty change-up. Check out some of his sick highlights in his most recent outing.
The Padre’s counter with their own southpaw in Erlin, whose last start for the Padres was on April 17, 2016. This will be a spot start for Erlin, who is replacing suspended pitcher Luis Perdomo who ignited a major brawl against the Rockies. He has made five relief appearances for the Padres, allowing three runs, seven hits, and a walk with nine strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings for a 2.38 ERA. His recent outing, he threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings against the Giants who boast sluggers Longoria and McCutchen.
Preview and Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres
After coming off Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery and missing the entire 2017 season, Erlin is excited for this opportunity. He wants to show the hometown fans that he still has plenty of talent in store. While recovering from surgery, he was able to put his mind at ease and relax from 162-game grind. In his interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, he talks about reading a book called Legacy by James Kerr. It talks about leadership tips and the way to approach work. His objective is to relay those tips into his demeanor and every day approach to the game. He’s also taken the time to talk to veteran players about their daily routines and diets, absorbing all the knowledge he can to improve himself.
In comparison to Ryu, Erlin has not logged the numerous amount of innings, which puts him at a disadvantage. Ryu will know how to approach certain batters and throw at specific spots. Ryu has also been successful against the Padres, going 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA and limiting batters to a .234 average.
The Padres are off to a hot start, winning seven of their last 10 games coming into this series. They just won a three-game series against division rival San Francisco Giants. Their success can be accredited to the team’s offense, which has averaged 5.14 runs per game. This is behind the consistent bats of both left-fielder Jose Pirela and shortstop Freddy Galvis, who are hitting .324 and .316 consecutively. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has got to get his team ready to roll in this important road matchup. His team has dropped three of the last four games. With better pitching and the hot-bats of first basemen Cody Bellinger and catcher Yasmani Grandal, the Dodgers will sneak out a win. Dodgers 5-3