NLDS Preview: The Dodgers And Padres Meet In The Postseason For The First Time Ever

Now that the Wild Card series has wrapped up, the postseason is back to normal  — sort of. The Division Series for the National League starts tonight, but instead of being at Dodger Stadium or Petco Park, it will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

The Dodgers, who are the #1 seed in the National League, enter the NLDS having swept the Brewers in the Wild Card round while the Padres, who are the #4 seed in the National League, enter after taking 2 out of 3 from the Cardinals.

NLDS Schedule

Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 6, (9:38 p.m. ET) (FS1)

Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 7, (9:08 p.m. ET) (FS1)

Game 3: Thursday, Oct. 8, (9:08 p.m. ET) (MLB Network)

Game 4*: Friday, Oct. 9, (9:08 p.m. ET) (FS1)

Game 5*: Saturday, Oct. 10, (8:08 p.m. ET) (FS1)

*If Necessary

Los Angeles will be the “home team” and bat last in Games 1, 2, and 5 while San Diego will be the “home team” in Games 3 and 4.

Head-To-Head

The Dodgers had a winning record against all nine teams they played during the regular season. That included a 6-4 mark against the Padres. The Dodgers won 2 of 3 at Petco Park. The teams split a 4-game series at Dodger Stadium. Then, with the division title on the line, the Dodgers took 2 of 3 again at Petco Park. from Sept. 14-16.

Worth Mentioning

The Padres and Dodgers will be making history when they take the field tonight. This will be the first time in history that the NL West foes will meet in the postseason. This is also just the third time in history that both the Padres and Dodgers have made the postseason in the same year.

Breakdown

  • Offense: The Dodgers (1st) and Padres (3rd) boast two of the highest-scoring offenses in baseball, with much of that offense supplied by homers and late-game attacks. Home runs may be harder to come by this week, however, in one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in baseball at Globe Life Field. There were 99 homers hit at Dodger Stadium, 92 at Petco Park, and 66 at Globe Life Field.
  • Starting Pitching: The Dodgers enter the NLDS with a rotation of Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw going in Game 1 and Game 2. Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, and Julio Urias could all potentially start a game apiece but it is unknown yet who will start Games 3, 4, and 5. The Padres enter the NLDS with a returning Mike Clevinger going in Game 1 followed by either Chris Paddack or Zach Davies in Game 2 with likely the other one starting in Game 3. Should this series get to a Game 4 or Game 5 it is unknown who the Padres will turn to.
  • Bullpen: Both teams are entering the NLDS with solid bullpens. For the Dodgers, their bullpen is loaded with Kenley Jansen, Blake Treinen, Brusdar Graterol, Dylan Floro, Pedro Baez, Joe Kelly, Victor Gonzalez, Adam Kolarek, and Jake McGee. For the Padres, their bullpen is pretty solid too with Trevor Rosenthal, Drew Pomeranz, Craig Stammen, Emilio Pagan, Austin Adams, Pierce Johnson, Tim Hill, Adrian Morejon, Matt Strahm, and Ryan Weathers.

Why The Padres Will Win

  • A Pesky Team: The Padres already irritated the Dodgers once this season when Trent Grisham admired a home run “too long” for their tastes. It seems inevitable they’ll do it again as the Padres have been able to hang with the Dodgers all season long. If the Dodgers take the Padres lightly, San Diego will be the ones advancing to the NLCS.

Why The Dodgers Will Win

  • An Exhausting Lineup: The Dodgers lineup 1-9 no matter what order manager Dave Roberts puts them in is one of the most difficult lineups for a pitching staff to navigate through because there is not an easy out in it. Granted guys like Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger haven’t had the seasons we are accustomed to but if the Padres pitching staff isn’t careful they could easily make them pay.

Prediction

Dodgers in 4