The San Diego Padres (17-15) will host the Los Angeles Dodgers (19-13) for their first matchup of the 2023 season. Naturally, this is also the first meeting of the Southern California foes since last year’s 2022 NLDS, when the Padres defeated the Dodgers in four games.
Of course, to the Dodgers’ credit, they swept San Diego out of the 2020 postseason. Additionally, Los Angeles has done well to get the better of the regular season series in recent years. But with all the current star power in both dugouts, all the feuding between public libraries and all the SoCal media limelight, 2023 will likely be the best rendition of this rivalry to date. Remember, Petco Park and Dodger Stadium sit a mere 125 miles apart.
Currently, L.A. is beams atop the condensed NL West while San Diego is wedged between the Diamondbacks and Giants for third place. The Dodgers will come down to Petco this weekend as one of the hottest teams in MLB, winning their last six games consecutively. For the Friars, they have won five of their past seven games. In the series department, San Diego has bested three (Arizona, San Francisco and Cincinnati) of their past four opponents, only losing the recent series in Chicago.
The upcoming divisional clash will be the real deal, pitting two of the most talented clubs in the sport against each other. Even better for San Diego–Fernando Tatis Jr. can be fully utilized in this matchup, as he has not personally faced Los Angeles since Sept. 30, 2021 (where he crushed a two-run home run off Tony Gonsolin). I know there is currently playoff basketball ongoing, but flipping over to Dodgers-Padres this weekend will absolutely be worth your while.
Let’s take a look the projected starting pitchers for Friday, Saturday and Sunday:
UPDATE 5/5: Joe Musgrove –who is dealing with a foot blister from a weight room incident sustained prior to the season – will see his start against the Dodgers pushed back to Sunday, May 7. The Padres’ intention is to give Musgrove a full week’s rest between starts while dealing with his ailment; His last outing was Apr. 29 against the Giants in Mexico City. Yu Darvish will leapfrog up a game and take the ball for Friday night’s opening tilt with L.A.
Game 1 (Fri. May 5) – 6:40 p.m. PST – LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-1) vs. RHP Yu Darvish (1-2)
The three-time NL Cy Young Winner Clayton Kershaw has seen a recent dominant resurgence, pitching well enough to be named the April 2023 NL Pitcher of the Month. He is 23-9 against San Diego throughout his career (45 GS), holding the Padres to a lifetime .190 batting average. Yu Darvish is 3-5 lifetime against L.A., earning a win in his last matchup versus the Dodgers (Sep. 2, 2022).
Game 2 (Sat. May 6) – 5:40 p.m. PST – RHP Dustin May (3-1) vs. LHP Blake Snell (1-4).
Dustin May has gone 1-4 over his career against the Padres (dating back to 2019). On the other side, Blake Snell is 1-1 against the Dodgers through nine career starts.
Game 3 (Sun. May 7/ESPN broadcast) – 4 p.m. PST – LHP Julio Urias (4-3) vs. RHP Joe Musgrove (1-0).
In a nationally televised (ESPN) matchup, Julio Urias (7-1 vs. SD) will look to earn his eighth career win over the Friars. Joe Musgrove is still looking for his first career win over the Dodgers, having gone 0-6 over nine lifetime starts.
Padres’ record against Los Angeles
2022 NLDS: 3-1
2022 (reg. season): 5-14