Fernando Tatis Jr.
Fernando Tatis Jr is all smiles after his Padres beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 on Monday Night.

With almost a third of the 60-game shortened MLB season completed, The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres face-off in four-game series that started Monday. The Padres took Game-One by a 2-1 score. The Dodgers won two of three against the Padres last week outscoring them 16-13.

Los Angeles (11-6) sits .5 of a game back from the National League West Leading Colorado Rockies who are 11-4 while San Diego is 1.5 games back with a 10-7 record.

Corey Seager and Other Dodger Happenings

Corey Seager has sat for two games now but the Dodgers have not disclosed whether it will lead him to the IL, or just some day to day rest and treatment. In 50 at Bats Seager has three home runs and seven RBI’s to go with a .340 average and a .989 OPS.

The Dodgers have not lost a series this season including homers in 11 consecutive games. That ended with last night’s loss to the Padres. The Dodgers had also hit home runs in 14 of their first 16 games.

With the long ball, it is Mookie Betts, Max Muncy, and AJ Pollock leading with 4 home runs apiece. Betts is tops on the team with 6 doubles while Pollock has an OPS of 1.021 and Edwin Rios has an OPS of 1.169. Betts went 1-for-4 with a strikeout each in Monday’s loss though.

Los Angeles has scored 87 runs, tied with the Atlanta Braves for most in the majors. The Dodgers also are tied with the San Diego Padres for the lead in home runs (29) and are third in slugging percentage.

Dodgers Pitching Staff

On the pitching side, Dodgers starter Walker Buehler gave up just one hit over 5 2/3 innings during Sunday’s outing against the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers need Buehler to become their ace for the season, given multiple players are not in the rotation from last year’s team.

The Dodgers are without David Price after he opted out to start the season. Hyun-Jin Ryu went to the Toronto Blue Jays, and both Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill are with the Minnesota Twins.

Clayton Kershaw started the season on the injury list allowing Dustin May (1-0, 2.63 ERA), to step in and a name for himself.

The best of May’s three starts this season came in the Dodgers’ victory at San Diego on Tuesday. He went a career-best six innings, giving up two runs on three hits with eight strikeouts. His 99-mph running fastball struck out Manny Machado, making the All-Star spin and wince while swinging in vain.

May gave up two runs and five hits in six innings in Monday’s game against the Padres. He struck out two and walked two.

Fernando Tatis Jr Pacing The San Diego Padres So Far This Season

The Padres dropped two of three home games to the Dodgers last week. They rebounded by beating Arizona two games out of three over the weekend.

Sitting at 9-7, it was Tatis Jr who erupted offensively against Arizona. He went 6 for 12 in the three games and is batting .355 in August (11 for 31) with nine RBIs. The Padres hit six home runs Sunday. He has his first Player of the Week Honours as a result.

Tatis’ eight homers are tied for the major league lead with the Yankees’ Aaron Judge. He also leads the majors with a 1.226 OPS.

It’s not all Tatis Jr though as Jake Cronenworth has been equally as hot for the Friars with an OPS of 1.201 and a .357 batting average.

A seventh-round pick in 2015 of the Tampa Bay Rays, he and Tommy Pham were traded to San Diego for Hunter Renfroe and Xavier Edwards. At Triple-A Durham in 2019, Cronenworth was .334/.429/.520 with 41 extra-base hits.

Cronenworth has been used at first and though usually a shortstop, he has a 1.000 fielding percentage since filling in for Eric Hosmer, who has dealt with gastritis. The Padres will find themselves in an interesting position when Hosmer returns if Cronenworth keeps playing as well as he does. He should move around the infield.

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