As the 2021 MLB Season gains steam heading into the middle months of action, the Padres-Dodgers rivalry continues to heat up. Both the Padres and Dodgers were notorious for grabbing some of the biggest names in baseball like Trevor Bauer, Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, and Blake Snell this past off-season. As a bonus, the Padres also picked up a second valuable piece when they acquired Darvish, scoring Darvish’s personal catcher, Victor Caratini, from the Cubs. With the acquisition of these players, MLB fans knew that this seasonal series would bring some of the best baseball action we’ve ever witnessed between two teams.
The History Behind the Padres-Dodgers Rivalry
This rivalry has no prior background other than when it came to be in the 2020 postseason which saw a lot of action between both teams. The Dodgers had already built an empire with the acquisition of Mookie Betts while the Padres had their superpowers vested in Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. LA had no problem handling San Diego as they took the series win three games to none which eventually led to their World Series victory.
The only action both teams have experienced “facing” one another in the World Series was when Kirk Gibson won it with the Tigers by beating the Padres and then going on to win another with LA. Aside from that, there’s no history between the two that would make them the new Yankees-Red Sox rivalry but there have been rumors about that happening in the near future.
Padres-Dodgers Rivalry and the Mayhem in 2021
With high expectations placed on both teams, the pressure was already on well before any player could suit up to take the field. Many expected this series to bring fireworks but none anticipated it to go the way that it did heading into their first matchup on April 17 of this season.
The Dodgers visited the Padres in sunny San Diego and were able to successfully win the first two games of the series 11-6 then 2-0. Fortunately, the Padres were able to battle back and hand LA a nice going away gift when they beat the Dodgers 5-2 behind a strong start from Blake Snell. Although they weren’t able to win the series, the Padres’ were able to prevent the Dodgers from a sweep and gave them two games to the Padres one.
Even without the sweep, Dodgers fans can still be happy with the fact that they were able to overcome the Friars and take an early series lead. The Padres wouldn’t have to wait long to exact revenge as they were slated to play the Dodgers only one series after their matchup against the Brewers, a series in which the Padres were swept by Milwaukee.
Playing the Dodgers again was the perfect time for the Padres to turn it around as their thirst for revenge would be the driving factor heading into the series. The Padres were able to win the first two games on April 22nd and 23rd which put them back on track in the win column. They finished the series by winning three games to one and evened up the season series at one win apiece.
2021 MLB Season: What To Expect Going Forward
With both teams in the Dodgers-Padres rivalry knotted up at one series win each at the end of April, it was time to plan ahead for the third series. Since they won’t be playing each other again until June 21st, the rivalry now has time to cool off until the (almost) middle part of the season. With the Padres currently one game ahead of the Dodgers, their race to win the division could come down to the wire as the season unfolds. It remains to be seen what this rivalry could bring in the coming months but one thing is for sure: when these teams collide, you can expect a fantastic piece of baseball to unfold before you.
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