The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres are set for their playoff showdown in the National League Divisional Series which started yesterday.
This is a true divisional showdown as the two teams battled it out during the regular season for the NL West Division Crown. The Dodgers did win the division by a full six games over the Padres.
Dodgers/Padres Season Series
While the regular-season series isn’t often an indicator of how a playoff series will go between two teams there are some important stats that are worth mentioning.
The Dodgers won six of 10 against the Padres during the regular season. San Diego won two of three one-run games.
Los Angeles scored 48 to San Diego’s 36 runs. The Dodgers and Padres run differentials were the two best (LA +136, SD +84) in the majors.
The Padres and Dodgers also some run-ins on the field that have contributed their dislike of one another. That will undoubtedly spill over into this series.
Fernando Tatis Jr’s run down led him to KO Catcher Will Smith on his way to plate from third in an August 3rd divisional game.
Tatis Jr also sent out an emphatic flip in another game of the same series on August 5th.
Mookie Betts also revealed in a recent article that he had n fact been on the Padres’ radar as well before being acquired by the Dodgers. Not sure how that adds to the rivalry but the Padres had to make other acquisitions such as getting Mike Clevinger in order to measure up against the Dodgers.
The Use of Park Factors
The fact that the games won’t be played in Chavez Ravine or at Petco Park could have an effect on this series as well. The NLDS takes place at the Texas Rangers Home Park in Globe Life Field due to shifting to a bubble concept for the MLB Playoffs.
Batting Park Factor (BPF) is a baseball statistic that indicates the difference between runs scored in a team’s home and road games. It is helpful in assessing how much a specific ballpark contributes to the offensive production of a team or player. A rate higher than 1.000 favors the hitter. Below 1.000 favors the pitcher.
Dodger Stadium has a 0.938 BPF while Petco Park has a .899 BPF. suggesting both parks are pitcher-friendly while Globe Life Park itself is the fourth lowest in the league at .800.
Will Injuries Play a Role
Walker Buehler struggles with blisters again in his start against the Milwaukee Brewers and the Padres’ Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet were unavailable against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The teams are scheduled to play October 6th-10th should the series go five games so the availability of these pitchers could also be a factor. Clevinger was touted to be a serious piece for the Padres’ postseason hopes and had a 2.84 ERA in four starts and 19 innings with San Diego after the trade.
The Dodgers went with Walker Buehler again for Game One against the Padres. Clayton Kershaw will start in Game Two.
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