In the most lopsided pitching matchup of the series, Cy Young candidate Walker Buehler will face off against Chris Paddack in the second of three games between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres.
From now on under their current circumstances you have to look at every game for either team as a must win one but the context only amplifies that notion for Los Angeles on Saturday.
Interestingly enough, despite his 21 starts and one relief appearance, Paddack has yet to face the Dodgers lineup in 2021. The season has been disappointing for the Padres right-hander with a 4.95 ERA over 103.2 IP but his 3.82 FIP shows that there is room to be a little optimistic and for a lineup that’s struggled to draw walks like it usually does his BB% in the 96th percentile should come in handy.
Walker Buehler on the other hand will face San Diego for the fourth time in 2021 and the track record much like his entire season has been excellent.
4 Earned Runs
Anything can happen in baseball but specially coming off a bad loss on Sunday Night it’s hard to imagine Buehler struggling again which gives the Dodgers the upper hand and the pressure to take this one.
Focusing a little on the big picture this has been a disappointing season for both ball clubs but it’s important to highlight that even if the current outlook is as bad as it has been for a while with the Dodgers because of the ongoing slump, their disappointment is kind of conditioned and linked to the Giants shocking season. LA would hold a comfortable lead over half of the divisions out there whereas the Padres are really underperforming and would view 2021 as an underwhelming regardless of any other team’s record.
After this game these two teams will still face each other four more times including a three game series in the final week of the season.