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Pitching at the forefront of the first Dodgers-Padres meeting of 2022

Atlanta Braves v San Diego Padres Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

The Dodgers and Padres meet for the first time this season, in a battle of National League West contenders at Petco Park in San Diego.

Last season these two teams played seven times in the first three-plus weeks of the season, with several memorable games and moments. This three-game weekend series in San Diego is the only meeting between the Dodgers and Padres until the end of June.

Petco Park matchup

Stat Dodgers Padres
Stat Dodgers Padres
Record 9-3 (.750) 9-5 (.643)
Split 3-2 away 5-2 home
Run diff. +32 (1st) +18 (5th)
wRC+ 117 (t-4th) 107 (7th)
HR 11 (t-8th) 12 (t-5th)
SB 11 (t-1st) 10 (3rd)
ERA 2.33 (2nd) 3.15 (5th)
FIP 3.11 (3rd) 3.69 (6th)
IP/start 4.83 (9th) 5.40 (1st)
K rate 26.7% (3rd) 26.8% (2nd)
BB rate 6.4% (1st) 8.9% (6th)
NL ranks

They make up for it by clashing for three series in September.

Both teams have strong rotations, each ranking in the top third in the majors in ERA. Padres starters are tops in baseball in innings per start (5.40) and their eight quality starts are twice as many as any other team.

Andrew Heaney landing on the injured list with left shoulder discomfort is a blow to the Dodgers’ depth, especially considered how strong the left-hander was out of the gate, allowing only one unearned run in 10⅓ innings, with 16 strikeouts. Tyler Anderson is expected to step into Heaney’s slot in the rotation, which comes up next on Saturday.

San Diego bolstered their rotation by trading for Sean Manaea in the final week of spring training. The left-hander has allowed just three runs in 19 innings in his three starts, including no hits in his Padres debut on April 8. Clayton Kershaw starts the series finale for the Dodgers, which makes Sunday a matchup of two pitchers pulled after seven no-hit innings in their first start of 2022.

Offensively is where the two teams diverge, at least based on the first two weeks of the season. The Dodgers rank second in the majors with 5.33 runs per game and boast a 117 wRC+.

The Padres on offense are solidly above average with a 107 wRC+ and 4.36 runs per game, but they have sorely missed shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who is expected to miss the first three months or so after wrist surgery. San Diego shortstops — starts split evenly between Ha-Seong Kim and rookie C.J. Abrams — are hitting just .167/.259/.292 thus far.

Dodgers-Padres schedule

Day Pitchers Time TV
Day Pitchers Time TV
Fri Urías-Martinez 6:40pm SNLA
Sat Anderson-Darvish 5:40pm SNLA/MLBN*
Sun Kershaw-Manaea 1:10pm SNLA/MLBN*
*out of market only

Then again, we are just two weeks into the season. Mookie Betts is hitting .178/.288/.222, so this goes both ways.

The Dodgers won five out of nine games last year in streaky fashion at Petco Park. They won the first two games in April, then lost four straight, including a San Diego sweep in June. Los Angeles returned the favor with a sweep of their own in late August, near the beginning of the Padres free fall in 2021, plummeting from 18 games over .500 and five games up for the second wild card spot to four games under .500 after a 12-34 finish that ranked worst in the majors.

San Diego is the first stop on a two-city road trip for the Dodgers, who next head to Phoenix for three games with the Diamondbacks starting Monday night.