FREE on MLB.TV: Padres-Dodgers, 10:10 ET

4: 07 AM UTC

Dodgers-Padres became supposed to be a season-long battle for the National League West title. As a replacement, it will perhaps also fair be the matchup within the NL Wild Card Game on Oct. 6.

Because the 2 groups starting up a three-recreation weekend series on Friday evening at Dodger Stadium, L.A. indeed has a battle on its hands to claim a ninth straight division title. But that disclose has reach no longer from San Diego but from San Francisco, which leads its archrival by 2 1/2 games for essentially the most productive file within the NL. The Padres, within the period in-between, discover fallen out of the division scoot and are excellent a recreation sooner than the Reds for the second NL Wild Card site, which would yield a winner-make a choice-all matchup with the Giants or Dodgers.

But there is quiet pretty reasonably baseball to play sooner than then, starting up place with Friday evening’s series opener, which fans can stream at 10: 10 p.m. ET, as in point of fact one of MLB.TV’s two Free Video games of the Day, following Yankees-Mets at 7: 10. (Blackout restrictions be aware). Here’s what you would favor to know about the matchup:

How they’re doing

Padres (74-65, third in NL West)

Dodgers (88-53, 2nd in NL West)

The Dodgers discover been playing terrific baseball, even when it hasn’t been ample to connect aside the Giants within the rearview contemplate. They discover been 23-6 from Aug. 7-Sept. 7, a stretch that included a three-recreation sweep at San Diego (Aug. 24-26), featuring a 16-inning marathon within the center recreation. However, L.A. lost its final two games in St. Louis coming into this series, its first support-to-support defeats since July 29-30.

The Padres are quiet 7-6 in opposition to the Dodgers in 2021, with six games to head. (They moreover meet at Dodger Stadium from Sept. 28-30). But no longer noteworthy has reach with out anguish for the Friars. Since they led the division by 1 1/2 games through Would possibly perchance well perchance 29, San Diego has gone 40-46, alongside side 8-16 since Aug. 11.

The matchup on the mound

Padres — Joe Musgrove (10-8, 2.87 ERA)

Dodgers — Julio Urías (16-3, 3.11 ERA)

No pitcher started more games his team has gained this season than Urías (21, alongside side six in a row). That is plenty about how correct the Dodgers are and moreover pretty a piece about how correct Urías is, allowing no higher than two earned runs 19 instances. When he confronted the Padres on Aug. 24 at Petco Park, he surrendered easiest one hit in 5 innings.

The player to take into legend

Who’s more watchable than the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr.? The 22-year-primitive’s profession is off to a historical commence, and while shoulder concerns discover minimize into his playing time, he quiet can also fair be the frontrunner for NL MVP honors. Thru his most up-to-date recreation (Wednesday in opposition to the Angels), Tatis led the NL in home runs (37), slugging (.628), and WAR for site gamers (5.8), per Baseball-Reference, and became second in park-adjusted OPS+ (172) to Bryce Harper.

It’s higher than excellent the production, in any case. In his young profession, Tatis has performed with joy and flair, making electrical plays on the bases and within the field. And now he’s learning a recent site on the flee, playing exclusively in excellent field and heart field since his most up-to-date return to the lineup on Aug. 15. On Wednesday evening, he recorded the Padres’ fastest outfield support of the season, a 97 mph strike to the plate.

Don’t forget him

It appears as even though it’s been a disappointing season for the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts, who’s been banged up and hasn’t regarded at his easiest for long stretches. Betts himself has expressed frustration.

But it absolutely’s moreover real that most gamers would bask in to discover this trend of season. Betts has quiet been well above reasonable on the plate, with a .374 OBP and .499 slugging percentage, and he’s quiet able to changing a recreation with his bat, legs, glove or arm.

Image this

Manny Machado is a third baseman, but that’s a exquisite simplistic manner to scrutinize at it. Here is well-liked, shift-heavy baseball, and Machado is a talented athlete. Build those things together, and you rating the 2-time Gold Glove Award winner making plays during, alongside side manner down the fabulous-field line. “It’s about getting 27 outs,” Machado mentioned. “And if I’m able to take a pair support there, that’ll be correct for the team.”

This graphic, which presentations the landing spots of balls Machado has fielded for outs as a third baseman as a result of commence of 2020, tells the memoir of Machado’s roaming defense.

Different of imprint

The Dodgers added an most important jolt to their lineup when they got Trea Turner — alongside with Max Scherzer — from the Nationals on the Alternate Time restrict. Statcast’s scoot scoot measures how quick a player is traveling at his top, and Turner’s 30.6 toes/sec reasonable ranks excellent within the support of injured Yankees outfielder Tim Locastro (30.7 toes/sec) among higher than 500 qualifiers. (The MLB reasonable is 27 toes/sec, and 30-plus toes/sec is regarded as elite).

One other manner to bask in Turner is thru Bolts, a Statcast time length for an particular person baserunning play whereby the runner reaches that 30 toes/sec imprint. Turner’s 108 Bolts this year, through Wednesday, discover been 47 higher than any other player had to that level.

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