Dodgers @ Padres May 4, 2018: Mexico Series Opener

(Via)

The Dodgers (14-17) take on the Padres (11-21) in tonight’s series opener in Monterrey, Mexico. For scheduling purposes, these games are considered Padres home games, so I’m assuming that if there is a rainout at some point this weekend, a doubleheader would take place in a future series at Petco Park. This is the third ever regular season series played in Monterrey, and the first since the Rockies at Padres series in 1999. A fun fact that I haven’t heard anything about is that Monterrey is listed at an elevation of 1,772 feet, which would be the second highest of all MLB stadiums, trailing only Coors (5211 feet). Chase Field has the second highest listed elevation of all MLB parks at 1,059 feet, and recently installed a humidor to decrease outlier offense. I haven’t heard anything about a humidor for this series, and the listed humidity is currently 81%. High humidity also increases ball flight, so this could be a fun one.

Dodgers
Padres
6:10 PM
Monterrey
SS
Taylor
2B
Pirela
1B
Hernandez
1B
Hosmer
RF
Kemp
3B
Villanueva
C
Grandal
LF
Cordero
2B
Barnes
C
Lopez
3B
Farmer
RF
Szcur
LF
Verdugo SS Galvis
CF
Locastro
CF
Margot
P
Buehler (R)
P
Lucchesi (L)

It looks like amidst scattered storms, the first game of this series will be played. Enrique Hernandez will get his third start of the year at first, with Cody Bellinger taking the day off against lefty Joey Lucchesi. Tim Locastro starts again in center, and besides that the three catcher lineup returns. For the Padres, their mediocre offense is being carried by Christian Villanueva, whose 1.051 OPS is first in the NL. Former DoDi writer Mike Petriello wrote an excellent piece on how Franchy Cordero is one of the most exciting players in baseball to watch. Unfortunately, because of the conditions, be on the potential lookout for a Cordero 500+ foot homer.

Here’s how the two starters matchup, but keep in mind, because Buehler only has 10 IP this is out of 156 starters.

Obviously, it’s a small sample size with Walker Buehler, but it’s always good to rank in the top third of all pitchers in most stats. He needs to keep his walks under control, as batters haven’t been able to do much damage to him, so limiting the damage he does to himself would be his next step forward. It looks like when he sits 94-96 mph he has better control than when he’s at 99, so that’ll be interesting to see. Joey Lucchesi has been the best pitcher for the Padres, and is one of the top pitching prospects in their system. He’s coming off two mediocre starts against the Mets and Diamondbacks. He’s been effective for the Padres so far, but has relied on just a fastball changeup mix which doesn’t bode well for him getting through the lineup multiple times.

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It’s great news that he can throw from this distance, but just because of the timetable and how long it takes pitchers to ramp their stuff up, I’d be surprised to see Julio Urias contribute to the team in the 2018 season. It never hurts to be hopeful (it always hurts), but it’s doubtful that he’s going to be the in-house deadline addition people think he might be.

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Justin Turner still looks to be a couple weeks away, but he keeps getting closer. His bat is sorely missed at third, Dodgers third baseman this year are hitting .206/.281/.325 with a measly 67 wRC+. Their .606 OPS from third base is ahead of only the Marlins. Last year Turner hit .322/.415/.530 so if he can find his groove when he’s back, the offense should see a strong improvement.

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According to the FanGraphs projection model, the Dodgers odds of making the playoffs have increased to 67% vs. Arizona’s 61.3%, and their odds to win the division have increased as well. Splitting the series after losing the first two was as important as games can be in the first week of May.

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This is just so you know who to yell at when Bryce Harper signs with the Yankees.

Also, yes Matt Harvey was DFA’d. The answer is no.

First pitch is at 6:10 on SNLA and MLB Network.

About Allan Yamashige

Allan Yamashige
Just a guy living in Thousand Oaks, CA who happens to love the Dodgers and statistics. I'm currently studying at Moorpark Community College and plan on transferring into UC Santa Cruz's Business/Economics/Computer Science program. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about adults doing baseball is alright.