Padres @ Dodgers May 13, 2023: Urías looks to lead team to fifth consecutive series win

The Dodgers (24-15) almost gave the game away against the Padres (19-20) last night, but some tidy relief work from Caleb Ferguson and Evan Phillips, as well as late inning homers by both Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman allowed the team to win the series opener by a score of 4-2. They’ve won three of four against San Diego so far this year, and it’d be nice to take advantage of these games against each other, as I’m sure the Padres’ offense will turn it around at some point. These two teams won’t meet again until early August. Joe Musgrove is on the mound up against Julio Urias as the Dodgers look to win their fifth consecutive series and build upon their lead in the NL West.

Image Image
4:15 PM Los Angeles
RF Tatis Jr. SS Betts
3B Machado 1B Freeman (L)
LF Soto (L) C Smith
SS Bogaerts 3B Muncy (L)
DH Cruz DH Martinez
1B Cronenworth (L) CF Outman (L)
2B Kim RF Heyward (L)
C Nola 2B Vargas
CF Engel LF Peralta (L)
P Musgrove (R) P Urías (L)

The Dodgers already beat the lefty Blake Snell, and up against the right-handed Musgrove, the team will get to throw out all their left-handed batters which moves Betts back to shortstop. James Outman, Jason Heyward, and David Peralta will all start in the outfield.

Overall, here’s how these two offenses match up.

The teams obviously have some clear similarities. They both do strikeout, but they do walk a ton to make up for it. They also don’t hit for average which is problematic in some ways, but theoretically they can make up for it with power. I say theoretically, because the Dodgers have been hitting for power, with the fourth ranked slugging percentage at .450, whereas the Padres are 17th at .392. That’s essentially the only difference thus far. The result is the Dodgers sitting at fourth in runs per game at 5.44, with the Padres 25th at 4.08. The two offenses do differ in their success against left-handed pitching, where the Padres are the 8th ranked offense against LHP at 116 wRC+.

It’s only been a quarter of the season, but it seems defensive metrics generally like Peralta, or at the very least don’t mind him. That seems to match the eye test, and it’s very good considering his struggles at the plate. His 13.6% strikeout rate is a career low, down from 23.3% last year and his career mark of 19.4%. He’s pulling the ball more than he ever has at a rate of 47.2% which is usually a positive trait for power. The downside to pulling the ball so often has previously been the shift, but the results should be slightly more favorable now with the shift limitations. He was having a really solid year last season prior to his trade to the Rays, with just a 33.3% ground-ball rate, resulting in a ground-ball to fly-ball ratio of 0.74. This season he owns a staggering 59.7% ground-ball rate, which has resulted in a 2.26 ground-ball to fly-ball ratio, the highest mark in his career. Of 264 players with at least 80 plate appearances, his 59.7% ground-ball rate is the fifth highest. Not great, but there is a clear path to more immediate success – lift the ball!


After a stretch of three losses in a row, Urías has been much better over his last two outings. He was solid against the Padres last Sunday, allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk over 5.2 innings. The defense was so bad that game, that he easily could’ve only given up four or five hits. He struck out three and didn’t factor in the decision for the first time this year. He coughed up both runs in the first inning before settling in for 4.2 scoreless frames. Prior to that, he snapped his three game losing streak in a great start against the Phillies. He allowed one run on one hit and one walk while striking out 10 over seven innings. He needs to find a way to get through the first inning unscathed, as once again he’s been having struggles right away before settling in. In his eight starts, he’s allowed eight earned runs in the first inning (9.00 ERA). He hasn’t given up a homer in the first inning yet, but is allowing a slash of .412/.447/.588. That’s really bad. It’s been paired with a .560 BABIP which most definitely hasn’t helped.

Musgrove allowed one unearned run on two hits and three walks with five strikeouts over five innings during Sunday’s loss to the Dodgers. He worked through five shutout frames before the Dodgers finally brought home a run in the sixth. He was in line for the victory before Josh Hader blew a save in the ninth inning. It was Musgrove’s best start after coughing up a combined 10 runs in his first two outings. He’s now sporting a 6.75 ERA across 13.1 innings. Hopefully the team is a little sharper against him this time out.


To me personally, the blister on the finger of Noah Syndergaard in his previous outing against the Brewers looked really bad. His performance with or without the blister hasn’t been good, so it’d probably be beneficial for him to take some extra time but it does sound likely he makes his next start.


First pitch is at 4:15 PM PT on FOX.

About Allan Yamashige

Avatar photo
Just a guy living in Southern California, having a good time writing about baseball. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about it rules. Thanks for reading!