2020 NLDS: Padres Starters Dinelson Lamet, Mike Clevinger May Return Against Dodgers

In what is a highly-anticipated matchup between division opponents, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be taking on the San Diego Padres in the National League Division Series.

The two teams battled for NL West supremacy all year, with the Dodgers ultimately winning the division for the eighth consecutive season. They then took care of business by sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card Series.

Meanwhile, the Padres sneaked past the St. Louis Cardinals to set up this series that will take place at Globe Life Field in Texas.

The Padres were forced to use a lot of their pitching depth in the Wild Card series as two of their top starters, Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger, have been dealing with arm injuries that kept them out. Their other two starters, Chris Paddack and Zach Davies, were both chased early so San Diego essentially had three bullpen games.

It’s unclear if Lamet and Clevinger will be able to return for the NLDS, but according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, they have been playing catch and the team is hopeful it’s a possibility:

Getting one or both of Lamet and Clevinger back would be a huge boost for the Padres’ pitching staff. Lamet was one of the best starters in baseball in 2020, going 3-1 with a 2.09 ERA, 2.48 FIP and 0.86 WHIP with 93 strikeouts and 20 walks in 69 innings across 12 starts.

Clevinger was the Padres’ big trade dealing acquisition, bringing him in on a blockbuster trade with the Cleveland Indians. In eight combined starts between the two organizations, he went 3-2 with a 3.02 ERA, 4.15 FIP and 1.15 WHIP with 40 strikeouts and 14 walks in 41.2 innings.

If Lamet and Clevinger are able to pitch, it still remains to be seen how deep into a game they would be able to go considering they haven’t pitched in a week and are both dealing with arm issues. With Paddack and Davies both coming off poor outings, the Padres will certainly welcome back their two best starters with open arms.

Roberts anticipates Urias making NLDS start

As far as the Dodgers’ pitching staff goes, they are coming in healthy and well-rested after a pair of wins over the Brewers. Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw will likely pitch the first two games of the NLDS, with Julio Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin to follow.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts liked what he saw out of Urias in a relief appearance against the Brewers but anticipates him returning to the rotation for this series.

“As we hopefully get into the next series, he’ll make a start, which will be great for him,” Roberts said.

When Urias, May and Gonsolin pitch will likely be determined by the outcome of the first two games, but regardless, the Dodgers’ rotation is in much better shape than San Diego’s going into the series.

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