The Los Angeles Dodgers have jumped out to an MLB-best 12-2 record this season, which is the best start for any defending World Series champion through the first 14 games.
The club posted a perfect 6-0 record on their opening homestand and are back on the road for a trip that began with a three-game series against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Both teams entered Friday’s opener with the top-2 win totals in the National League and separated by just 2.5 games in the standings.
The Padres roster look considerably different from their previous meeting with the Dodgers in the 2020 NL Division Series after an aggressive offseason that saw them acquire the likes of Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove.
“It was exciting watching what they were doing. I think it’s good for the game of baseball. They’re going out and being aggressive and going for it. It’s good to see teams doing that,” Justin Turner said of the Padres during Spring Training.
“I think the way I look at it — now that I’m back here with the Dodgers — is we’re going to get 19 World Series games this year, so it will be a good test for us and good preparation to get ready for the playoffs.”
While Musgrove isn’t expected to pitch this weekend, the Dodgers will get their first look at Snell and Darvish in a Padres uniform. Snell matches up against Clayton Kershaw on Saturday, and Trevor Bauer will oppose Darvish in the series finale.
Bauer, who also is new to the Dodgers-Padres rivalry, previously expressed his excitement to face Manny Machado. Machado historically has gotten the best of Bauer, so the right-hander will look to flip the script this season.
Bellinger diagnosed with hairline fracture
While the Padres welcomed back Fernando Tatis Jr. for Friday’s opener against the Dodgers, Cody Bellinger remained out and it was discovered he suffered a hairline fracture in his left fibula as a result of being spiked earlier this month.
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