Dodgers Vs. Padres Game Preview: Clayton Kershaw Looks To Set Franchise Strikeout Record

Although the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 10-game winning streak against the San Diego Padres came to an end in extra-innings on Saturday night, they still have a chance to win a fourth consecutive series against their division rivals.

L.A. enters the matchup with the best record in baseball at 10-4 (.714 winning percentage) and the top run differential at +36, but the story of the day will be Clayton Kershaw, who has a chance to set the Dodgers’ franchise strikeout record.

Kershaw is currently sitting at 2,690 career strikeouts, placing him seven away from passing Dun Sutton to become the franchise’s all-time leader. Kershaw is also close to becoming third on the Dodgers’ all-time wins list, but it will take at least three more games for him to tie Dazzy Vance’s 190.

So far this season Kershaw has been nothing short of spectacular. Through two starts he has posted a 3.00 ERA, 1.39 expected ERA, 1.87 FIP, 15 strikeouts per nine and zero walks per nine in 12 innings, which includes his seven perfect innings to start the season, while going 2-0.

Kershaw owns a career ERA of 2.49 across 2,466.2 innings with a 2.76 FIP, 9.81 strikeouts per nine and 2.21 walks per nine.

The Padres, who enter the game fourth in the National League West with a 10-6 record (.625) but third with a +14 run differential, give the ball to Sean Manaea, who they acquired from the Oakland Athletics just before the season started.

The veteran southpaw has also been strong through his first three starts of the season, going 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA, 2.19 expected ERA, 2.51 FIP, nine strikeouts per nine and 2.37 walks per nine in 19 innings. He holds a career 3.80 ERA and 3.93 FIP with 7.96 strikeouts per nine and 2.23 walks per nine in 746 innings pitched.

So far this season, the Dodgers lineup has continued to struggle against left-handed pitching in what seems to be a never-ending issue from season to season. When facing southpaws, they rank 27th in the league in offensive production with a 58 wRC+ and no home runs while hitting .188/.272/.239 in 103 plate appearances.

However, overall the Dodgers offense has been among baseball’s best, batting .253/.341/.414 with a 124 wRC+ thanks to their strong contributions against right-handed pitchers.

The Padres lineup has been one of the top offenses in baseball so far against left-handers with a 125 wRC+ and eight home runs while hitting .235/.328/.425. Overall, however, they are closer to the middle of the pack with a .223/.321/.355 line and 103 wRC+.

Prior to the game the Dodgers called up Reyes Moronta from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned Zach McKinstry. However, McKinstry was immediately recalled due to David Price being placed on the 10-day injured list.

Darien Núñez, who is set to undergo Tommy John surgery, was designated for assignment in order to make room for Moronta on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster.

Dodgers lineup

RF: Mookie Betts
1B: Freddie Freeman
SS: Trea Turner
DH: Justin Turner
3B: Max Muncy
LF: Chris Taylor
CF: Cody Bellinger
2B: Hanser Alberto
C: Austin Barnes

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