The Los Angeles Dodgers have won 12 of their last 13 meetings with the San Diego Padres dating back to the 2021 season, and they look to continue that trend in the second matchup of a four-game set at Dodger Stadium.
With their 3-1 win on Thursday, the Dodgers increased their lead in the National League West to 2.5 games over San Diego and improved their NL-best record to 47-28.
Tony Gonsolin takes the mound trying to become the first pitcher in the NL to reach 10 wins. Only Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros has reached that mark so far.
The right-hander has emerged as an ace for the Dodgers this season, posting a 1.58 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 24.5% strikeout rate, 8.2% walk rate and a 0.85 WHIP in 74 innings across 14 starts. Additionally, Gonsolin is the first pitcher in MLB history to enter the month of July with at least a 9-0 record and ERA under 1.60 since it became an official stat in both leagues in 1913, according to STATS LLC.
If Gonsolin pitches two innings and gives up one run or fewer, he will also become MLB’s ERA leader as he is currently just short of qualifying for the leaderboard. However, he’ll need to pitch a few extra innings as well to keep him qualified for more than a day as a pitcher is required to throw at least one inning per team game played, and the Dodgers are entering their 76th game.
The Padres counter with Blake Snell, who is having a near opposite season to Gonsolin as the southpaw is still chasing his first win.
Snell has not provided the results the Padres expected of him when they made a blockbuster deal to acquire him prior to the 2021 season, and this season he has even taken another step back from his disappointing 2021 season.
The 29-year-old is 0-5 with a 5.60 ERA, 3.78 FIP, 24.4% strikeout rate, 12.2% walk rate and 1.44 FIP in just 35.1 innings across seven starts. In his 34 career starts for the Padres, he holds a 4.50 ERA.
Snell’s biggest issues have been problems with his command and struggling to hold runners on base, striding just 58.6% of hitters who reach base, when the league average is about 72% and anything below 60% is considered awful.
Fortunately for Snell, he has had a lot of luck preventing home runs this season with a home run to fly ball rate that is close to 5% below his career normal level, possibly due to the deadened baseball as offensive numbers across the league are down.
The Dodgers are hitting .252/.328/.428 with a .329 wOBA and 113 wRC+ this season, but against left-handers, they are slashing .246/.321/.406 with a .317 wOBA and 106 wRC+. The Padres are batting .242/.318/.378 with a .307 wOBA and 99 wRC+, with slightly worse numbers against right-handers.
SS: Trea Turner
1B: Freddie Freeman
DH: Will Smith
3B: Justin Turner
2B: Max Muncy
LF: Chris Taylor
RF: Trayce Thompson
CF: Cody Bellinger
C: Austin Barnes
LF: Jurickson Profar
2B: Jake Cronenworth
DH: Luke Voit
RF: Nomar Maraza
1B: Eric Hosmer
C: Austin Nola
CF: Trent Grisham
3B: Ha-Seong Kim
SS: C.J. Abrams
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