Seoul Series Game Preview: Yoshinobu Yamamoto Makes MLB Debut; Dodgers Look To Sweep Padres

The Los Angeles Dodgers started their 2024 regular season with a win over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday and now have another highly anticipated debut with Yoshinobu Yamamoto starting in the Seoul Series finale.

Tyler Glasnow provided the Dodgers with a solid outing on Opening Day, allowing two earned runs over fine innings. He gave way to a Dodgers bullpen that provided four scoreless innings to give a runway for the offense to claw out a 5-2 comeback victory.

Yamamoto gets the ball in his first Major League start. The 25-year-old signed a historic 12-year, $325 million contract with the Dodgers, representing the largest deal ever given out to a starting pitcher.

The right-hander posted an 8.38 ERA in his three Cactus League starts this spring as he dealt with some issues with pitch tipping and also worked on sequencing. Yamamoto hasn’t shown any outright concern, nor have the Dodgers, as they’ve been vocal in their preparation for Thursday’s start.

A main area to watch is how Yamamoto gets ahead of Padres hitters, putting them in a position when they have to chase his secondary stuff. Possessing one of the best splitters and curveballs in the game, Yamamoto will need to establish his fastball at the top of the strike zone.

Yamamoto also indicated that in conjunction with the Dodgers pitching coaches, he made some adjustments prior to his initial outing.

He’s being opposed by veteran Joe Musgrove, who is in his ninth big league season.

Now in what will be Musgrove’s fourth year with the Padres, he’s carried a 3.05 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 3.62 FIP. Against the Dodgers during that same span, he owns a 3.35 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and .213 batting average allowed.

Musgrove has tallied a 4.66 FIP against the Dodgers since 2021, which indicates he dances around a lot of would-be trouble.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts sends out the same lineup as Opening Day, which came away empty on numerous opportunities with runners in scoring position early in the game. However, the abundance of chances to tally runs is the keynote, and should be counted on as the optimal batting order to score.

Amidst the recent controversy surrounding Shohei Ohtani and now-fired interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, he remains in the lineup for the Seoul Series finale.

Will Ireton is taking on translating duties with Ohtani and during games for Yamamoto as well. Yamamoto’s interpreter when speaking with media remains Yoshihiro Sonoda.

Dodgers lineup

SS: Mookie Betts
DH: Shohei Ohtani
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
3B: Max Muncy
LF: Teoscar Hernández
CF: James Outman
RF: Jason Heyward
2B: Gavin Lux

Padres lineup

2B: Xander Bogaerts
RF: Fernando Tatis Jr.
1B: Jake Cronenworth
DH: Manny Machado
SS: Ha-Seong Kim
LF: Jurickson Profar
C: Luis Campusano
3B: Tyler Wade
CF: Jackson Merrill

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