Indeed on Sunday in San Diego, the Padres finally won the game they should have won the previous two nights as the series ended in a predictable fashion with the Los Angeles Dodgers taking two games of three.
Tommy Pham had the big knock in this one, and Blake Snell matched Trevor Bauer to keep this a third straight tight, late ballgame between two division rivals.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 18, 2021
Truly, I don’t think a lot differently of these two teams than I did previously. Both are obviously really good – but the Padres are probably going to be undervalued going forward and the Dodgers over-valued.
Los Angeles is due for some serious regression and soon. For instance, the Dodgers started a guy named Sheldon Neuse at second base. If you think that the Dodgers are going to continue to fool baseball with the likes of Neuse, Austin Barnes, Luke Raley, and Chris Taylor hitting in the five-hole, I have some bad news for you.
However, it’s going to be a tight race between these two teams, whom I figure each win between 94 and 98 games.
Fernando Tatis Jr. went hitless, and generally looks poor in the box outside of one swing against Walker Buehler. Also, Cody Bellinger is going to miss major time with a fractured fibula. Within a division race I have this tight, it could come down to which team gets more production before the end of the regular season between those two players.
The bullpens are about even, maybe a hair towards the Padres. The rotations are close to even, with maybe a hair edge to the Dodgers. The lineups are kind of up in the air but right now I like the Padres better. However, they seemed to grip too tight all series long; giving away two games they could have won against a Dodgers team that played relaxed and composed. Remember, the Dodgers have played more high-profile, big-moment games in the past five seasons than any franchise in the game.
Therefore, we didn’t get a lot of answers and usually April doesn’t yield a lot of final proclamations. It was an entertaining series that showcased the best rivalry in the game.