Well It’s almost here. The much-anticipated 2016 MLB All Star Game is almost here. The biggest distraction of this rough year is almost among us. But before that we have to take on the Dodgers for a four game set at Dodger Stadium.
Now, you would think that this will be a series full of woes and mishaps. In reality though the Friars have done pretty well against the Dodgers this year. If you exclude that abysmal opening series, the Padres are actually 4-2 against the Dodgers in the 2016 season. Even if you include the opening series they’re still 4-5 against the Dodgers on the year. Not bad at all, considering the circumstances.
To add to this the Padres are in pretty decent form at the moment. The Padres have at least tied five out of their last six series. This includes three series wins. The Padres offense is also in very decent form. The Padres have scored 26 runs in their last three games. Needless to say everything is lined up for success in this series. If you still don’t buy it, let’s look at the Dodgers for a second. The Dodgers have actually been decent this season with a 48-39 record. The only problem being that the Giants have been much better than them. Hence the six game lead in the division. The Dodgers currently find themselves in very average form. They haven’t really been spectacular in their last few games. In their last 14 games the Dodgers have gone 7-7. I really believe the Padres have a really good shot to win or tie this series. But we shall have to see how it goes.
Drew Pomeranz vs Hyun-jin Ryu 7:10 p.m.
The pitching matchups in this series will be very interesting. These matchups really don’t favor either team at all. There is too much improbability presently in these matchups to make a fair judgement. We find that in the very first matchup of the series. Hyun-Jin Ryu will make his first MLB start since 2014. Yes you read that correctly. 2014. It has been 640 days since Ryu has tossed a ball in an MLB game. So we really can’t say much about what Ryu will have. I mean he was a pretty solid pitcher before his injury. But really who knows how he will fair on Thursday night. Drew Pomeranz on the other hand we can say a lot about. The lefty has looked fantastic in his last few starts. In his last three starts Pomeranz has a 2-0 record with an ERA of 1.80 with 20 strikeouts in the mix as well. I definitely have our lefty winning the bout in this one. But again with the unknown factor of Ryu, who knows how this game will go.
In game two of the series we find another inconsistent factor in Scott Kazmir. In general Kazmir has been pretty inconsistent this season for the Dodgers with his 4.37 ERA. Speaking of inconsistency we go to Andrew Cashner for the Padres. Cashner has been very inconsistent this season as usual. There have been times where he has looked back to his old self. But other times where the guy just gives you a headache. Well Cashner is currently coming fresh off the D.L. He is also coming off one of his best performances of the season. Cashner would only allow an earned run in six innings against the New York Yankees. Cashner would really look sharp on the mound. Then again this is Andrew Cashner. Inconsistency has plagued him all season long. So again it’s really hard to say who will get the upper hand in this one.
Game three brings us another pair of inconsistent factors. First for the Dodgers we have Brandon McCarthy. Everyone’s favorite MLB player on Twitter is coming off his second start since Tommy John surgery. McCarthy had been an off and on again pitcher anyways. So it’ll be interesting to see what he can bring to the table for the Dodgers. McCarthy is coming off a strong start against the Colorado Rockies. He would pitch five scoreless innings and only allow a walk. The inconsistent factor for the Padres in this one will be, Luis Perdomo. To be completely fair to Perdomo he has looked great in last couple outings. Perdomo has thrown 12 innings and allowed five earned runs combined in his last couple of outings. We do have to remember however that Perdomo will be facing quite a strong offense. Perdomo has struggled with the long ball this season. So it really is hard to say how it will go for Luis on Saturday. Again another game that can really go either way.
Game four of the series won’t disappoint with another pair of unpredictable pitchers. First for the Dodgers we have Kenta Maeda. Now Maeda has actually been very solid for the Dodgers this year. We don’t need to be reminded about that start he had against the Friars. I mean the guy even hit his first MLB home run off of us. Despite this, Maeda is still a mystery factor for Sunday’s game. The reason being that he is coming off a shaky start against the Baltimore Orioles. Maeda would only go four innings and allow four runs with three walks. Not the worst start ever, but definitely an off start for Maeda. The Padres will have Christian Friedrich on the mound. Friedrich has really looked off in his last few starts. Friedrich has allowed a minimum of four runs in his last four starts. Now that really is not good at all. I do feel like this game is a little easier to predict. With Maeda and the Dodgers taking the last game of the series. Overall though this series is very tough to make out. I do feel like the Padres can take it or at the very least draw it. But again it’s hard to say with these inconsistent pitching factors.
Players To Watch
It’ll be fun to see a little preview of one of the all-star players. Seager unfortunately didn’t make it as the starting shortstop for the N.L. That of course being due to Cubs fans voting in Addison Russell. Seager definitely deserved to be the starter. Seager might just be the best shortstop in baseball currently. He currently has a BA of .303 with 17 home runs. Opposed to that Addison Russell has a BA of .242 with just 11 home runs. You can clearly see that Seager should be the N.L.’s man at short. Well for now we’ll have the pleasure of seeing him start a few games in this series.
With this being a four game series, we will probably see Will start a game or two. Now Will might not pull off something crazy in this series. But it’s just nice to see him play, for old times sake. First off it’ll be so strange to see Venable in a Dodgers uniform. It’ll be even more strange to see him wear that uniform against the Padres. Venable was a fan favorite with the Friars. I mean the guy spent eight years with the Padres. Will has not had a very good time with the Dodgers so far. In 18 at bats he has only managed one hit.
Kemp is another player who had a big series in the desert. Like Schimpf, Kemp would also produce at least one run in each game. Kemp would also go 6-13 in the series. However Kemp would not get a home run in the process. He would produce four RBI which is nice. I definitely believe Kemp can have another big series. He definitely will get a home run in this four game series. Kemp obviously spent a large portion of his career with the Dodgers. He did have some pretty nice success at Dodger Stadium. In 576 games at Dodger stadium Kemp has an OBP of .342 with 104 home runs. Kemp also has a nice OPS of .842 at Dodger Stadium as well. As you can see it is pretty clear that Kemp should have a nice series in Los Angeles.
Alexei Ramirez vs Brandon McCarthy
These two have only faced each other nine times. Well Ramirez is the clear winner in that bout. In just nine at bats Alexei has managed to hit two home runs off of McCarthy. The latest one coming in the 2014 season. I’m not quite convinced that Alexei can get his third. However, I do feel that he’ll at the very least post an RBI against McCarthy.
Adrian Gonzalez vs Andrew Cashner
“El Titan” has had at bats against Cashner dating back to 2010. Well the Chula Vista native has really had the best of this duel. In 32 at bats Adrian has pulled off 11 hits with a monstrous OPS of 1.182. The reason for that being, the fact that Adrian has gone yard on Cashner four times. Three of those would actually come just last season. I will make a bold prediction and say that Adrian gets his fifth against Cashner in this series.
Wil Is Our All-Star
I just wanted to say congrats to Wil Myers on making the All Star game. Wil will definitely play a big role in the all-star festivities this year. Not only will he be in the ASG, but he is also the ambassador of it. He is also the N.L.’s captain in the HR Derby. Myers definitely deserved to be in the All Star game. It’s also nice to see that Wil wasn’t a “final vote” or an injury replacement. It’s nice to see that Wil made it in there naturally. Just before the ASG Wil now sits on a very nice BA of .295 with 19 homers and 59 RBI. I do expect a nice series in Los Angeles for Myers. I’m sure he’ll be able to add to those numbers shortly.