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Dodgers vs. Padres NLDS Game 3 starting lineups and pitching matchup


LOS ANGELES — With the Padres set to host a postseason game in front of their fans for the first time since 2006, Petco Park was always going to be rocking for Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the rival Dodgers.

But with the Padres’ thrilling back-and-forth 5-3 win over the Dodgers in Game 2 to tie up the series on Wednesday, the atmosphere should be absolutely electric on Friday. Lefty Blake Snell gets the start for San Diego, while the Dodgers are turning to right-hander Tony Gonsolin. The Padres last made the postseason in 2020, but the games were held at a crowdless Globe Life Field in Texas because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I can’t wait,” said Padres catcher Austin Nola. “I’m already thinking about the atmosphere and what it’s going to be like. It’s probably going to be shaking.”

The Padres announced their decision to go with Snell on Tuesday, while the Dodgers waited till postgame Wednesday to announce their somewhat surprising decision to go with Gonsolin over lefty Tyler Anderson. Gonsolin was excellent in the regular season, going 16-1 with a 2.14 ERA, but the righty dealt with a forearm strain down the stretch and went just two innings in his last start of the season on Oct. 3. He’s been building up his pitch count in simulated games, but the Dodgers went with him despite the fact he’s not expected to give them much length.

“We just felt that, regardless of the outcome, we felt good about Tony,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “We extended him in the live sim games that we had this past week. We feel good about the length and how he is throwing the baseball.”

When is the game and how can I watch it?

Game 3 begins Friday at 8:37 p.m. ET/5:37 PT and can be seen on FS1.

All games are available in the US on MLB.TV (authentication to a participating Pay TV provider is required). Live games are also available in select countries outside the US. For full details click here.

Who are the starting pitchers?

Padres: Which version of Snell (8-10, 3.38 ERA) will the Padres get? The version that dominated the league in the second half, posting a 2.19 ERA? Or the version that struggled to throw strikes and lasted just 3 1/3 innings against the Mets? The Padres sure need it to be the former. And Snell owns a 2.54 ERA across 11 career starts against the Dodgers, including the postseason.

Dodgers: The Dodgers elected to go with Gonsolin (16-1, 2.14 ERA) over Anderson in Game 3. Gonsolin has made just one start since Aug. 23 and will be limited to three or four innings. Because he’s not fully stretched out, the Dodgers believe pitching him after the off-day will help them shorten the game with the bullpen.

What might the starting lineups look like?

Padres: With the Dodgers turning to a right-hander, expect the Padres to go back to the same lineup that got them 13 runs in their two victories in New York during the NL Wild Card Series. That means Jurickson Profar returns to the leadoff spot, having reached base at a .409 clip in the postseason. 

Dodgers: With a tough left-hander on the mound for the Padres, the Dodgers will look to stack as many right-handed bats as possible. Roberts said Trayce Thompson will get the start in center field, not Cody Bellinger. Both players have struggled to start the NLDS. Chris Taylor, who hasn’t played in a game since Sept. 30 after dealing with a neck injury, will get the start in left field. Given his success against Snell, there’s a good chance Austin Barnes is in the lineup.

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?

Padres: After an off-day, the Padres should have a fresh group of relievers to serve as the bridge from Snell to closer Josh Hader. Robert Suarez and Luis García will serve as the primary setup men, with Tim Hill likely to be called upon against tough left-handers. Nick Martinez could see high-leverage innings as well.

Dodgers: The Dodgers are in a good position heading into the off-day. Blake Treinen’s availability will depend on how he feels after pitching in Game 2 and whether the Dodgers trust that he can contribute in at least two of the remaining games in the series. Other than that, Los Angeles should have everyone available behind Gonsolin.

Who is hot and who is not?

Padres: Profar has done a phenomenal job setting the table, having reached in nine of his 22 plate appearances (.409). Meanwhile, Machado is starting to heat up as well. He leads the Padres with four extra-base hits in the postseason, including a pair in Game 2. Batting between Profar and Machado, however, the Padres are still waiting on Soto to take off. Brandon Drury, who is likely to start the game on the bench, is 1-for-11 this postseason.

Dodgers: Through two games, Trea Turner and Freeman are each rising to the occasion. Turner has been the hottest hitter in this series, hitting a pair of no-doubt home runs. Freeman also homered in Game 2 after going down quietly in Game 1. On the other hand, the Dodgers will need more production out of Betts, who has just one hit in the NLDS.

Anything else fans might want to know?

• In Division Series with the current 2-2-1 format (excluding the 2020 series played at neutral sites) there have been 39 previous instances of teams splitting the first two games. In those 39 series, the club heading home for Games 3 and 4 went on to advance 26 times (67%).

• Snell will be making his first postseason start against the Dodgers since his infamous quick hook in the sixth inning of Game 6 of the 2020 World Series. Snell was pitching scoreless ball for the Rays at the time, but the Dodgers got to Tampa Bay’s bullpen and won the clincher.



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