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MLB - US Sports: San Diego Padres @ Los Angeles Dodgers preview

This could be an early warm-up for the National League Championship series, with these two sides currently battling it out for the NL West Division title.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have a 12.5 game lead over San Diego, while the Padres are firmly entrenched in the Wild Card picture.

The Padres were big spenders at the trade deadline grabbing a show-stopping superstar in Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals, plus their first baseman Josh Bell.

The Dodgers are set to be without star pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who exited the win over the San Francisco Giants at the bottom of the fifth inning.

What

San Diego Padres @ Los Angeles Dodgers, game one of three

Where

Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California

When

22:10 ET, Friday August 5th 2022

How to watch

Bally Sports San Diego, SportsNet LA, MLBN, bet365 Sports Live Streaming

OddsSD Padres +135, LA Dodgers -155

Duo both active in trade market

Padres' president of baseball operations and general manager A.J Preller has had quite the week, securing contract extensions and huge trades for the franchise.

Star pitcher Joe Musgrove signed a new five-year deal last week and the Padres traded for Soto, Bell, Brandon Drury and Josh Hader. That's quite the collection at the deadline.

Speaking to the official Padres' website after the Soto and Bell trades, Preller said: "We feel like we're better. Obviously he's Juan Soto, he speaks for himself. What he's done at 23 years old and the type of talent he is, he's arguably the best hitter in baseball.

"This should be a big help for our club. Getting Josh Bell also, offensively another switch-hitter, who's having a great year, it should help us a lot."

The only trade the Dodgers were interested in was getting a left-handed bat and that trade became available when the New York Yankees wanted to get rid of Joey Gallo.

The 28-year-old had endured a miserable 2022 and as the Bronx Bombers openly traded for Andrew Benintendi, then Gallo's time in the Big Apple was done. The Dodgers obtained him in exchange for right-handed pitcher Clayton Beeter.

Speaking to the official Dodgers’'website, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said: "A year ago, he (Gallo) was worth a lot in the industry, (he) was traded for a lot. The true talent level remains.

"We feel like getting him here, getting him with our guys, there's a real compelling upside story."

Injury concerns for Dodgers

With Kershaw exiting the most recent game against the Giants with a back injury, the Dodgers have a concern over their most successful pitcher.

Kershaw felt his back tighten up at the bottom of the fifth and pulled himself out of the game. The Dodgers sent him for scans and will know more about the potential injury in the coming days.

If Kershaw, who has dealt with back problems for the past few years, is forced to miss time, it will be another big blow for the Dodgers.

Dustin May is close to making his return, but will require at least one more rehab start, so they may have to call upon Ryan Pepiot for the time being.

Pumped up rivalry

While the Dodgers/Giants historical rivalry will always have a serious edge in the National League, the Dodgers versus Padres rivalry has always been a nice one.

These two sides have played some thrilling games over the past few seasons and the Dodgers have always had the clear upper hand.

Has the gap been reduced? It has on paper, but can the Padres now live up to the hype that they are genuine World Series contenders?

Starting on Friday night, LA has Tony Gonsolin on the mound, who has only one defeat this season and a 2.41 ERA.

The Padres put up Sean Manaea for game one, who has a 6-5 record with a 4.25 ERA.

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