Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw Duels Chris Paddack in the Series Opener

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 08: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on May 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 08: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on May 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Tonight, the Dodgers will send their ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound to face off against one of MLB’s top up and coming young pitchers.

Tuesday night, there will be an intriguing pitching duel at Dodger Stadium as Clayton Kershaw will square off against Chris Paddack.  Paddack is one of MLB’s top rookies this season and one of the best up and coming young starters in baseball.  He features an upper 90’s fastball and two solid offspeed pitches with his changeup and curveball.  This will be the first time that the Dodgers face Paddack.

Clayton Kershaw will look to bounce back from a tough outing against the Braves, where he allowed four earned runs although two of them scored when he left the game.  In his previous start against the Padres this season, Kershaw pitched six innings allowing three runs including a home run by ex-Dodger Manny Machado.  Clayton will look to keep the ball in the park this time around.

Kershaw has been to the Padres what Jake Peavy once was to the Dodgers, a huge thorn in the side.  Clayton is 18-6 with a 1.97 ERA all-time against the Padres.  With the rejuvenated Padres now boasting a decent lineup, it will no longer be an easy start for Kersh.  He will need to watch out for the veterans, Manny Machado and Ian Kinsler who have both homered against Kershaw with an average over .300.

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Speaking of Jake Peavy, Chris Paddack will look to become this generation’s Peavy and become a major pest to the Dodgers.  In his last start, Paddack dominated the Mets over 7 2/3 innings while striking out eleven.  This will be the first time that the Dodgers face Paddack who is 3-1 with a magnificent 1.55 ERA in seven starts.

The Dodgers will need to come out aggressive against Paddack who is a strike thrower despite his strikeout stuff, and he currently has a 10:2 strikeout to walk ratio.  Chris is averaging ten strikeouts per nine innings, which is nothing new as he averaged as many as fifteen strikeouts per nine in the minor leagues.  The Dodgers will need to lay off the high fastball that Paddack has gotten hitters to chase.

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Clayton Kershaw will likely come into this game with a chip on his shoulder.  In recent days the media has titled this matchup as “The past vs the future”. and “Old Kershaw vs the new Kershaw”.  While Kershaw is no spring chicken anymore, he has still pitched effectively and is going to be fired up to show that against the young fireballer Chris Paddack.