Dave Roberts knows the San Diego Padres.
The Dodgers manager was raised in northern San Diego County. He played and coached for the Padres. He even managed them for one game.
And he knows the 2020 Padres -- who his team will face Tuesday night at Petco Park -- are a better version than recent editions.
"I've watched film of them," Roberts said Monday before the Dodgers opened a three-game series against the Padres in San Diego with a loss. "They've improved. The offense has improved."
In Monday's game, the Padres beat the Dodgers 5-4 in what Padres' manager Jayce Tingler called "one of our better games of the year."
But Monday was one game. If the Padres are going to challenge for a playoff berth, they are going to have to stay competitive against a Dodgers team that has won seven straight National League West pennants and went 13-6 against the Padres in 2019.
Monday was but a step -- a San Diego win that snapped a five-game Dodgers winning streak in the series. But everyone will know much more over the next two weeks just how much the Padres have improved against the Dodgers. In a span of 10 games through Aug. 13, the Padres will play the Dodgers seven times.
"It was a good win, but just one win," Tingler said.
When the Padres and Dodgers resume their rivalry Tuesday night, right-hander Dinelson Lamet (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will make his third start of the season for the Padres. Right-hander Dustin May (0-0, 2.35 ERA) will start for the Dodgers.
Lamet has been the Padres' strongest starter in the first two trips through the rotation. He has allowed two runs on nine hits and five walks with 15 strikeouts in 10 innings. He went five innings in both of his starts against division rivals San Francisco and Arizona.
Lamet, who is now 28, looked to be the Padres' No. 1 starter near the final days of spring training of 2018. Then he injured his ulnar collateral ligament in his final exhibition start, underwent Tommy John surgery and missed all of the 2018 season and half of 2019.
He returned to post a 3-5 record with a 4.07 ERA and a 1.260 WHIP in 14 starts for the Padres in 2019. Overall, Lamet has an 11-13 record with a 4.24 ERA in 37 career starts. He has 259 strikeouts in 197 1/3 innings.
However, Lamet has had no success in four career outings against the Dodgers. He is 0-3 with a 5.14 ERA. The Dodgers have hit .247 against Lamet with five home runs in 21 innings.
May, who doesn't turn 23 until next month, was 2-3 as a rookie in 2019 with a 3.63 ERA in 14 games (four starts). He allowed 17 runs (14 earned) on 33 hits and five walks with 32 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings.
Much of his 2019 efforts came against the Padres. The 6-foot-6, 180-pound May made four appearances and two starts against the Padres as a rookie. A third of the Padres six wins against the Dodgers were at the expense of May, who was 0-2 against San Diego with a 3.46 ERA - giving up eight runs (five earned) on 13 hits and a walk with nine strikeouts in 13 innings.
This will be May's third start in 2020 in the spot normally filled by Clayton Kershaw, who started the season on the injured list. May has allowed two runs on 10 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.
--Field Level Media