Max Muncy Believes Dodgers Are Still Team to Beat in NL West, Not the Padres
The Dodgers and the Padres face off for the first time this season tonight at Petco Park. If that doesn’t get your blood flowing, you’re watching the wrong sport. For the Dodgers, it’s a little different look at this series. The last time these two teams faced off, LA was sent home early for the winter. But for the greater part of the last 5-10 years, it’s been all Dodgers.
So, in Max Muncy’s eyes, it’s a little different but not too much. The Dodgers are still the team to beat in the NL West. He spoke with DodgersNation.com about the Padres’ splashy offseason and gave his overall thoughts on the match up.
“I mean, we’re always going to think we’re the team to beat. We have to have that mindset. As far as I’m concerned, we’re still the ones on top. We’ve won the division, what is it, eight out of the last nine years, or nine out of the last ten years, I don’t know how long it is at this point. We are still the Dodgers and as far as I’m concerned we’re still an extremely good team.
“Yeah, the Padres made a lot of good moves. They were already an extremely good team, they’re going to be tough to beat, there’s no doubt about that. But that’s what makes baseball fun. It’s going to be a battle out there every single night for us. And it’s something that a lot of the guys on this team are used to. We’re used to everyone coming after us. It’s not going to be any different. Nothing’s going to get handed to us and it’s never been that way.”Via Dodgers Nation TV
The Dodgers owned San Diego during the regular season a year ago. They won 14 of 19 games and outscored the Padres 109-47 head to head. But the Padres beat them when it mattered.
Max was asked again this week where things went wrong in the NLDS. He saw a team that played like they wanted it more.
“When you lose in that sort of fashion, I think that stings a lot more than just being outplayed. Obviously, everyone is gonna say they outplayed us, and that’s probably true. But to me, it was more, they just brought so much more energy and were so much hungrier for it.”
“I think we learned that lesson that, you have to learn how to play with emotion. During the regular season, we’ve always been so successful because we stay level-headed throughout the entire thing. You can’t play 162 with emotion. But, when we reach the playoffs, we have trouble flipping that switch.”Via LA Times
Both clubs are running their best out there with Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish facing off on Friday, Dustin May and Blake Snell on Saturday, and Julio Urias vs Joe Musgrove on Sunday on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.
The Dodgers also head into San Diego in first place in the NL West, two games better than the third place Padres. Both teams are on nice little hot streaks too with the Dodgers winning 6 in a row, 8 of 10, and 9 of 11 while the Padres are winners of 7 of 10 and 9 of 13.
So yeah, the Dodgers are the team to beat.