From KC Barbecue to SD Beaches
As the San Diego Padres enter the 2018 season in the highly-contested National League West, they had to add offensive power and that is exactly what they did by adding free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer.
Hosmer, longtime superstar with the Kansas City Royals of the American League, is expected to have a big impact his first year because he is new to National League pitchers.
“This is our biggest free agent signing in years so we have a reason to be excited,” says Johann Olive, longtime San Diego Padres fan. “We need our young talent to step up quick so we can have a strong first half of the season.”
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) March 15, 2018
Surviving the NL ‘Best’Division
With stiff division competition, the Padres must find themselves in contention by the mid-July all-star break by taking advantage of a surprisingly soft middle part of the season.
The Padres will be playing the traditional 18 games against its four division rivals: World Series runner-up Los Angeles Dodgers, the highly-improved San Francisco Giants as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, both coming off playoff appearances last season.
If the Padres can manage to win 35 to 40 of these 72 games, they will be in great position to take advantage of the soft midseason schedule and make a run for the playoffs after Labor Day.
Headley Helping Hosmer
Helping Hosmer is veteran third baseman Chase Headley, who returns to San Diego after playing for the Padres from 2007 to 2014 before being traded to the New York Yankees. Headley knocked in double-digit home runs in eight different seasons, including a career-best 31 home runs in 2012.
Veteran infielder Wil Myers has played on several playoff teams across Major LeaguemajorBaseball in the last decade, and the Padres hope his winning attitude and experience rubs off on the team. The trio of veteran infielders should prove a calming effect to a young pitching staff, with many arms looking to log big innings (200+) for the first or second time in their careers.
Sizing up the Season
April will be a tough month with series against all four division rivals, but May will come with a reward of a softer schedule with four games against two of the National League East cellar dwellers, the Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates.
June includes six more games against NL East doormats Atlanta Braves and Marlins as well as three games with the mediocre Cincinnati Reds. Division rivals reappear on the Padres’ schedule in late July. However, six games in a row with the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets right after the all-star break in mid-July allows the Padres time to transition into rough division play.
If the Padres enter August within five games of the second and final wild card playoff spot, they could easily make it up with a five-to-10 game winning streak in August with a month that features series against four 2017 non-playoff teams: Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies and Seattle Mariners.
September will be a tale of two months for the Padres, as matchups against the Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers set the path for a fast start, but the last 14 games of the season are against division rivals Giants, Dodgers and Diamondbacks, all of which presumably will be in playoff races.
If the Padres can pull off 10 wins in the final 14 games, they may be in a position to get San Diego’s Father Franchise into their first playoff appearance since 2006…