Padres Editorial: How Will James Shields Fare in the NL West?

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Los Angeles Dodgers

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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As you can see, Shields experience against the Dodgers is pretty much nonexistent. All there is to go on is one rough start last season. He’s never even pitched in Dodger Stadium, so we can’t predict how his results will be there either.

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Where he does have experience, is against this lineup. With guys like Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick and Carl Crawford spending time in the American League, Shields had a few chances to face them. For two of them, they’ll be glad to see him. Both Gonzalez and Kendrick have taken him deep once and have hit at a high clip off him as well. Crawford, on the other hand, struggled in his 12 plate appearances against his former teammate. Jimmy Rollins has faced Shields the same amount as Crawford and has had twice the amount of success, and Juan Uribe has been successful in limited chances against him.

This is a scary lineup for any pitcher to face, but with their history against Shields, it makes them twice as frightening. The worst part of it all, is Shields will likely take the hill for the Friars on Opening Day, and it’ll be his first chance to pitch at Dodger Stadium. While he’ll definitely be trying to make a strong first impression, I wouldn’t make too much of his Opening Day start if it goes south.