Padres-Dodgers could be baseball’s next big rivalry

The San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers have the making of a great rivalry.

The San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers have been playing one another for over fifty years, since San Diego joined the National League back in 1969. They are in the same division and are close geographically. Yet while the two teams are considered to be rivals, this rivalry hasn’t had the same intensity as, say, Dodgers-Giants, with its longer tradition.

However, that all might be about to change. Dodgers-Padres is setting up to be epic in 2021, with all the makings of a great rivalry. First, you have the Dodgers, the team with the deep pockets and with eight straight NL West titles. They have dominated this division for most of the last decade and finally broke through in the postseason, winning it all in the shortened 2020 campaign.

Then you have the upstart Padres, who had gone 13 straight years without making the playoffs before breaking through with a 37-23 record in 2020, getting into the postseason tournament and winning their first series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Padres would lose to the Dodgers in the second round of the playoffs, but that could be only the beginning of the story.

The Padres are doing their best big-market team impression this offseason, adding Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Ha-Seong Kim in an effort to bring a World Series Championship to San Diego. Many prognosticators feel that the Padres have at least come close to closing the gap between themselves and the Dodgers, and many feel that these are now the two most talented teams in the majors as we head into the 2021 season.

Throw in the fact that the Padres are a fun young team to watch, going up against the more established Dodgers, and you have the making of some must-see TV this season. Indeed, the Dodgers didn’t take too kindly to Trent Grisham‘s reaction when he homered off Clayton Kershaw in a game last season. That bad blood may carry over into 2021, which would make this rivalry that much more intense.

In any case, with everything that has happened over the past year, we could use some more great on-the-field stories, and this would certainly qualify. Rivalries are a big reason why this game is so great, and this one has the potential to be among the best we have seen in this generation.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens the rest of this offseason with these two teams. What will the Dodgers do to try to counter these Padres moves? Is San Diego done adding? It’s one of this offseason’s biggest storylines.

Yet even more so, I’m looking forward to watching these two teams duke it out on the field this year. Hopefully, we’ll have a great pennant chase – with the Padres coming out on top, of course.