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Preview of the MLB Seoul Series

Baseball fans can rejoice because regular season action is officially back! Baseball is kicking off this season with a special opening series in Seoul, South Korea, with a matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres. The series marks MLB’s first return to Asia since the 2019 Tokyo Series and is sure to bring sold-out crowds each night. This series also marks the first appearances by Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto in Dodger uniforms, which is enough reason for eager fans to tune in around the world.


Photo Credits: MLB.com


Pitching Preview  

In game one, Tyler Glasnow, acquired from the Rays in a trade during the offseason, and Yu Darvish will face off. In his first spring training starts this year, Glasnow has been impressive, which is not surprising given his track record. However, there is still concern over his injury history, which was far from clean during his time with the Rays. Darvish is looking to bounce back after a lackluster year with the Padres and has looked good in spring training so far.


Photo Credits: CBS Sports


In game two, the newest Dodger pitcher, Yamamoto, goes up against Joe Musgrove. This game will be Yamamoto’s first MLB start, and many MLB fans will be tuning in to see how the 25-year-old fares against major league hitting. So far, both Yamamoto and Musgrove have had rough times in spring training, but since these innings are merely buildup for established players, there is not too much concern.


Photo Credits: Ashley Landis / Associated Press


Lineup Predictions 

While the pitching matchups for the series are top-tier, all eyes will be on the lineups of these two teams. For the Dodgers, the spotlight will be on Ohtani for the first time since he signed a 10-year $700 million contract this offseason. Eyes will also be on some position changes, with star player Mookie Betts transitioning to the primary shortstop role despite mixed results in the 2023 season. The Dodgers lineup will likely feature Betts, Ohtani, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Teoscar Hernandez, Max Muncy, James Outman, Jason Heyward, and Gavin Lux.   


Photo Credits: Joe Camporeale / USA Today


For the Padres, this is the first time the lineup will be without Juan Soto since 2022. While the lineup certainly might not compare to the super team the Dodgers plan to play, there is still plenty of star power and potential breakout seasons for players on this team. This series will mark Ha-Seong Kim’s return to Korea and a major league debut for Jackson Merrill and Graham Pauley. The Padres lineup will most likely feature Kim, Merrill, Fernando Tatis Jr, Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, Jake Cronenworth, Pauley, Luis Campusano, and Jurrickson Profar.  

 

Storylines 

One of the biggest storylines of the series involves Kim, the Padres shortstop. Before signing a major league contract with San Diego, Kim was the shortstop of the Korean team, the Kiwoom Heroes. Kim is not only making his way back to his home country with the Padres but will also visit his home stadium for the first time since his tenure with the Heroes. Before the game against the Dodgers, the Padres will be suiting up for an exhibition game against the Heroes, and Kim will likely see a standing ovation from the fans.


Photo Credits: Gregory Bull / Associated Press


Another major storyline surrounding the Padres involves Merrill and Pauley, who will both make their major league debuts in Korea. After great stats in Spring Training, both men will likely make the team despite never playing a game in Triple-A. Merrill was drafted in 2021 out of high school and will only be 20 years old during his debut this year. Pauley is 23 and will be the second player drafted in 2022 to make their major league debut.


Photo Credit: Mark J Rebillas / USA Today Sports 


Edited By: Sarah Muñoz 

Social Media Content Created By: Jenna Rose Weisenbach 

 

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