LEADING OFF: NL West showdown in SD, Cubs skipper suspended

Sports from the AP

The San Diego Padres greet each other as they leave the field after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in a baseball game, Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Pittsburgh. The Padres won 8-3. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

A look at what’s happening around the majors Friday:

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SO-CAL SHOWDOWN

San Diego rookie Ryan Weathers makes his first big league start when Mookie Betts and the champion Dodgers visit Petco Park in the first matchup this season between the NL West rivals.

Los Angeles swept the Padres in the NL Division Series last year, and both teams added more stars in the offseason. The series opener could mark the return of San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatís Jr., who’s eligible to come off the disabled list after partially dislocating his shoulder.

Walker Buehler is lined up to pitch for the Dodgers, who own the best record in the majors this year. Weathers, a 21-year-old lefty, has a 1.50 ERA in three relief appearances since making his debut this season.

“I think it’s a little different heading in,” Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “Obviously having a little bit of history with them in the postseason last year, maybe that’ll spice things up a little bit.”

WATCH OUT

The Cubs will be minus manager David Ross for the series opener against Atlanta at Wrigley Field. He’s been suspended for one game by Major League Baseball in the aftermath of a dust-up in Milwaukee earlier this week.

Chicago reliever Ryan Tepera was suspended for three games for throwing at Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff on Tuesday. Tepera has appealed the penalty and can continue to play until there’s a resolution.

MATZ MAGIC

Steven Matz aims to keep up his bounce-back season when he starts for the Blue Jays at Kansas City. The 29-year-old lefty is 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA in his first season with Toronto, striking out 13 in 12 1/3 innings.

Much heralded when he joined the Mets and helped them reach the World Series in 2015, he went 31-41 for them before being traded to Toronto last January.

WEATHER OR NOT

Jacob deGrom is scheduled to start for the Mets — again, weather permitting.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner never warmed up Thursday when New York’s game at Citi Field against Philadelphia was rained out.

The Mets headed to Denver, where the series opener against the Rockies was threatened by a forecast of 2 to 3 inches of snow overnight and a gametime temperature projected at 37 degrees.

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