Dodgers, Padres head to South Korea for season opener: Everything you need to know


LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The Los Angeles Dodgers will face the San Diego Padres in Major League Baseball’s regular-season opener next week in Seoul, South Korea.

The two-game series, called the Seoul Series, will be on March 20 and 21 and they’ll be the first ever regular-season games to be played in Korea.

Here’s what you need to know about the Dodgers in South Korea:

When is the Dodgers’ opening day?

The Dodgers start the regular season against the San Diego Padres on March 20 when the division rivals face off in the first game of the Seoul Series. The series’ second game will be played on March 21. Each game will be played at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul.

How to watch the Dodgers play in South Korea?

Games between the Dodgers and the Padres will be televised on ESPN and on SportsNet LA, the Dodgers’ television home.

Here are the start times for Dodgers-Padres games:

Game 1: March 20 at 3:05 a.m. PDT

Game 2: March 21 at 3:05 a.m. PDT

The Dodgers will also play two exhibition games: against the Kiwoom Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization on March 16 at 8 p.m. PDT, and against Team Korea on March 18 at 3 a.m. PDT. Both games will be televised on SportsNet LA.

Will Shohei Ohtani play in the Seoul Series?

Shoehi Ohtani is expected to make his Dodgers’ regular-season debut in the Seoul Series after signing a 10-year, $700 million contract in December. He will be in the lineup as the team’s designated hitter. The reigning AL MVP underwent right elbow surgery last September and will not pitch this season.

Ohtani and the Dodgers posted the first public photos of the two-way star and his wife, Japanese basketball star Mamiko Tanaka, as the team headed out to Seoul on March 14.

Who will be pitching during the games in South Korea?

The Dodgers will have Santa Clarita native Tyler Glasnow pitch the first game against the Padres and Yoshinobu Yamamoto will start the second game.

Los Angeles traded for Glasnow during the offseason and the two sides agreed to a five-year, $136.5 million extension. Days later, the Dodgers added Yamamoto on a 12-year, $325 million deal.

For the Padres, Yu Darvish will start game 1 and Joe Musgrove will start game 2.

Who is part of the Dodgers’ starting lineup?

The Dodgers will have Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman – three former MVPs – at the top of their batting order. Betts, Ohtani and Freeman were among the best hitters last year and will be an intimidating trio for opposing pitchers.

Dodger fans will see other familiar faces in the starting lineup, most likely catcher Will Smith, third baseman Max Muncy and outfielder James Outman. The addition of outfielder Teoscar Hernández is expected to bring even more power to Los Angeles’ lineup.

A big question going into the season will be whether Gavin Lux can hold down second base. Manager Dave Roberts switched Betts and Lux in the infield after Lux’s defensive struggles at shortstop. Lux, who tore his right ACL last year, will now slide to second base and Betts will start at shortstop.

Jason Heyward, Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernández will have platoon roles heading into the season.

When is the Dodgers season home opener?

The first regular season game at Dodger Stadium will be on March 28 when the Dodgers face the St. Louis Cardinals.

Between the Seoul Series and the home opener, the Dodgers will play three spring training games against the Angels.

Have the Dodgers played internationally before?

The last time the Dodgers played on an international field was in 2018 against the Padres in Monterrey, Mexico. The team also played in Sydney, Austrailia in the 2014 season opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Before that, the Dodgers played in several exhibition games overseas, according to MLB.

Has MLB had international season openers before?

The Seoul Series will be the ninth time MLB has held a season opener outside of the U.S. and Canada. The first international season opener was in 1999 in Monterrey, Mexico between the Colorado Rockies and Padres. The most recent was in 2019 in Tokyo, Japan with the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners.

ABC7 is covering the Dodgers in Korea! Next week, our own Rob Fukuzaki is traveling across the Pacific for the season-opening Seoul Series against the Padres. He’ll report on Shohei Ohtani’s debut and much more as the Dodgers begin a season with high expectations.

Look for Rob’s live reports all week, starting Monday on Eyewitness News at 11 p.m.!

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