Root For Padres Breaking Their Defensive Hindrance With This MLB Pick vs. Phillies

Thursday, April 14, 2016 1:34 PM GMT

There could be value in the MLB odds for an early afternoon game today with the San Diego Padres looking to break out of their offensive doldrums again, visiting the Philadelphia Phillies.

San Diego Padres vs. Philadelphia Phillies with an MLB Record of 8-4, +5.28
There appears to be value in the tiny underdog in an early Thursday matinee when southpaw Drew Pomeranz and the San Diego Padres (3-6, 3-3 away) pay a visit to right-hander Vincent Velasquez and the Philadelphia Phillies (4-5, 2-1 home) as the teams conclude a four-game series from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA at 1:05 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - San Diego.

The posted money line at Heritage has San Diego as a very small underdog for this contest at current MLB odds of +101.

Padres Not This Bad
To say that the San Diego offense has been streaky this young season would be an understatement. First, the Padres became the first team in Major League history to get shut out in the first three games of the season. Then, they scored 36 runs over the next four games while going 3-1, and now they have scored one run in the last two games, avoiding getting shut out for the fifth time already with a ninth-inning run last night.

It is not as if the Padres were forecasted to be an offensive powerhouse anyway, but they were not expected to be that bad offensively so some positive regression should be around the corner.

The Phillies on the other hand were expected to be bad after finishing with the worst record in the Major Leagues last season at 63-99, so being one game under .500 as MLB picks through nine games at 4-5 could be considered over-achieving. Do not expect that to continue though as the fine pitching the Phillies have gotten the last two nights looks like a total anomaly.

Pomeranz Could be Underrated
Then again, was it really good pitching that allowed Philadelphia to win by scores of 3-0 and 2-1 respectively, or was it more to do with San Diego offensive futility? After getting shut down by the likes of Charlie Morton and Jerad Eickhoff those last two games, one has to expect some regression to the mean and for the Padres to at least put up some runs today, which could be all Pomeranz needs to help San Diego salvage a split of this four-game set.

Granted we may be a bit higher on Pomeranz than many other people, but we feel that optimism is justified. You see, Drew was highly regarded when he was taken with the fifth pick overall in the first round of the 2010 MLB draft, but he was held back from fulfilling his full potential by spending his first three years in the majors with the Colorado Rockies.

Once he escaped the altitude of Denver though, Pomeranz has shown what he can do the last two years during his call-ups to the Oakland Athletics, posting a 2.35 ERA and 3.77 FIP in 69 innings in 2014 while averaging nearly a strikeout per inning at 8.35 per nine innings, and then following that up with a 3.66 ERA, 3.62 FIP and 8.58 strikeouts per nine innings over 86 innings last year.

Now Pomeranz is in the starting rotation right from opening day for the Padres, and he had a good San Diego debut considering that it came in Colorado, allowing two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts in five innings. And the southpaw now gets to face a Philadelphia offense that is batting a putrid .143 while averaging 1.40 runs per nine innings vs. left-handed pitchers so far this young season.

Phillies Still One of Worst Teams
The Phillies were projected to finish last in the National League East again this season, although it now looks like they will get a run for the money from the winless Atlanta Braves. Still, this is not a good baseball team and we do not expect Velasquez to match his season debut, when he was the winning pitcher in the first game the Phillies won this year following an 0-4 start as he tossed six scoreless innings allowing three hits and striking out nine Mets in a 1-0 win.

This is not to say that Velasquez does not have ability, as he too was highly regarded when he came up with the Houston Astros last year. He is still a bit raw though after posting a 4.37 ERA over 55.2 innings last season and the Astros were not hesitant to include him in the trade that brought them closer Ken Giles from the Phillies over the off-season. Also, that trade of Giles leaves the Phillies very weak in the bullpen right now.

Time for Philadelphia Regression
Finally, while the Phillies have won the last two nights, they are still just 2-10 in their last 12 games vs. teams with a winning percentage below .400, a run that is further evidence that Philadelphia could easily be the worst team in the league again by the time this season is through.

And we look for the losing by the Phillies to begin today as we are higher on Pomeranz right now to continue with his good form than we are on the still inexperienced Velasquez, so take San Diego on the road in this early matinee visiting Philadelphia on Thursday.

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Free MLB Pick: Padres +101
Best Line Offered: at YouWager