Add Padres To Your MLB Picks As D'Backs Defense Woes Continue

Mark Lathrop

Friday, May 27, 2016 11:41 AM GMT

Our expert MLB handicapper returns with his excellent 2016 record and spots a line that is ripe for the picking in the desert. Let's study the odds and determine the best MLB pick!

2016 YTD MLB: 18-9-1, +8.84 Units

San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Back from vacation and ready to roll again in MLB as I left on the heels of a 10-3 ATS stint. Tonight we are going to take a look at two of the more underwhelming teams in the NL West with the San Diego Padres (19-29 SU) traveling to face the Arizona Diamondbacks (21-27 SU) at Chase Field. The opening MLB odds have the Diamondbacks favored on the moneyline at -164, while the O/U total has opened at 9 at the same book. If run line action is more to your liking, you can pay for a run and a half at -140 for San Diego at Pinnacle.

 

San Diego Padres
Starting for the San Diego Padres is former first round pick and left-hander, Christian Friedrich. Friedrich is battling back through the Padres’ system after quite a serious injury for a pitcher, a stress fracture in his lower back. He was previously in the Rockies organization, although was used as a reliever last year and put up a 4.81 ERA, 22/14 K/BB rate, and .273 batting average against on the road. I won’t list his home splits in Colorado out of respect for his next of kin. Friedrich is now getting a look as a starter with the Padres dealing with multiple injuries to their pitching staff. Not the worst move in the world when you are in the basement in the division and Friedrich has a career 1.69 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and .232 BAA against the Diamondbacks in 16.0 innings pitched.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Taking the mound for the Diamondbacks is their 5th starter, Robbie Ray. Ray had a fairly successful 2015 season, although his final record of 5-12 didn’t show it, putting up a 3.52 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and 119/49 K/BB rate over 127.2 innings pitched. He hasn’t started that well in 2016, putting up a 4.18 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, and 52/24 K/BB rate over 47.1 innings. Although that puts his K/9 of 9.89 firmly in ‘guy with potential’ territory. Ray’s issues this year can firmly be placed in one direction though, pitching at home. His split at Chase Field is horrific and over 20.0 IP he has posted a 6.30 ERA and allowed a .298 batting average against. On the road Ray is pitching to a very fine 2.63 ERA and is the reason he is not in AAA.

 

Conclusions
So I don’t know about you, but a pitcher with a 6.30 ERA at home doesn’t seem deserving of -164 chalk. Yes, yes… the San Diego offense has been terrible of late, but they do get Wil Myers and his .386 career batting average against the Diamondbacks on Friday. Another factor in San Diego’s favor is rest, as they are coming off of a day of rest on Thursday, while the Diamondbacks just flew across the country after getting dominated by the Pittsburgh Pirates in that series. The Arizona bullpen is in especially rough shape after that series and have given up a 4.78 ERA in the last two weeks.

Although in most cases where I don’t trust either pitcher to get the job done I’ll take the Over, the offense of the Padres has me a little too skittish for that angle. No, I’m going to keep fading Robbie Ray and his awful road split by taking the San Diego Padres +1.5 on the run line. Shopping around you can get that line at -135 at Heritage, which is just what I’m going to do for my MLB picks.

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Free MLB Pick: San Diego Padres +1.5 (-145)
Best Line Offered: at Heritage