There seems to be an unjustified low posted total when rookies Williams Perez of the Atlanta Braves and Colin Rea of the San Diego Padres square off out west Monday.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -123.
The Padres were one of the more hyped teams in the National League before this season after spending a ton of money, but they have been major disappointments for the most part except for one recent surge where they got themselves closer to title contention in the National League West. They have since been the losing MLB picks in eight of their last 12 games though and have fallen back out for contention in fourth place, 11 games behind the first place Dodgers.
On the other hand, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Braves so they actually overachieved for a good portion of this season. Furthermore, they still remain a surprising eight games over .500 at home! Unfortunately they are on the road here however, where they are a dismal 21-40, and that is the primary reason they trail the first place New York Mets by 9½ games while in third place in the National League East.
Not Great Numbers for Perez
This seems like a low posted total considering that this is a matchup of two unproven rookie hurlers. Perez has the bigger Major League body of work of the two, but even he has made just 14 appearances including 11 starts for the Braves this year, and although he shows a winning 4-3 record, that mark seems unwarranted based in how he has pitched.
For starters, Perez has a 4.21 ERA and a very high 1.48 WHIP, and the picture does not get any rosier when delving deeper into his peripheral numbers. Perez has had poor command with just 44 strikeouts vs. a high 33 walks in 68.1 Major League innings, which has led to a bloated 4.76 FIP and 4.98 xFIP as well as a negative -0.1 WAR! And it is not as if he has improved current form with a fat 7.85 ERA and 1.80 WHIP over his last three starts.
Limited Sampling for Rea
Rea just made his Major League debut last Tuesday vs. the Colorado Rockies and he received great run support while winning that initial start 11-6. His pitching that night was decent but not spectacular as he went only five innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts vs. one walk. Yes, Rea came up as one of the better pitching prospects in the San Diego organization, but is that limited sampling enough to hang this low total vs. Perez?
After all, Rea was virtually obscure at the stat of this year as a former 12th round draft pick in 2011 out of Indiana State, but he then excelled at Double-A San Antonio posting a tiny 1.08 ERA while allowing only 50 hits in 75 innings with 60 strikeouts vs. 11 walks. That caught the attention of scouts across the country and prompted a promotion to Triple-A El Paso, where he was not as effective with a 4.39 ERA and 20 strikeouts vs. 12 walks in 27 innings.
To be fair, the Pacific Coast League is a hitter’s league full of hitter’s parks where the ball carries well though, and he was called up by San Diego last week. Still, we need to see much mire from him to trust him in a game with a low total like this one.
Deflated Totals at Petco
Finally, Petco Park has long been recognized as one of the most pitcher-friendly stadiums in the National League. However, that factor may be starting to become over-compensated for in totals this year with the ‘over’ actually going 31-22-2 in this ballpark despite a nondescript average total score of 8.24 runs per game. Also, the ‘over’ is 37-12-3 in the last 52 head-to-head meetings between these teams here in San Diego.
Expect more of the same with these rookie pitchers on the mound, so look for Atlanta and San Diego to sneak ‘over’ the low total in Petco on Monday.
MLB Pick: Braves, Padres ‘over’ 7 (-123)