Expect Underdog Upset Today in Padres vs. Diamondbacks

Doug Upstone

Sunday, August 24, 2014 3:49 PM UTC

Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014 3:49 PM UTC

It is the series finale between two crusty clubs of the National League West, Padres & Diamondbacks. Let’s figure out who has the edge for today’s MLB picks. 

This NL West matchup is for the serious bettor making MLB picks, because why else would anyone be taking the time to study the betting numbers on this matchup. But that is what we do, right!


For San Diego, What a Waste, But What an Opportunity for Bettors
It is not easy being a pitcher for the Padres because you are under constant pressure to be almost perfect because you already know the offense will not score many runs.

Of sure San Diego has enjoyed a few stretches this season when they scored runs like the Yankees of the 1990’s, but as of today, they are averaging 3.3 runs a game. If you check out ESPN’s baseball stats page for the major leagues under – Batting – on that first page, the Padres are 30th in eight of the 11 listed categories.

What is sad about this just as a fan of the game, the Friars pitching staff is second in baseball in fewest runs allowed at 3.4. Thus, on a consistent basis all season, a boatload of chances to win games has gone by the boards.

Nonetheless, for those making sports picks, San Diego has been a broken ATM machine when it comes to totals, with a 78-45 record on 'unders,' easily the best totals play in the game.


Changes Coming to Arizona
General Manager Kevin Towers was supposed to make the Diamondbacks contenders again. Instead, ownership saw enough this year to hire Tony LaRussa as a “consultant” which was the first sign Towers was a dead man walking.

Towers has always considered himself a wheeler-dealer, but his main mistake in the desert has been not settling on the kind of team he wanted and changing his mind season to season.

It was obvious even in spring training, the D-Backs had mostly ordinary position players outside of Paul Goldschmidt and once the season began, even the average players failed to live up to those mediocre standards.

Arizona has been among the worst bets in baseball all season and that will not change now.


Pitching Matchup for Sunday
Ian Kennedy (9-11, 3.72 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) used to be a member of the D-Backs before being traded to San Diego. Kennedy is a back of the rotation hurler, lacking the velocity to over power hitters and throughout most of his career; he’s never been overly effective with runners in scoring position. The San Diego right-hander however has been quite effective all season in getting batters to swing at his pitch with two strikes, averaging better than a punch-out per inning.

Chase Anderson (7-5. 3.71, 1.37) like his mound counterpart is not your typical pitcher scout’s prefer, coming in at 6’0 and 190 pounds. Anderson has to be able to spot his tosses because his velocity is also below what most teams are seeking, but he has a wicked straight change and another that sinks late. Arizona officials are monitoring him closely since he’s thrown just over 126 innings, with his high water mark previously at 108 in 2010 in the minors.


Bullpen View
Baseball handicappers are trying to figure out what the score might be going into the seventh inning. If San Diego is tied or ahead, they have a decided edge in this matchup versus the MLB odds.

The Padres bullpen has been one of the best in the National League all season, ranked first in ERA at 2.41, and second in OBP (.280) and OPS (.601). No question this group has benefitted from playing at Petco Park, but their road ERA is still a sharp 2.94 and they have converted 16 of 18 saves.

Because of its starting pitching, Arizona relievers are third in usage in the senior circuit. They have a team ERA of 3.83 which is 12th in the league and have similar standing in other key categories. Collectively, the Snakes pensters are second in the NL is K’s per inning, but they have blown 12 of 22 save chances at Chase Field this season.


Head to Head Combat and Betting Odds
Arizona has posted an 8-3 record versus San Diego this season and goes for the series sweep today. Thus far in 2014 the 'under' is 7-3 when they compete.

Sportsbooks opened the laboring Padres at -120 with the total at Ov7.5. Though the Pads would hardly be considered a good team, they are 6-14 vs. teams being outscored 0.5 or more runs a game on the season. As we talked about, Arizona is no prize either and is 4-14 after two or more victories in 2014.


The Winner Is….
In having to choose between the lesser of two evils, the D-Backs have had their way with San Diego this year and Anderson has been 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his last four home starts, three which have win by his teammates. With the Friars 5-14 as a road favorite of -110 or higher since last season, I will call for the sweep at a sportsbook like Island Casino.

MLB Free Picks: Arizona wins

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