MLB Picks: Lock Padres To Win vs. Phillies On The Road

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 2:52 PM GMT

The San Diego Padres have been playing much better baseball since getting shut out in their first three games, and they get our road call here over the lowly Philadelphia Phillies as the MLB pick.

MLB Record: 6-2, +5.01

The road team looks to be a reasonable price vs. possibly the worst team in baseball Tuesday night when southpaw Robbie Erlin and those San Diego Padres (3-4, 3-1 away) pay a visit to right-hander Charlie Morton and the lowly Philadelphia Phillies (2-5, 0-1 home) at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA at 7:05 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - San Diego. The posted money line at Bookmaker has San Diego as a tiny underdog for this contest at current MLB odds of +100.

 

Not the Kind of History Padres Wanted
The Padres made history to begin this season – not the kind of history they desire! That is because San Diego became the first team in Major League history to get shut out in each of its first three games of the year! To their credit though, the Padres have bounced back well by winning three of their last four games since then while averaging 10.7 runs. Yes they spent this past weekend in the altitude of Colorado, but they then won the series opener here 4-3 yesterday.

That loss spoiled the home opener for Philadelphia, which opened the season 0-4 before surprisingly being the winning MLB pick in two games vs. the National League Champion New York Mets at Citi Field over the weekend. Then the Phils lost to the Padres here on Monday despite their young ace Aaron Nola striking out nine batters in seven innings without issuing a single walk while allowing only six hits.

 

Nice Spring for Erlin
The Padres are not juggernauts or anything, as their posted win total of 74 before this season exactly matched their 74 wins of last year. However, they are not nearly as bad as they looked in that season-opening series against the Dodgers and that has shown with their nice run since then. In other words, San Diego probably has a bit more upside than Philadelphia does right now.

Erlin will be making his first start of this season, but he had a very good spring training posting a 2.25 ERA over 12 innings, although that did not prevent San Diego from sending him to Triple-A. However that demotion was brief as he was quickly recalled by the big club last Friday and he actually got the win in relief that day in Colorado while allowing just one hit in 3.2 scoreless innings.

Granted Erlin does not have great numbers at the Major League level at only 9-10 with a 4.48 ERA in his career, but the former third round draft pick is still just 25-years-old so his early good form this spring could be a nice sign of maturation. And he has also pitched well in both of his career starts vs. the Phillies allowing a total of three earned runs on only nine hits plus one walk in 12.1 innings with 11 strikeouts.

 

Morton Just About Done?
The Phillies had the worst record in baseball last year at 63-99, and advanced forecasts have Philadelphia battling for the worst record in the league again this season. Thus, this start to the season has not been a surprise except for actually winning two games in New York as a huge underdog, but the Phillies are actually small favorites in this game, a role in which fading them this year should be profitable.

Morton is now 32-years-old and appears to be at the tail end of his career. Morton had a nice start last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, helped by working with one of the premier pitching coaches in baseball in Ray Searage, but then reality set in and Morton went 1-5 with a 6.95 ERA over his final seven starts for Pittsburgh. That did not prevent the Phillies from acquiring the veteran right-hander during the off-season though.

They may be questioning that acquisition however after Morton’s Philadelphia debut, as he was roughed up by the Cincinnati Reds for six earned runs in just 3.2 innings last Thursday, as his sinker did not have the bite that it used to have and he was taken deep for a two-run homer by Jay Bruce.

 

Trouble vs. Losing Teams
Finally, the Phillies should once again be among the worst teams in baseball when this season is over and if you want some evidence, consider that they are 8-20 in their last 28 games vs. teams with losing records, including going 1-4 in their last five home games vs. such teams.

It also helps that the Padres appear to be on an upswing, so back San Diego to win its second straight game in this series as it again visits Philadelphia on Tuesday.

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Free MLB Pick: Padres -105
Best Line Offered: at Bovada