MLB Picks: Padres vs. Diamondbacks

Steve Merril - Steve@prosportsinfo.com

Friday, July 26, 2013 3:24 PM GMT

Join us as we breakdown tonight's matchup between the San Diego Padres and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Where do we believe that the best value lies for our MLB picks tonight?

San Diego (46-57, -4.0 Units) and Arizona (53-49, +2.2 Units) begin a 3-game series on Friday night. The Padres are on an extended road trip; they just played seven games in St. Louis and Milwaukee. The Diamondbacks will complete their 7-game homestand with San Diego. The Padres have gone 4-3 over their last seven road games while the Diamondbacks have split their last four home games.

Arizona is 2-1 (+0.7 Units) at home against San Diego this season. However, the Padres are 6-3 (+3.4 Units) versus the Diamondbacks overall this season.

Eric Stults will get the start for San Diego while Randall Delgado takes the mound for Arizona.

Check out our Friday Morning MLB Odds & Betting Lines Report.

Stults (8-8): Has a respectable 3.45 ERA and 1.16 WHIP on the season. However, those surface stats are masking terrible underlying skills that Stults has. His xERA (skills only measure) is much higher at 4.65 over the last month which suggests that Stults is due for regression. Stults has not been good on the road this season as he owns a 4.33 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 70.2 innings of work while allowing 82 hits and 17 walks. Stults has allowed 12 earned runs in his last three road starts. 

Delgado (2-3): He’s just the opposite of Stults in that his surface stats are not good while his underlying skills suggest imminent improvement. Delgado is just 2-3 on the season with a 3.43 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. But Delgado has a high strikeout rate and great command which limits his opponents’ scoring opportunities. He has a 35/9 K/BB ratio overall in 44.2 innings of work. Delgado has never faced the Padres in his career, and that gives him a slight edge in tonight’s game. 

Chase Field: The Diamondbacks’ home park is hitter friendly with a +112 park factor. With Stults’ terrible road numbers, pitching in Chase Field will not help him at all. The park also favors right-handed bats (+15% home runs), and since Stults is a fly ball pitcher (39% FB rate), he has a lot of negative factors working against him. Delgado’s skills play much better in his home park as he owns a 46% GB rate that is stronger when his command and strikeouts are factored in.

Stults Projection: Based on the underlying skills and advanced metrics I use, Stults shows a line of 3.5 earned runs, a 5.06 ERA and 1.43 WHIP against the Diamondbacks in this game. 

Delgado Projection: Based on the underlying skills and advanced metrics I use, Delgado shows a line of 2.7 earned runs, a 4.24 ERA and 1.35 WHIP against the Padres in this game. 

Padres: San Diego’s offense has struggled all season against right-handed starters. In 67 games (28-39, -7.0 Units), the Padres are hitting just .241 while scoring only 3.7 runs per game against righties.

Diamondbacks: Arizona’s offense comes into tonight’s game in good current form. The Diamondbacks have scored 19 runs over their last three games while hitting .289 (33-114) as a team. Overall, Arizona is 29-22 (+2.0 Units) at home this season.

[gameodds]3/240108/?r3=43-999997-192/dec&r-1=43-999997-192/us[/gameodds]

Bottom Line: The current MLB odds on this game shows Arizona -135 and San Diego +125 with a total of 8.5 Over -115. The total looks to be spot on, but we do see some good value with Delgado and the Diamondbacks in this game. The line is cheap simply because of Stults’ surface stats, but we expect regression based on his underlying skills. Delgado has pitched much better than his numbers show, and since Arizona has been good at home this season, we’ll add Arizona to our sports picks and lay the price with the Diamondbacks Friday night.