For Sunday's best bet in San Diego, we focus on the money line, noting that both the Arizona D'backs & the Padres have a very steep hill to climb in the next three months.
Neither team has much of any momentum. The San Diego Padres are generally falling farther below the .500 mark under interim manager Pat Murphy, who is trying to finish this season after the Padres axed manager Bud Black. The Padres struggled earlier this week in San Francisco, and so despite a Friday night win over the Diamondbacks, they entered Saturday's play half a game behind Arizona. That was not to be expected (or hoped for) when this season started. Entering Saturday’s game, the Padres had lost eight of their last 12 games.
Arizona really hasn't done any better than San Diego. The Diamondbacks lost a three-game series against the worst team in the National League West, the Colorado Rockies, earlier this week. Arizona then lost to San Diego on Friday in the first game of this weekend series. The D-Backs were smothered by San Diego starter Tyson Ross, who allowed a series of walks and then a two-run single to Arizona superstar Paul Goldschmidt before dominating the rest of the way. Ross allowed only two hits on the night, and the Padres silenced the Diamondbacks, 4-2. Entering Saturday night's game, the Rockies had lost two straight and four of six.
With Chase Anderson on the mound, the Diamondbacks hope they have a starting pitcher who can be as good against the Padres as he was the last time he faced them. On May 9, Anderson was excellent against San Diego. He limited the Padres to one run on five hits in seven strong innings of work. Anderson had San Diego hitters off balance throughout that game. He induced 15 fly balls, which points to the ability to generate less than square contact off the bat head. Hitters weren't lining up the ball; they hit lazy flies for much of the day. Anderson has a solid 3.54 ERA and a WHIP of 1.21, which is decent. His splits show that he’s just about the same on the road (3.75 ERA, .257 opponent batting average) as he is at home (3.25 ERA, .267 opponent batting average).
San Diego pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne has been struggling this season. The Cuban import has a 4.83 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. He’s faced the Diamondbacks twice this season and had two very different types of results. He was hit hard for eight runs and two home runs in five innings on May 7th but also went 7.0 innings strong, allowing just one earned run and two hits on April 14th. He’s really fallen off since April, though, when he had a 2.95 ERA. He has posted a 5.79 ERA in May and a 5.40 ERA in June.
What’s The Pick?
The Diamondbacks are the smart MLB pick. They have a better pitcher in general and they have a pitcher who was much more effective in the head-to-head matchup the last time out. The Padres have lost three of the last four times Despaigne has hit the mound and we’ll bet on that to continue one more time.
MLB Pick: Diamondbacks +100 at The Greek