Padres vs. Diamondbacks: Weaver Out of Magic Dust on Thursday

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, April 27, 2017 1:07 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 27, 2017 1:07 PM UTC

Only some kind of voodoo will keep our MLB handicapper from cashing two tickets as the San Diego Padres visit the Arizona Diamondbacks as they wrap up their 4-game series on Thursday night.

San Diego Padres vs Arizona Diamondbacks  

The San Diego Padres finish up a 4-game road series versus the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night, with the Padres looking to stop the bleeding in the month of April. That is not likely to happen, unfortunately for Padres fans, with Jered Weaver on the mound at Chase Field. The bookmakers know this as well, placing the hot Diamondbacks as -160 moneyline favorites. The O/U total has opened at 10 to 10.5 across the board, with reputable books with the Over lean.

This starting pitching matchup is a classic example of why you can’t trust ERA alone when handicapping starting pitching. Starting for the Padres is Jered Weaver, who has put up a respectable 3.91 ERA on the season. However, all of the peripheral stats consider him a ticking time bomb ready to get shelled at any moment. His fielding independent pitching ERA (FIP) is running the highest in his career at 6.42. His BABIP is 90 points below his career average. His average fastball velocity of 83.9 mph is sitting only 6 mph different than his changeup, where over a 10-mph difference is ideal. His pulled ball percentage of 53.4% is the highest in his career and pulled balls leave the yard. His HR/FB rate of 25.9% is the worst in his career.

What I am saying is that Jered Weaver is 0-1 in his four starts and his 3.91 ERA is only due to some kind of dark magic.

Taijuan Walker gets the start for the Diamondbacks, and given the talent in the San Diego lineup, his weakness of poor control should not be an issue. In only one of his 4 starts has Walker walked more than one batter, so maybe he should change his name. He should be able to be aggressive in the zone on Thursday night, especially given that I am predicting the Diamondbacks to have an early lead off of Jered Weaver. Walker has put up a 4.57 ERA, but an FIP of only 3.22. This indicates his issues have revolved around luck a bit, with a .323 BABIP 50 points higher than his career average. His 8% HR/FB rate is half of what it was in 2016 with the Mariners and a very good sign that Walker is starting to turn the corner. 

Right now, I am seeing a first 5 inning totals line of 4.5 at Pinnacle and I am jumping all Over it. And even though I don’t like giving up chalk, at home at Chase Field I am also going to back the Diamondbacks -1.5 runs as well. Two good plays, Over 4.5 F5 and Arizona -1.5 in one game is where I am going to recommend for my free baseball pick.


Free MLB Pick: Arizona -1.5 & Over 4.5 F5Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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