Your friendly MLB handicapper has hit four in a row here betting baseball, taking record to 13-9 +1.7 units and will examine the bottom-feeders in the NL West in the middle game of series.
San Diego and Arizona have slipped below Colorado in the division standings and both are eager to get back to .500, as the second month of the baseball season is about to wrap up.
The Padres have lost eight of 11 , while the Diamondbacks have dropped four in a row and six of eight and BetDSI has Arizona as large home favorites despite their 7-18 (-14.9 units) record in downtown Phoenix. Should the D-Backs be trusted after losing 10-3 last evening?
Cesar Vargas (0-2, 3.34 ERA and 1.48 WHIP) has been a nice surprise for San Diego. Other than his worst outing against the Chicago Cubs (4 innings, 6 runs), he’s not given up more than two runs in his five other starts. He’s been good in keeping the ball down and opposing batters have mostly hit grounders. Opponents are hitting .278 against his tosses.
Zack Greinke (5-3, 4.59, 1.31) has not had this poor a start to a season since 2010, his last in Kansas City. Opinions vary, but most agree he’s placed a great deal of pressure on himself with huge contract. His biggest obstacle has been location, leaving too many pitches in the zone and hitters are at .281 batting average, compared to .249 lifetime. In particular, Greinke’s fastball has been up in the hitting zone too often. He’s also been behind in counts too frequently and not getting batters to chase big curveball going out of the strike zone. He might be settling down after eight strong innings at St. Louis in victory his last time out.
Back in spring training, most experts figured the Padres offense was going to have trouble scoring runs and except for occasional outbursts like last night, this is essentially been true scoring 3.6 runs per game. San Diego is largely a collection of average players with names like John Jay, Will Myers, Melvin Upton Jr. and Alexei Ramirez, with Matt Kemp their main run producer with 11 home runs and 31 RBI’s, in spite of incredibly bad .243 OBP.
Arizona is a more dependable offensive club at 4.5 RPG, but because the pitching staff allows over five runs per contest (5.1), this places a lot of pressure on this group to produce nightly. This appears to put a strain on certain players and Paul Goldschmidt is one of them. Known as “Goldy” locally, the first basemen is still walking a great deal, has .405 OBP, but his batting average is at .242. compared to .295 for his career. Jean Segura started hot in the spring and has stayed that way with a .313 BA and Brandon Drury (.301 BA) has been a nice surprise in the outfield.
Betting Odds, History and Bullpen Numbers
The opening MLB odds has Arizona at -215, with total of 8.5, but the Snakes have slithered to -200. In the last three years, the D-Backs have been victorious in 11 of the past 20 encounters. The total has largely been one-sided at 14-6 OVER. On the year, these are two of the worst bullpens in the NL, with Arizona 12th with a 4.47 ERA and San Diego 14th at 4.51.
For MLB picks, wagering on the money line does hold much value either way. The Padres are 8-30 off win as underdogs versus division foe and the D-Backs are 1-11 at Chase Field against NL West partners.
We will instead turn our attention to the total where the Friars are 22-9 OVER after a win by four runs or more since last season and Arizona is 14-3 OVER at home against a bullpen whose WHIP is 1.35 to 1.45. Given the recent history of these two clubs in this building, the OVER appears to be safest bet.
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