Diamondbacks at Padres Picks and MLB Series Odds
by Robert Ferringo - 6/14/2013
While there is a lot of mainstream media attention being thrown on the best division in baseball, the American League East, a lot of baseball bettors might want to turn their attention to what looks like it could end up being the most competitive divisional race out in the National League West.
And this weekend’s series between Arizona and San Diego is more important than most people realize. The Diamondbacks, currently in first place out West, are five games up on the Padres and 2.5 games up on both San Francisco and Colorado. However, the Padres could make a dent if they continue their scorching play.
San Diego is coming off a sweep of East-leading Atlanta, and the Padres are 6-2 in their last eight games. The Dads have clawed their way back to 32-34 and are threatening .500 while winning or tying in three of their last four series.
Arizona (37-29) has been the most consistent team in the West so far this season. They are 17-14 at home, including taking two of three from the Padres last month, and 20-15 on the road.
However, while the Diamondbacks enter this weekend after a hard-fought series win over the Dodgers in Los Angeles, they may feel some aftershocks from that three-game set. Arizona and Los Angeles played some beanball on Tuesday; with a 5-4 Dodgers win marred by brawls and hit batsmen. Major League Baseball will be handing out penalties and suspensions this afternoon and that could rob the Diamondbacks of some key pieces this weekend.
Here is a deeper look at this week’s best baseball series, including a free MLB series prediction at the bottom:
Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday: Diamondbacks RHP Trevor Cahill (2-2, 3.38 ERA) vs. Padres LHP Eric Stults (2-4, 5.24 ERA)
Stults is pretty much the perfect microcosm of the Padres. San Diego is 14-6 in his last 20 starts, 4-0 in his last four home starts, and 7-3 when he takes the mound with an extra day of rest. He has been outstanding over the last two years, posting a 3.20 ERA and a solid 13-8 mark since the start of 2012. The lefty has allowed just 16 hits and four earned runs – with a ridiculous 19-to-0 strikeout-to-walk ratio – over his last three starts. However, one of his worst starts of the season came at Arizona last month as he gave up four runs in six innings.
Trevor Cahill has been somewhat of an enigma this year. He had a seven-start run of dominating from mid-April to mid-May. But then in his last four starts he’s been rocked for 20 runs in 23 innings. Cahill has had a day of extra rest heading into this week and is 7-3 when he is coming off five days’ off. But they are just 2-5 when he is an underdog.
Saturday: Diamondbacks LHP Wade Miley (4-5, 4.89 ERA) vs. Padres LHP Clayton Richard (1-5, 8.06 ERA)
Two struggling lefties take the hill on Saturday, and it is anyone’s guess who produces a decent performance here. Miley has an ERA of 6.00 in his last three starts – although he’s won two of three – and has been getting rocked. Richard has been even worse. He is 1-8 in his nine starts this year with an 8.06 ERA. Richard hasn’t allowed less than four runs in his last six starts and hasn’t gone more than six innings yet this year. The Padres are 1-10 in Richard’s last 11 outings, but the one team he has dominated is the Diamondbacks. He has won six of seven starts against Arizona while Miley has lost four of five.
Sunday: Diamondbacks RHP Ian Kennedy(3-4, 5.49 ERA)vs. Padres RHP Jason Marquis (8-2, 3.59 ERA)
Here we have two starters going in opposite directions. Marquis is continuing a career resurgence, posting eight of nine starts with three earned runs or less. The Padres have won eight of his last nine outings even though he has a nearly 1-to-1 K-to-BB ratio and even though he’s allowing an on-base percentage of .340. Kennedy has lost three of four outings and was rocked for 10 runs in four innings two starts ago in St. Louis. Kennedy has a 6.13 ERA on the road this season as a result. But he hasn’t been as bad as his 5.49 ERA suggests. Kennedy has four of six quality starts and was lit up by the Padres back on May 5, giving up five runs in five innings at Petco Park.
That said, Kennedy is almost assured to be one of the suspended players for Arizona. Whether or not he makes this start is up in the air, depending on whether or not he appeals his suspension.
Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres Betting Odds and Trends
This one has been posted as a toss-up, with each team -110 to win the series. Arizona opened Game 1 as a -110 favorite, but early action on the Padres has made Arizona a +110 underdog versus the hosts as a -120 chalk. Depending on how the opener breaks, Arizona should be favored in Game 2 before the Padres return as the chalk in the finale.
The “over/under” is 5-2 for the over in the last seven meetings in this series and is 5-1 in the last six meetings in San Diego. Arizona has been an over machine recently, going 10-2 against the total in their last 12 games and 10-1 in their last 11 road games. The Diamondbacks have gone 4-1 in their last five games against a left-handed starter and they face a pair this weekend. They are also 20-8 in their last 28 road games against teams below .500.
The Padres are 12-4 in their last 16 games against a right-handed starter, and they get to face two of them in this series. San Diego isn’t favored often, but they have been money when they are. San Diego is 19-7 when they are a home favorite and 20-8 when they are favored overall. San Diego has won five of six at home, and they are 6-2 in their last eight games at home against a team that is over .500.
Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres Betting Predictions
The results of the first game in this series are really going to tell the tale. I think that Arizona has a nice advantage with Miley over Richard and his 8.06 ERA in Saturday’s set. But then Marquis will be a sizeable favorite over the struggling Kennedy on Sunday. San Diego has been hot, and they have revenge for a lost series in the desert just three weeks ago. The home team has won four straight series when these two get together, and the whole issue this weekend is how well the Diamondbacks bounce back after that emotional series against the Dodgers. I have a hard time seeing San Diego keeping their recent run going, and I actually lean toward Arizona to win this series. But the biggest X-Factor is the looming suspensions. We can’t be sure whom the Diamondbacks will lose, and I am betting that Kennedy won’t be on the mound on Sunday. That means a hot San Diego lineup should be able to carve into a spot starter. Take the Padres this weekend.
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