If there was ever a series that the Padres needed to come up big in, it was this past weekend against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Long story short, the Padres did not come up big and made their hole in the Wild Card even bigger while playing one of the coldest teams in the MLB since the deadline. Now San Diego will return home to take on the red-hot Baltimore Orioles, and we’ll preview the opening game before going over which prop market I’ll be targeting.
Good teams know how to bounce back from series losses, and the Baltimore Orioles are a good team. After losing two out of three to the Astros, the Orioles turned around and beat a Mariners team with a lot of momentum in this weekend’s series. After dropping the series' opening game, Baltimore responded with a 1-0 win on Saturday and a wild 5-3 win yesterday. The story of the game was Cedric Mullins, who robbed a 9th-inning home run and would hit the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the 10th.
Now with a ton of momentum, the Orioles will come into their series with the Padres and have young right-hander Grayson Rodriguez on the mound. Since returning to the majors, Rodriguez has made five starts and allowed three or fewer earned runs in four. The right-hander took a no-decision in his most recent start after allowing two earned runs over six innings of work.
Rodriguez has needed to face the challenging Blue Jays and Astros line-ups in his most recent outings, and now he gets to face a Padres line-up that has remained inconsistent since deciding to buy at the deadline. San Diego opened their series with the Diamondbacks with a big win but would be shut out on Saturday and drop yesterday’s game 5-4. The Padres tacked on three runs in the first innings but would only score one more run the rest of the game, allowing Arizona to climb back.
Now 5.5 games back from the final Wild Card spot, the Padres return home in desperate need of a run. Getting the ball for them tonight will be right-hander Yu Darvish, who is set to make his 22nd start. Aside from one lousy outing recently, the right-hander has been strong, allowing two or fewer earned runs in four of his last five outings.
Grayson Rodriguez’s outs recorded total is set at 15.5, and I’ll be taking the over, which is priced at (-130) for my play. The right-hander has recorded 17 or more outs in four straight starts, and his pitchers per inning numbers have decreased since returning to the majors. Now Rodriguez has the chance to continue this streak of working deeper into games against an inconsistent Padres lineup that has been lackluster at home.
Since July 14th, the Padres are hitting .231 while ranking 22nd in OBP and 21st in wRC+ against right-handed pitching at home. These are not the numbers of a team that will jump all over a starter early on, especially since Rodriguez has pitched better on the road in his first MLB season. In 35 innings, the young flame-thrower has a .231 batting average against and 3.02 xFIP on opposing mounds.
The Orioles also used five relievers in yesterday’s win, so with Rodriguez averaging 94 pitches per outing over his last five starts, I think there is a very good chance he comes out for the sixth inning. Even Brandon Pfaadt, who allowed three earned runs in the first inning yesterday to the Padres, worked 5.2 innings against them after that, which bodes well for tonight.
Grayson Rodriguez Over 15.5 Outs Recorded (-130)