One of the three late-night Opening Day games will feature the Colorado Rockies taking on an inter-divisional foe in the San Diego Padres. We’ll preview the game before going over why I’ll be targeting the total in this one.
There is a lot of excitement surrounding the Padres entering the season and for a good reason. San Diego bolstered an already strong line-up by adding Xander Bogaerts to hit alongside Juan Soto and Manny Machado. The Padres ended last season 21st in the league in home runs, but that will likely not be the case with guys like Matt Carpenter and Nelson Cruz also joining the lineup.
San Diego will hand the ball to lefty Blake Snell to take the mound for them on opening day. In 2022, Snell finished the season with an 8-10 record and a 3.38 ERA to go along with this 171 strikeouts. Snell was statistically a better pitcher on the road last year, so he’ll be looking to establish himself a bit more on his home mound this year.
A few members of the Rockies line-up have found success against Snell in their careers, headlined by CJ Cron, who is hitting .450 in 21 plate appearances against the lefty. Yonathan Diaz has also dominated the matchup in his career, as he is 8 for 13 in his career against Snell. Not everyone in the Colorado lineup has Snell’s number, though, as Randal Grichuk has struck out 14 times in 33 plate appearances against him.
Taking the mound for Colorado tonight will be German Marquez. The veteran right-hander went 9-13 last season with a 4.95 ERA and 150 strikeouts. In two starts against the Padres last season, Marquez went 1-0 with 13 strikeouts in 12 total innings. The righty did allow 14 hits combined in those two appearances and has struggled in his career putting away Manny Machado, with the Padres third baseman hitting .407 in 27 at-bats against him.
The total in this game is currently set at 7 runs, and I’ll be taking over for my play. Both sides have multiple players in their lineups who have had success against the opposing starter, and with the way the Padres lineup is constructed, they can leave the yard numerous times tonight. San Diego was 40-38-2 to the over in division games last season and will now face a pitcher coming off a year in which he allowed the highest hard-hit percentage in his career.
Not only did Marquez allow a career-high in hard-hit percentage, but he also allowed a career-high fly ball percentage as well, which are both recipes for disaster against this lineup. The Rockies lineup should also be able to find some success tonight, primarily due to Snell’s struggles in his home ballpark. The lefty led the team in earned runs and walks at home last season, and with the power of guys like CJ Cron, this is a Colorado lineup that can hang a crooked number in an inning or two.
The optimism in San Diego is at an all-time high, and I expect that lineup to feed off the opening-day buzz and come out aggressive at the plate. Based on other totals posted today, I think this total is a tad too low, and I expect it to be a big offensive night for Opening Day in San Diego.