With their 4-0 loss to the Dodgers yesterday, the San Diego Padres were not only swept by their in-state rival, but they have now lost five straight games. They will be back at home tonight looking to get back on track as they play host to the Royals, and we’ll preview the game before going over my best prop play for the action.
The Padres were not the only team to get swept yesterday, as the Kansas City Royals allowed nine runs to the Brewers, ultimately leading to their third straight loss. The Royals' offense outhit Milwaukee in the game, and even with three home runs, they could not overcome Jordan Lyles, allowing seven earned runs in 2 ⅓ innings.
Getting the ball for Kansas City today will be Brad Keller, who has made seven starts this season and has a 2-3 record. Overall the righty has thrown 34.7 innings with a 4.67 ERA, 25 strikeouts, and 28 walks. In Keller’s most recent outing, he picked up a win by throwing five innings with four strikeouts and one earned run. Even with the win, Keller made it five straight starts where he allowed four walks or more.
Keller will face a Padres lineup that San Diego fans have plenty of reasons to be frustrated with. In their three-game set with the Dodgers, the Padres scored a total of four runs and were held scoreless in yesterday's loss. San Diego put up just three hits while striking out ten times, as they had four players finish the game with multiple punchouts.
Looking to get back on track, the Padres will send Michael Wacha to the mound tonight. In seven starts and 37.3 innings, the veteran has pitched to a 4.82 ERA with 30 strikeouts and 12 walks. Wacha also picked up a win in his most recent outing, as he held the Twins to one earned run over six innings while striking out four and walking three.
Michael Wacha’s outs recorded total is currently set at 16.5, and I’ll be taking the over, which is currently priced at (-125). The right-hander has gone over this total in four of his seven starts and has done it in two straight outings. Wacha is not only in the 91st percentile in hard-hit percentage, but he also faces a Royals lineup that has been less than impressive this season.
Kansas City is hitting .237 on the road and .232 against righties this year, while also striking out 23.4% of the time. Not only are the Royals 24th in wRC+ as well but they are also tied for 28th in pitches per plate appearance with an average of 3.83. Wacha is in the 60th percentile in walk percentage, so the fear of long innings due to walks and plate discipline should not be a concern tonight.
Wacha has gone over his average of 91.7 pitches per game in five of his seven starts, so manager Bob Melvin is comfortable letting him work deep into games. Melvin is not a manager to immediately go to his pen, as San Diego is 25th in the league in bullpen innings, so with Wacha’s ability to create weak contact in few pitches, I think he can go over this total for the third straight game.
Michael Wacha Over 16.5 Outs (-125)