As we approach the All-Star break, the San Diego Padres continue to make their margin for error in the second half of the season very thin. Following another series loss, which gives them four straight, the Padres are now 3-7 over their last ten games and sit 11.5 games back of first place. As the pressure to win continues to build, the Padres will be back home tonight, hosting the Angels, and we’ll preview the game before going over my play for the first five innings.
The Angels are another team that will have a lot of pressure on them after the break, and they certainly did not help that by losing their series to the Diamondbacks this weekend. LA lost the series' first two games but snapped a four-game losing streak yesterday with a 5-2 win. Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Mickey Moniak all left the yard against Zac Gallen as Ohtani continues to carry this team on his back.
Los Angeles also got a massive start from Reid Detmers, who outdueled Gallen by allowing just two earned runs and striking out nine in six innings of work. As the team looks to build a small winning streak, they will have Jaime Barria on the bump to make his sixth start of the year. He is coming off his worst outing of the season, as he allowed five earned runs on seven hits in three innings against the White Sox.
Barria will square off with a Padres lineup tonight that had more strikeouts than hits yesterday in their 4-3 loss to the Reds. San Diego didn’t score their three runs until the final two innings, as Ha-Seong Kim and Fernando Tatis Jr. left the yard. Those late home runs were not enough to avoid a series loss, but the blame for this season's struggles can’t all fall on the offense.
By allowing four runs yesterday, the Padres' pitching staff made it seven straight games where they have allowed four or more runs. The good news for them, though, is that Blake Snell will be on the mound for them tonight, and he is currently pitching at a CY Young caliber level. The lefty has gone seven straight starts without allowing more than one earned run and boasts a 3.21 ERA in 87 innings of work.
In a battle of two California teams that can’t seem to live up to expectations, I’ll be backing the San Diego Padres on the F5 run-line of (-.5), which is priced at (-114). The Padres have the 9th-best record on the F5 run-line when playing at home this season, and they hold a sizable advantage in terms of pitching tonight with Snell going for them, as opposed to a starter in Barria who is expected to have a regression in numbers.
Over the last month, the Padres are hitting .249 and rank 14th in wRC+ against right-handed pitching at home. While those numbers may seem average, tonight, they face a starter they should be able to succeed against. Jaime Barria is currently in the 23rd percentile in expected batting average, 30th percentile in expected slugging, and his xERA is sitting at 4.41 as opposed to his actual ERA of 2.92.
Meanwhile, Blake Snell has a 3.45 ERA or lower in four of the first five innings and is currently in the 73rd percentile in expected batting average. Snell will face an Angels lineup that is hitting .243 against lefties on the road over the past month, and with the way he’s throwing, he’s a rough matchup for the talented LA lineup.
San Diego Padres F5 (-.5)(-114)