With how long and grueling an MLB season is, off-days are certainly always welcome, but for the Arizona Diamondbacks, they needed yesterday’s off-day desperately. Arizona went into yesterday with a 1-9 record over their past ten games and has yet to win a game since the trade deadline. After their much-needed off day, Arizona will host the Padres for a series, and we’ll preview the game before going over which side I’ll be backing.
Arizona isn’t the only disappointing team to enter this series on a losing streak, as the Padres will come into tonight on a four-game losing slide and five games below .500, despite buying at the deadline. No team has failed to live up to expectations quite like the Padres this season, and their chances of making even a slight playoff push are becoming worse by the day. San Diego is also coming off a rest day, but on Wednesday, they fell 6-1 to the Mariners while only managing four hits in the game.
If there is one bright spot for the Padres heading into tonight, Blake Snell will be on the mound for them. The lefty has been phenomenal and has consistently given his team a chance to win, even in games when his offense decides not to show up. Over his last ten starts, the most earned runs he’s allowed in an outing was three, which happens to be his most recent start against the Dodgers.
With a 2.61 ERA in 124 innings, Snell is likely one of the last pitchers the struggling Diamondbacks' offense would like to face. Before their off-day, the Diamondbacks were shut out at home by the Dodgers in a 2-0 loss, which made it seven of their last eight games in which they have failed to score more than four runs. Arizona left 20 runners on base in Wednesday’s contest and found the hit column just four times.
The Diamondbacks pitching staff have done their job for the most part over the losing streak, and they’ll need young right-hander Ryne Nelson to go toe-to-toe with Blake Snell tonight if they want a chance to snap the losing slide. Nelson did struggle his last outing, only lasting three innings against the Twins after allowing six earned runs on eight hits.
With both teams amid a rough patch, it’s the San Diego Padres that are listed as favorites in the game. Priced at (-165) on the moneyline, and I’ll be backing them for my play. San Diego holds a large advantage in the starting pitching department tonight, and even with their inconsistencies, the Padres' offense has enough talent to scratch some runs across against Ryne Nelson.
Over the last month, the Padres have put up the 12th-best OPS (.738) and 11th-best SLG (.424) against right-handed pitching on the road. Those numbers set them up nicely to face Nelson since the D-Backs right-hander is in the 19th percentile for xERA/xwOBA, 17th percentile in expected batting average, and 12th percentile in expected slugging percentage. Nelson also has a 6.03 FIP and .356 batting average against at home this season.
Blake Snell, on the other hand, is in the 87th percentile in hard hit percentage, 83rd percentile for expected batting average, and 79th percentile in expected slugging percentage. Snell’s 2.41 road ERA will not make things easy on a Diamondbacks offense that ranks 22nd in wRC+ against lefties at home over the past month. The Padres bullpen also has a 4.17 FIP over the last month, far better than the Diamondbacks' 5.72 FIP.
San Diego Padres (-165)