The Arizona Diamondbacks head to Petco Park in San Diego this Friday night to open a three-game series against the Padres, as the first pitch is set at 10:10 PM ET. Although Arizona is the worst team in the majors, the Diamondbacks have been solid since the All-Star break, so the 62-48 San Diego Padres won’t have an easy task.
The Padres are without their best player, as Fernando Tatis Jr. is sidelined with a shoulder injury. San Diego is a -200 fave for the opener, while Arizona is a +184 dog with a total of 8.5 runs on BetOnline Sportsbook, so let’s see what’s the best D-backs vs. Padres betting pick.
The Diamondbacks are trying their best
Arizona’s season is over, as the D-backs sat at 34-75 ahead of their Thursday’s closer of a four-game home series against the San Francisco Giants (Arizona had a 4-0 lead at the end of the fifth). However, the Diamondbacks have done a decent job since the All-Star, winning eight of their previous 17 games, excluding that clash against the mighty Giants.
During that span, the D-backs have swept a three-game home series against the Pirates while recording a 6-5 win over the Dodgers and a 3-1 win over the Giants along the way. Arizona has a .734 OPS in the second half of the season (18th in the majors), but the Diamondbacks’ ERA of 5.71 is the second-highest in baseball.
Caleb Smith will get the starting call Friday, and the 30-year-old southpaw is 1-4 with a horrible 10.97 ERA in his previous five games. In 12 starts and 18 relief appearances this season, Smith has registered a 5.04 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, and 99/47 K/BB ratio across 85.2 innings of work. Caleb met the Padres twice in 2021 and went 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA across four innings (one start and one relief app).
The Padres need to overcome Tatis’ injury
Fernando Tatis Jr. will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery if his condition doesn’t improve in the next two weeks. That’s scary news for the Padres, who still have enough firepower to compete for the National League wild card.
Since the All-Star break, the Padres have recorded the fourth-best OPS in the majors (.796), scoring 99 runs over 17 games (8-9 record) and batting .274. They are coming off a tough 5-4 defeat at Oakland this past Wednesday, as the Padres blew a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth and lost the clash in the tenth.
San Diego needs more from its pitching staff that owns a 3.91 ERA in the last two weeks. Ryan Weathers will take the hill Friday, and he’s been terrible last time out. The southpaw rookie got pounded for eight earned runs across four innings of work against Colorado this past Friday, and the Padres suffered a 9-4 defeat at home.
Weathers is 4-3 with a solid 3.65 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 13 starts and six relief appearances (66.2 innings). He’s tossed four innings in a couple of outings against Arizona, allowing just a hit and a walk while striking out three.
- 3-9 in the last 12 games on the road
- 1-9 in Caleb Smith’s last ten starts
- 6-3 in the last nine games against Arizona
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres Pick
San Diego is 6-3 against Arizona in 2021, and I’m expecting the Padres to improve their record. As I’ve mentioned, San Diego is loaded offensively and should torture the Diamondbacks’ pitching staff despite Fernando Tatis’ absence.
I’m a bit worried about Ryan Weathers, but the Padres can lean on their bullpen if the rookie starts to struggle. San Diego ‘pen sports a 3.29 ERA and 3.37 FIP in the second half of the season. On the other side, the Diamondbacks bullpen has registered a 5.25 ERA and 4.61 FIP since July 16.
Pick: Take San Diego Padres at -200
I’m backing the over, looking for the Padres to stay hot at the plate. Also, I won’t be surprised if the visitors manage to score a few runs off Ryan Weathers, but the hosts should take full advantage of Caleb Smith and the D-backs relievers.
Each one of the last four encounters between the Padres and D-backs has gone in the over, producing nine or more runs in the total.
Pick: Go over 8.5 runs at -110