Diamondbacks vs Padres Prediction | Today’s MLB Odds, Picks
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: Jake McCarthy and Geraldo Perdomo.
Diamondbacks vs. Padres Odds
The Diamondbacks may sit 13 games out of first in the NL West, but with four wins in their last five they've pulled to within 1 1/2 games of a wild-card spot.
Can they keep the pressure on the teams in front of them while sending San Diego – just three games behind them – further down the standings?
Let's answer that question in our Diamondbacks vs Padres preview and prediction.
Looking to start this series off on the right foot, the Diamondbacks will send Zac Gallen to the mound for his fourth start of the month. So far, things have been going pretty well in the month of August considering he's allowed just five earned runs over three starts for a 2.37 ERA, and he's piled up 22 punchouts in 19 innings.
This comes on the heels of a disastrous July where Gallen pitched to a 4.45 ERA in 32 1/3 innings, but it wasn't necessarily all his fault. While Gallen's .246 expected batting average this year represents his worst mark by far, it's steadily fallen after a brutal start to the season. It checked in at .256 in June and .231 in July, and is actually back at .241 for the month of August.
One positive from Gallen's August, if the xBA scares you, is that after sitting below 40% for four months his ground ball rate this month is all the way up over 55%. Considering he's had plenty of success on account of his strong ground ball rates in seasons past, that's a very good sign.
His whiff rate may be down, but considering he's been very strong in the strikeout area all year it's probably more important to see fewer balls being hit back in the air.
This Arizona offense hasn't been amazing over the last two weeks, hitting just .247 with a 95 wRC+, but the one good thing is that it's struck out in just 18.4% of plate appearances.
The approach has been solid even without positive results, and given the track record of this team all year you'd imagine things will eventually turn in their favor.
On the other side of this matchup, we have Rich Hill. He hasn't really looked like Rich Hill this season, pitching to a 5.53 xERA after several years of steadily recording outs via contact. His hard-hit rate has jumped five points to 39.6% this year which has led to a .279 xBA, and his 10.1% barrel rate is his worst ever tracked by Statcast.
Hill's hard-hit and barrel rates have recovered a bit from a brutal start to the season, and with a .246 xBA in August that number has now dropped in each of the last two months. It's still a pretty bad number, considering we did just scold Gallen for having similar peripherals, but at least he's improving!
Speaking of improving, the Padres continue to hit the ball at a decent enough clip. They're sporting a 97 wRC+ in the last two weeks with a strong 21.7% strikeout rate, but I'm a bit concerned with their measly .251 average juxtaposed next to a .303 BABIP.
Considering San Diego hasn't hit for the majority of the season, things could easily go in the wrong direction.
Diamondbacks vs. Padres
Betting Pick & Prediction
It really does feel like a true pick 'em here with Arizona entering with the leg-up in the pitching department and San Diego hitting the ball better over the last two weeks.
I do like taking recent trends into account, particularly after the trade deadline, but I have far more faith in this Arizona offense considering its strong approach than I do with this San Diego lineup. Furthermore, while oddsmakers are wise to bet on some Rich Hill positive regression given his good trends, he's still half the pitcher Gallen is.
The expected batting average may be up for Gallen this month, but with his best ground ball rate of the season I'm going to bet on him to win this one for the road team.
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