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Friday MLB Betting Odds & Picks for Diamondbacks vs. Padres: Expect San Diego To Tee off Against Merrill Kelly (April 2)

Friday MLB Betting Odds & Picks for Diamondbacks vs. Padres: Expect San Diego To Tee off Against Merrill Kelly (April 2) article feature image

Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images. Pictured: Eric Hosmer.

  • After an impressive offseason, the Padres' lineup proved it's no joke on Opening Day.
  • Game 2 of 162 brings a promising matchup against Diamondbacks right-hander Merrill Kelly with Blake Snell starting for San Diego.
  • Kenny Ducey explains how he's backing the Padres' bats to stay hot on Friday night below.

Diamondbacks vs. Padres Odds

Diamondbacks Odds +190
Padres Odds -240
Over/Under 8.0
Time Friday, 9:10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday and via PointsBet

After falling in excruciatingly painful fashion on Opening Day to their division rivals in the Padres, the Diamondbacks will try their luck again in San Diego on Friday night.

Arizona will send Merrill Kelly to the mound against a formidable Padres offense, hoping that it can replicate some of the success it had at the plate in their monster six-run fifth inning on Thursday. That won’t be very easy against Blake Snell, who will be making his debut in San Diego.

Is it as simple as plugging in the Padres run line and forgetting about it, or will Arizona have something to say? Let’s find some value in this game.

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Arizona Diamondbacks

I’d say that 12 hits on Opening Day in a matchup against Yu Darvish should be seen as nothing less than a rousing success for the Diamondbacks, who are looking for reasons to believe in their bats. Though only four of the runs scored by Arizona in their crooked six-run fifth on Thursday were counted as earned thanks to a two-out error from Fernando Tatis, Jr., don’t get it twisted: the D-Backs left no doubt with two solo shots to close out the inning with the lead. Up and down the order, at least for one day, Arizona quieted doubts about its ability to hit.

From there, the Diamondbacks bullpen did an admirable job against a Padres lineup that had just beat up on old man Madison Bumgarner, who was the lone reason the Diamondbacks lost this game. Sure, a team which ranked fifth in wRC+ last year against lefties is a tough matchup, but Arizona was able to quiet the San Diego bats after a rocky start from Bumgarner. The question becomes just how long it can keep that up.

Merrill Kelly gets the nod in Game 2 for the Diamondbacks. He’ll hope not to carry over a pretty awful 40% hard-hit rate from 2020 but would be pleased to repeat his .301 xwOBA, which was due in large part to an elite 4% walk rate.

In theory, Kelly should match up well with the Padres due to their poor 9.1% mark last year, which ranked right around the middle of the league, but it’s always dangerous when you’ve got a pitch-to-contact guy against a team that hits the ball as hard as the Padres do.

San Diego Padres

Friday will mark a day that Friars fans have been waiting for all offseason: the debut of prized acquisition Blake Snell.

The lefty is one of the latest big names to don a Padres uniform, and he could wind up being the most important, perhaps finally giving San Diego the ace it’s long desired to back up its insane collection of mashers. The Padres did give themselves two chances to accomplish that, also acquiring Darvish over the winter.

As we have seen over the past three years, Snell’s stuff is very real, winning him an American League Cy Young Award and almost a World Series, if his manager hadn’t yanked him in the midst of one of the greatest starts of his career.

That said, Snell’s peripherals last season weren’t the greatest.

It’s Snell, so we’re not going to fret too much, and 2020 was weird. That said, his expected ERA of 4.13 was the highest mark since his debut in 2016, and he saw a 2.3% dip in his strikeout rate and a 5.1% rise in barrel rate. It’s worth monitoring how he’s doing early on in San Diego to see if he’s reverting back to some of the erratic pitching that plagued him early in his career, or if 2020 was simply a blip on the radar and the pitcher we saw ending the year in the Fall Classic is the one we’re going to continue to see.

Offensively, we know how good this Padres team is, so I’ll save you an entire rundown of how sexy their StatCast numbers are. I will note here that two of the hitters that are question marks coming into the season and who can really swing things (Eric Hosmer and Jake Cronenworth) were a combined 5-for-6 on Thursday with four runs scored and three RBI, aided by Hosmer’s third-inning home run off Bumgarner. That’s certainly an encouraging sign, and if San Diego can get consistency from those two, it’ll be very tough to stop in 2021.

Diamondbacks-Padres Pick

I was thinking of the over in this game but while I like Snell to struggle a bit as he gets his feet underneath him in San Diego, I don’t think I’m ready to back the team 26th in wRC+ to lefties in 2020 to help get it to nine or more runs. Thursday’s explosion should be somewhat of an outlier against a declining Darvish, and I expect Arizona’s collection of lackluster bats to quiet back down against Snell.

On the other hand, the Padres are an incredible matchup against Kelly’s 11.1% barrel rate and just a 23.5% whiff rate. The Arizona right-hander’s pitch-to-contact style won’t work against a lineup that quite literally made up from top to bottom of guys with elite hard-hit rates.

San Diego should tee off on Kelly and what’s left of the Diamondbacks’ bullpen in Game 2 of this series and fly over the team total.

Pick: Padres Team Total over 4.5 (-131)

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