Today we get to enjoy our first Sunday of the Major League Baseball season, and it will be an action-packed one as all thirty teams will be playing today. If yesterday’s schedule taught us anything about how this season might play out, you can expect the unexpected! After an Opening Day that went pretty much according to plan, as most games were won by heavy favorites, yesterday we saw upsets up and down the board.
The Royals beat the Indians, the Giants beat the Dodgers, the Tigers beat the Reds, and the Orioles beat the Red Sox. All of those favorites that lost yesterday were at least -200 betting favorites. It is rare that we see so many heavy underdogs all win on the same day, and it may be a sign of things to come in 2020. For today’s daily betting pick, we will head to San Diego, where the Padres host the Diamondbacks.
Arizona Diamondbacks (0-2) at San Diego Padres (2-0)
The San Diego Padres host the Arizona Diamondbacks this afternoon in a National League West Divisional matchup. The Padres have dominated the first two games of this series as they have won both games of the set thus far and have outscored the DBacks by a 12-3 margin. In this 60-game sprint of a season, getting off to a hot start is going to be particularly important, and the Padres will look to take the series win in game three of the four-game series today from PETCO Park in San Diego.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) July 26, 2020
Starting today for the Padres is veteran starter, Garret Richards (0-0 0.00 ERA), and for the Diamondbacks, it is young gun Zac Gallen (0-0 0.00 ERA). The Padres are small betting favorites at -130, and the game total is set at eight and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM PST.
The Arizona Diamondbacks came into 2020, feeling that they had a legit shot at making the postseason. And while these first two games haven’t gone their way, I do think that this is a playoff-caliber roster, especially considering that Major League Baseball recently announced that we will have sixteen teams qualifying for postseason play in 20220.
With such a small sample size of a season, one or two bad weeks could cost you your shot at the playoffs, and the DBacks are going to need to find a way to right this ship and pick up at least one game in this four games series with their division rivals. Arizona has managed just three total runs through the first two games and need to find a way to get more baserunners, as the hits have been hard to come by, and they aren’t drawing many walks.
Starting pitching has been a struggle for Arizona as neither of their two starters, Madison Bumgarner and Robbie Ray, got very deep into the game. The Padres have done a great job at working the counts, drawing walks, and getting the pitch counts high early in the game. Arizona will need much better today out of Zac Gallen if they want to pick up the win on the road.
Zac Gallen (0-0 0.00 ERA)
In true Miami Marlins fashion, they had a promising young starter in Zac Gallen and quickly shipped him out of town, trading him to the Arizona Diamondbacks last year at the trade deadline. Last year at age twenty-three, Gallen had a breakout season as he made fifteen starts between Miami and Arizona and finished the season with a very respectable 2.81 ERA.
Gallen has great stuff and can get guys to swing and miss at a high frequency. Last year he had a K/9 ratio of 10.9 with Arizona and managed to strike out 96 batters in just 80 innings pitched. He did struggle with his command at times, and when he is not able to locate his pitches, he hands out a lot of free passes to first base. If he can’t find the plate today, it’s going to be a long afternoon, as the Padres have already taken fourteen walks in the first two games of this series, and they are making the DBacks pitchers work.
San Diego Padres
This San Diego Padres team is going to be one of the most exciting teams in baseball to watch in 2020. They have a bevy of young superstars including Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr, and Chris Paddack and they have their aim set on snatching the National League West Division title away from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Padres knew that getting out to a quick start would be big for them, and that is just what they have done. The starting pitching has been excellent for SD as Paddack and game two starter Dinelson Lamet both pitched well, with the two combining for just one run allowed in eleven innings of work while striking out twelve. With the Dodgers rotation all of the sudden looking shaky, as they lost David Price to a season-long opt-out, and Clayton Kershaw’s back is acting up again, the door is wide open for San Diego to take over the division.
Garrett Richards (0-0 0.00 ERA)
It is going to be hard to know what to expect from Garret Richards today, as we haven’t seen him on the field in nearly two years as he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery and has pitched just 8.2 innings since 2018. Unfortunately for Richards, injuries have become a way of life, as he just hasn’t been able to stay on the field and has made only 31 starts in his last four seasons combined.
The last time that Richards pitched a full season was in 2015, when he was a 15-game winner, and established himself as one of the more consistent arms in the American League in his time with the Los Angeles Angels. In 2014-15 combined, he won 28-games and posted an ERA right around three runs.
Will we see the Garret Richards of old in 2020, or will we see the guy that can’t stay healthy and hasn’t been all that good, when he has been able to pitch? No single player on this Padres roster could have a bigger impact on their success than Richards if he finds a way to get back to being a productive starting pitcher. Starting pitching is the big question mark for San Diego in 2020, as outside of Chris Paddack, there are no guarantees, and the Padres badly need him to survive the season and post strong results.
Who Do I Like?
This should be an entertaining game as many of baseball’s best young players will be showcasing their talents. And when I say baseball’s best young talent, I don’t just mean the studs playing for San Diego, I include Zac Gallen in that conversation as well. He is that good.
Against the Padres last year, Gallen had the best start of his young Big League career when he tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just one hit while striking out eight. He can absolutely dominate a game when he has full command of his pitches.
Baseball is all about regressing back towards the mean. I think that is what we see happen in this game. The Padres aren’t quite as good as they have looked in these first two games, and the DBacks aren’t quite as bad as they have played so far this season. I think that tends to balance itself out some today and envision the DBacks play some good baseball.
This line opened right about where it is now, as the action has been split amongst both sides. When I look at the starting pitching matchup, I see Gallen as the far superior side. Yeah, Richards has been good when healthy in the past, but he is thirty-two now, and it is hard to expect that he will snap right back to how he pitched when he was in his twenties, especially considering that he is coming off Tommy John surgery.
I think that Richards will get touched up early and will be on a restricted pitch count. I would be shocked to see him still in the game after the fifth inning, and he is going to give up some runs. For Gallen, he probably won’t be as great as he was the last time he pitched against the Padres, but I do think he will get them five or six quality innings and pick up his first win of the season. Give me the Arizona Diamondbacks as road underdogs today in game three from San Diego!