The Arizona Diamondbacks are in San Diego trying to avoid the sweep tonight in game three of a three-game series with the Padres. The Padres took game one 4-2, powered by a first inning 3-run homer from Hunter Renfroe and some solid work from the bullpen. Game two also went the Padres way. Padres pitcher Travis Wood did it all in game two, pitching six quality innings on the mound and also helping out his own cause at the plate with two RBI. Game three will feature a red-hot Robbie Ray (14-5 2.74 ERA) on the mound for Arizona, squaring off against the Padres Dinelson Lamet (7-7 4.14 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PM PST from Petco Park in San Diego, California.
Arizona Diamondbacks -142 at San Diego Padres +122
Robbie Ray (14-5 2.74 ERA) vs Dinelson Lamet (7-7 4.14 ERA)
The Arizona Diamondbacks are the best team in baseball that nobody is talking about this year. Their 87 wins on the season are third in the National League, behind only the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yet nobody seems to be taking the D’backs seriously as World Series contenders. Well, they should. This Arizona team can pitch, their team ERA is third in the Majors and their batting average against is fourth. And they can hit. Currently ranked in the top ten in the majors in runs scored and slugging percentage, this D’backs team is balanced and very hard to beat.
And this team is not whatsoever scared of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have a really good squad this season, and many are expecting them to walk through the National League playoffs to the World Series, but I wouldn’t be so sure. Arizona is playing as well as any team in baseball right now, and when they visited L.A. earlier this month, they ran the Dodgers out of their own ballpark in a three-game sweep with a combined score of 19-2. Don’t sleep on this Arizona team, they absolutely can beat the Dodgers in the playoffs and tonight’s starter Robbie Ray is one of the big reasons why.
Robbie Ray has been on fire recently. He has won his last five starts with an ERA hovering in the one run range since returning from injury on August 24th, while averaging double-digit strikeouts in each start. Against the Padres this year Ray has been especially good, going 3-0 with a blink and you will miss it 1.33 ERA. All that was missing from this Diamondback team was a strong number two starter to follow up ace Zack Greinke, they may have found that for a playoff push with Robbie Ray.
Dinelson Lamet has been a hard-luck loser of his last three decisions and hasn’t recorded a win since August 15th. A big part of that is because the Padres just don’t win very often but another part of it is that they just don’t seem to score runs when Lamet is on the mound. The Padres have scored one run or less in each of the last five games started by Lamet. It has to be tough on the rookie right-hander to never get any run support. I expect Lamet to be serviceable one again tonight as over the last two months his ERA has been below three, but I also expect the Padres to struggle to support him once again.
This is another classic matchup that I have been taking over the last two weeks or so as the baseball season winds to a close. You have a good team in the Arizona Diamondbacks, fighting for respect and trying to hold onto their home playoff slot in the wild card race, facing a team in San Diego that has no interest in winning games at this point, rather, they are using what is left of the season give some prospects playing time. The pitching matchup is a good one, don’t let Lamet’s mediocre stat line fool you, this kid can pitch. But Ray has been too much recently, especially against the Padres.
I expect Arizona to win this one fairly easy. They lost the first two games of this series, and I don’t think they want to get swept at this point in the season, so I expect them to pull out all the stops to get the job done tonight in San Diego. Ray will dazzle, and Lamet will be decent but ultimately overmatched. The real question here is, do we take the run line in a game that I expect the Padres won’t score much, if at all. The money line on this game is Arizona -142, the run line is Arizona +115. That isn’t as much of a premium as you can get at times on a run line, only offering about 60 cents in value. But I believe that’s because the books know the Padres aren’t going to score tonight in game three. Normally I don’t jump on a run line unless I am getting a dollar or so in extra value but this matchup screams blowout as I expect the Padres to get completely get shut down tonight so I will grab the extra points anyway. Give me the D’backs on the run line tonight in game three.
The Bet: Arizona Diamondbacks -1.5 runs at +115