The Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres will wrap up a four-game series at Petco Park on Sunday afternoon. The Diamondbacks will be looking to avoid getting swept to open the season. We’re only a few games into the season, and it already looks like the Dodgers and Padres are on a collision course in the National League.
For anyone else to get to the World Series in the National League, it’s going to require an upset. The Dodgers and Padres are far too stacked for another scenario to play out. There is likely going to be some team that comes out of nowhere in the National League as a dark horse, but the Dodgers and Padres are likely going to be in control.
The Padres lead the NL West with three games and three wins. They are the only undefeated team in the division going into the series finale against the Diamondbacks. Arizona stood no chance on Saturday. It was a beatdown from the start, as the Padres blew the game open for a 7-0 win. From the pitching to the offense, the Padres were the far superior team against the Diamondbacks. Former Pirate, Joe Musgrove, went 6 innings with just 3 runs allowed and 8 strikeouts.
It was a terrific debut with the Pirates for Musgrove. He didn’t need the run support, but the offense came through for him at the dish. Wil Myers had a big day, as he connected for 3 RBI on 2-for-4 hitting. Manny Machado had a productive day at the office, too. Machado went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI. The game was pretty well over after the Padres made it a 4-0 game in the bottom of the 2nd.
The Padres had to fight a little harder in the first two matchups. They came back for a 8-7 win on Opening Day, and then won a 4-2 game as a result of a standout performance from Blake Snell in his debut as a Padre. The former Ray pitched 4.2 innings with 4 hits and no earned runs conceded. Eric Hosmer was responsible for 3 of the 4 runs for the Padres. It’s a good opening stretch for the Padres, but it is a long season.
Taylor Widener is scheduled to get his first start for the Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon. He made 12 appearances out of the bullpen last season, but never made a start. That will change for the 26-year-old who has been pitching in spring training with the D-backs since 2018. The training wheels will be ripped off with a tough matchup against the Padres on Sunday. Chris Third-year righty, Chris Paddack, is expected to counter on the hill. Head below for our free Diamondbacks vs. Padres pick on April 4, 2021.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres MLB Betting Odds:
Diamondbacks vs. Padres Prediction:
This is a big step up for Taylor Widener on Sunday in San Diego. He’s certainly not getting eased into the starting rotation with the Diamondbacks. Widener was able to get his feet as a reliever out of the bullpen last year. He was serviceable with a 4.50 ERA and 1.30 WHIP through 20 innings of work.
In a start on August 9 and August 15 against the Padres, Widener did not have a good time on the hill. He was pitching well up to that point. The Padres scored 5 earned runs on Widener through 3.2 innings. He also conceded 5 walks and 3 hits for a pretty rough go of it.
The Padres connected for 3 long balls against Widener. We’ll see if Widener can bounce back from those rough outings with a better showing in his starting debut in the major leagues on Sunday. I’m under the impression that Widener doesn’t get rolled in this game, but I could see the Padres’ offense getting to him.
This is an incredibly difficult San Diego lineup to navigate through, and in his first start, I’m leaning towards the Padres’ offense winning out. My concern with the Padres in this one is Chris Paddack. Paddack is likely the difference between the Diamondbacks getting swept or not. He was highly disappointing last season after a promising rookie campaign.
Paddack posted an ERA of 3.33 and 0.98 WHIP as a rookie in 2019. However, he regressed with a 4.73 ERA and 1.22 WHIP a season ago. His main problem is failing to develop a third pitch. Hitters figured him out last season when he didn’t have a third go-to option in his arsenal.
For two pitches to work, you better have a flamethrower with movement to continue to have success. He mixed in a curve with his 94 mph fastball and 84 mph changeup, but didn’t hit his marks consistently enough for hitters to worry about the curveball. Paddack was feasted on in spring training, as he owned a 10.64 ERA and 2.09 WHIP through 11 innings.
Batters were hitting .327 against Paddack in four starts. As a rookie, Paddack was sharp in spring training, which translated over to the regular season. The opposite was true last season, with Paddack hittable in spring training and in the regular season. We will see if the trend continues in 2021. Backing Paddack at this price doesn’t present much value. The OVER looks like the better option at Petco.