The Arizona Diamondbacks had the day off Wednesday to prepare for a weekend series against the San Diego Padres. The Padres are playing for nothing, but have been finding a way to be a thorn in the side of some teams. They haven’t just given up and waved the white flag, they’re continuing to push and give teams competitive outings. The best they can do is try and pick up some momentum for next season.
Despite playing good baseball lately, the Padres still have over 70 losses in 2018. That’s not going to get the job done, but there was nothing expected of them. With all of the clubs jockeying for position to find the postseason, the Padres can spoil some goals, though. That can feel good, especially against rivals in your own division. The National League West is tight at the top, with the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Dodgers all in the running.
The Dodgers have suddenly found themselves 3rd place in the division. Like I’ve said before, just throwing money blindly at a dartboard isn’t a formula for instant success. They traded for Manny Machado and everyone immediately had them as winners of the NL West and more. It doesn’t work like that, and the Dodgers may find out the hard way that it isn’t that simple.
Nevertheless, the Dodgers are only 2 games back and have over a month to take the division back. Against a divisional rival, they didn’t look like a contender. The Giants have an outside shot of making a comeback to win the division. Arizona will look to preserve its lead over the weekend. It isn’t time to overlook the Padres. Get our free Diamondbacks vs. Padres pick below.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres Pick
Clay Buchholz (5-2, 2.67 ERA) vs. Jacob Nix (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Every team who is strives to be a postseason contender must get production out of a guy they probably didn’t expect to. For the Diamondbacks, Clay Buchholz is a perfect example of a pitcher that has given his team an immense boost without too many expectations. His career was in the tubes in 2014, as he finished with an ERA of 5.34. Buchholz was coming off an injury from the previous season.
When he had to exit in 2013 he had a 1.74 ERA so things were looking up. That’s when everything went haywire Buchholz who had a decent career in Boston with the Red Sox. After getting two starts with the Phillies a year ago and finishing with a 12.27 ERA, that’s when it looked like it was game over. However, credit to him, he reinvented himself and got back on track. Buchholz enters with an ERA of 2.67 and hasn’t looked this good since 2015. Note that he has been solid on the road with an ERA of 2.18 and 1.02 WHIP. In 50 at-bats, the Padres are hitting .250 against Buchholz with no long balls.
Jacob Nix was recently called up from the minors and made the best of his first start in the major leagues. He was flawless against the Phillies, as Nix went 6 innings without allowing a run. Nix was performing at a high-level in Triple-A. It isn’t like they are throwing him to the wolves and experimenting to see what they have with him.
The Padres are well aware that he is a talented pitcher that has a future in the majors. When Nix made the jump, he had a 1.84 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in the minor leagues. The 22-year-old has shown he is capable of pitching at an elite level in the minors, and so far so good for him in the majors. The D-Backs have fared better against lefties, as their .230 batting average against right-handed pitching indicates. We will look for a lower scoring contest Thursday, with a play on the UNDER in San Diego.