After getting punched in the mouth repeatedly for the last week, the San Diego Padres put up a fight against the Diamondbacks on Saturday night. The Diamondbacks are in a different kind of fight in the NL West, as they will look to win the division and go into the postseason as a dangerous threat. You can flip a coin between the Dodgers, Rockies, and Diamondbacks at the moment. The Dodgers are the most popular team of the three and have a dangerous looking roster, but it’s not translating on the field for them.
The acquisition of Manny Machado should have been the spark that lit the Dodgers on fire. However, we’re still awaiting them to get going on a run. Instead, they’ve fallen back since acquiring Machado. The media loves to talk about Machado and the Dodgers. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think that the Dodgers have a 10-game lead in the NL West. The D-Backs and Rockies have solid teams as well, though, so it’s time to give them some consideration.
The emergence of Clay Buchholz is the x-factor that the Diamondbacks have been seeking. In the series opener, he went 9 innings to pitch a complete game in a 5-1 final. Buchholz made one mistake in the 8th on a solo jack, but other than that, he was pretty unhittable. Along with Pat Corbin and Zack Greinke, the Diamondbacks have a pretty nice punch in the rotation. Greinke will get the nod for the D-Backs, while the Padres will go with Brett Kennedy. The Diamondbacks have been playing good baseball, but they can’t let up now. Head below to read the rest of our thoughts and get our free Diamondbacks vs. Padres pick.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres Pick
Zack Greinke (12-8, 3.00 ERA) vs. Brett Kennedy (0-2, 11.00 ERA)
This time of year is for minor leaguers on bad teams to showcase their ability. They aren’t reaching the postseason, so might as well see what they have down in the minors. If Brett Kennedy’s first starts in the big leagues are any indication, he is not going to last too long at this level. He is a young guy at 24, so it could just be he isn’t ready for these hitters. Kennedy was doing quite well in Triple-A, as he posted a 2.72 ERA and 1.12 WHIP before getting the call to come to San Diego.
All of the confidence he was able to build up in minor league ball apparently went out the window when he hit the majors. Kennedy enters with a 11.00 ERA, 2.33 WHIP, and .447 OBA in two starts. In 9 innings of work, he’s been hit for 20 hits and 11 runs. Now he must operate against one of the hottest offenses in baseball. The Diamondbacks have scored at least 5 runs in five of their last six games. It’s hard to see him getting a bounce back performance against the hungry Diamondbacks on Sunday.
Greinke is coming off a rare bad spot against the Rangers. He was hit for 6 hits and 6 runs in 6.1 innings. It’s an outlier for Greinke, who has otherwise been pitching well for the Diamondbacks in 2018. He got off to a slow start but has been hot since the beginning of June. His 4 runs allowed against the Rangers was the first time he surrendered more than 2 runs since June 18th. That’s nine outings in a row of 2 runs or less surrendered. Greinke also has a solid history against this lineup, as the Pads are hitting just .204 with 1 long ball in 162 at-bats. I expect the Diamondbacks to cruise on Sunday as they seek to hold off the Rockies and Dodgers.