The MLB has all thirty teams play on Friday night as we enter the final ten days of the regular season. As the playoff picture begins to form, some games are much more important than others. The Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres open up a series on Friday night as Arizona tries to make one last push into the playoffs. This game will start at 10:10 PM Eastern time.
The Diamondbacks have posted a record of 78-75 to this point in the season. Arizona is currently sitting in second place of the NL West and five games back from the final wild card spot. The Diamondbacks need a great comeback if they want to play for a wild card spot. Arizona had the night off on Thursday and will look to use the day of rest to their advantage as they look to take one on the road to open the series up.
San Diego has been eliminated from this postseason as they are in fourth place of the NL West with a record of 69-83. The Padres have lost seven of their last eight games. Although San Diego’s season has been disappointing, the Padres will look to finish out this year strong in hopes of building upon it next season.
The Diamondbacks and the Padres are division rivals, which makes me believe that this will be a good series. Arizona is a longshot to make the postseason, but they will still come out strong in this series to try and make it happen. I expect a good series opener between these teams on Friday night.
The first series between these two teams was between April 1-3 in San Diego. The Diamondbacks dominated the first game of the series as they pulled away with a 10-3 win. Zack Greinke hit a three run homer and a solo home run to help give Arizona an 8-5 win in the second game. Joey Lucchesi allowed four hits and no runs through five innings to help the Padres avoid the series sweep with a 4-1 win.
Arizona hosted the second series between April 11-14. Manuel Margot hit a solo home run to give the Padres a 7-6 win in the first game. Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis had RBI’s in the second game as San Diego won 2-1. Franmil Reyes hit a solo home run to give the Padres a 5-4 lead in the third game, which they rode to victory. The Diamondbacks avoided the sweep in their own home series with an 8-4 win in the final game.
The third series shifted back to San Diego on May 20-22. Franmil Reyes hit a two run home run in the series opener to give the Padres a 2-1 win. Eric Hosmer was the hero in the second game as he had his own two run homer to help San Diego win 3-2. Eric Lauer pitched seven innings in the third game, allowing four hits and one run as the Padres pulled off a 5-2 win for the sweep.
The most recent series was hosted by Arizona again on September 2-4. The Diamondbacks had a great first game as they pulled away with a 14-7 win. The second game was much closer. Merrill Kelly pitched seven innings and allowed three hits and no runs as Arizona won 2-1. Ketel Marte hit a grand slam in the seventh inning of the third game to help the Diamondbacks win 4-1.
Ketel Marte has had a strong season for Arizona. Marte has earned 187 hits, 32 home runs, 92 RBI’s and an OPS of .981. Eduardo Escobar has put up 163 hits, 35 homers and 115 RBI’s. Nick Ahmed has posted 133 hits, 18 homers and 80 RBI’s, while Christian Walker has 130 hits, 26 home runs and 66 RBI’s. Adam Jones and Carson Kelly both have double-digit home run totals.
Eric Hosmer has earned 162 hits, 21 home runs and 96 RBI’s for San Diego this year. Manny Machado has posted 142 hits, 30 homers and 82 RBI’s. Wil Myers has 100 hits, 18 home runs and 53 RBI’s. Hunter Renfroe has 93 hits, 32 homers and 63 RBI’s. Manuel Margot and Austin Hedges have double-digit home runs this season.
The Diamondbacks have the better overall hitting team this season and they will look to use this to their advantage. Fernando Tatis Jr. is injured for San Diego and they traded Franmil Reyes at the deadline, which has hurt their hitting lineup. The Padres have struggled recently to get runs on the board and they will need to find a way to turn it around on Friday night.
Merrill Kelly will be the starting pitcher for Arizona on Friday night. Kelly has earned a record of 11-14 through 30 starts this season. He has put up an ERA of 4.49 and a WHIP of 1.327. Kelly’s last start came against the Cincinnati Reds, where he allowed three hits and no runs through seven innings to earn his eleventh inning of the season.
Eric Lauer will start on the mound for the Padres in this game. Lauer has gone 8-9 through 28 games this season. In those games, he has an ERA of 4.60 and a 1.410 WHIP. Lauer’s last start came against the Colorado Rockies. He pitched two and a third innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs in route to a loss.
Neither of these pitchers have been able to earn winning record this season, but Kelly has the slightly better stat line. Lauer has gone 1-2 through three starts this season against the Diamondbacks this season, while Kelly has gone 2-1 through four starts against San Diego. If Kelly can put on another strong performance, I believe he could lead Arizona to a win.
The Diamondbacks have been the better of these two teams this season, but the Padres have a 7-6 advantage in the season series. Arizona has lost four games in a row in San Diego, but I believe that they will end that streak on Friday night. The Diamondbacks have the stronger hitting lineup and a better starting pitcher.
BetOnline has the Padres listed as a -113 against the money line, which implies that San Diego will win this game around 53 percent of the time. I believe that Arizona should be favored in this matchup. I like the Diamondbacks coming off a day of rest to come into San Diego with a lot of energy. Arizona has more to play for and as an underdog, they are my pick of the day.