We took the afternoon off yesterday to double up on the NBA playoffs, but are ready to get back on the diamond this afternoon for a nice slate of Sunday National League matinees. The highlight of today’s schedule is probably the afternoon rubber match in Chicago as the heavy-hitting Rockies will be put to the test against Jon Lester as they try to deal the Cubs their first series loss of the season. Jake Arrieta continued his home Wrigley dominance yesterday, holding the ROx scoreless in eight innings. Lester will try to do the same this afternoon.
The best game is the conclusion of the Dodgers and Giants series tonight. It doesn’t have the gravitas of the Bumgarner/Kershaw Friday night tilt (which largely disappointed, frankly) but Samardzijia and Meada is a pretty good pitching matchup, and this rivalry is always fun, especially on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN.
Our pick today will focus on a series with far less glamour, and quite possible, a lot less offense.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres
Patrick Corbin (0-1, 3.46 ERA) vs. Robbie Erlin (0-0, 0.96 ERA)
Perhaps the injury to AJ Pollock was a bigger deal than even the big deal most D’Backs fans saw it to be… the D’Backs, possessors of the best non-Colorado offense in the league last year are really struggling to score runs and a disappointing 4-8 record is the result. They have scored just 14 runs in their last five games, and topped the three run mark only once in a 4-2 win. They face a tough rookie lefty today in Robbie Erlin, who has looked good in limited action and should benefit from pitching at home in his notoriously pitcher-friendly Petco home.
Not that the Padres are putting up runs either. Aside from a wild weekend romp in Colorado, they are sputtering mightily. They have already been shut out six times this season, and if you remove yesterday’s two winning extra inning runs, they have tallied just six runs in their last 45 innings of regulation baseball. That’s an average of just over a single run per outing. Patrick Corbin is still working his way back from the injury that took his entire 2015 season, but today seems like a nice way to get back into the groove – facing a miserable offense in a pitcher-friendly environment.
I like both pitchers to enjoy a nice day and see this game setting in the 3-1, 3-2 range depending upon who can scratch out a bullpen run or two. The total has gone UNDER between these two in 12 of the last 18 Petco meetings. Look for another low-scoring affair today.