The San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks will close the season out with a three-game series in the desert. The Padres and Diamondbacks went into this season with different goals. San Diego were expecting to possible compete and get into the postseason. You don’t sign a guy like Manny Machado and just expect below average results. That’s a move to go after the postseason and beyond.
It goes without saying that the Padres are going nowhere in October. They will not have a seat at the table in the playoffs. I don’t think they were necessarily pegged to be a playoff team, so in that respect, it hasn’t been a total failure. However, a season with the Padres fighting for a wildcard and playing for something in September would have been nice. The Padres were well out of the picture a while ago, so never mind September, they were out of it in the middle of the summer.
The Padres go into Friday down by 33 games in the NL West. That just goes to show how far off the pace they’ve been. Having said that, no one thought they were going to compete with the Dodgers. The bigger failure is the fact that they’re 19 games behind a wildcard. It’s obviously a moot point now, but a record of 70-89 after signing Machado just isn’t good enough.
As far as the Diamondbacks are concerned, they went into this season with a rebuild in mind. They outplayed expectations and were threatening to go to the postseason for a minute there. Arizona have since regressed, but they have nothing to feel ashamed of with a record of 82-77. The Diamondbacks are likely in good shape with their rotation in 2020, despite trading Zack Greinke. Taylor Clarke hopes to fit into the equation. He will get the nod against Eric Lauer of the Padres on Friday. Head below for our free Padres vs. Diamondbacks pick.
San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The Diamondbacks have plenty of young talent in their rotation. Acquiring Zac Gallen looks like a smart move at the moment. We won’t find out for another few years to definitely say it was a smart trade, but Gallen has passed the eye test thus far. Clarke is another one of the youngsters on the pitching staff in Arizona.
He’s a rookie and is expected to make his 15th start as a major leaguer. It’s hard to say with some rookies. Some guys just get it immediately and fire out of the gates, like say, Mike Soroka in Atlanta. There are other rookies who still carve out a tremendous career, but their rookie campaign wasn’t spectacular. Clarke has shown enough for the Diamondbacks to feel confident in him, though. With a full rotation, the Diamondbacks moved him to the bullpen, where he was pitching better. He was acting as more of a bulk reliever as a reliever, so it isn’t like he wasn’t putting work in.
Clarke hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs in an outing since August 17th against the Giants. That’s seven straight outings of pretty good work by Clarke. He was sharp against the Padres a couple of games ago, as he held them to a .200 batting average and 1-run in 3 innings. Prior to going to the bullpen, Clarke posted an ERA of 4.26 and 1.26 WHIP in his last three starts. His teammates have been hot against lefties and they get one in Eric Lauer tonight, so the D-backs should be able to find runs.
The Diamondbacks are hitting .277 against left-handed pitching and Lauer has been having major issues on the road. Lauer enters with a 6.27 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 66 innings. A lot of pitchers love to pitch in San Diego and Lauer is one of them. However, he hasn’t liked pitching anywhere else. The Diamondbacks have been solid against Lauer, with a .282 batting average and 9 runs in 110 at-bats. The Snakes look like the play on Friday night in the desert.