It wasn’t the hardest night at the office for the Philadelphia Phillies, as they were able to breeze past the San Diego Padres on Saturday. Aaron Nola, who was getting himself into trouble early on, settled down and didn’t allow a run through 6 innings of work. There were a couple innings where his pitch count was getting a bit high, but Nola fought the Padres off and got out of some jams. If it weren’t for that, he likely pitches the 7th inning.
The Padres scored their only run once Nola exited the game. Nola has been one of the biggest bargains in baseball this season. He’s helped the Phillies springboard to the top of the division in 2018, and will be looking for a pay increase when the time comes. Nola will be going through arbitration in the offseason, but won’t be a free agent until 2021.
Overall the pitching staff has been pretty competent. There have been numerous key guys that have chipped in to help the Phils elevate their position in 2018. Odubel Herrera has also been giving the Phillies a lift on a relatively affordable contract. To put things in perspective, Miguel Cabrera is making $30 million this season, while Herrera is making $3 million. You tell me which team is feeling better right about now. Former Cub, Jake Arrieta, will be called on to deliver another strong performance Sunday. The Padres will go with rookie Joey Lucchesi. Head below for our free Phillies vs. Padres pick.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Diego Padres Pick
Jake Arrieta (9-6, 3.11 ERA) vs. Joey Lucchesi (5-6, 3.70 ERA)
You can’t expect much out of a rookie in his first ever season pitching in the major leagues. If they at least hold the course and don’t get bombed, a rookie will usually find himself in the big leagues the following season. Joey Lucchesi has held the course and been productive for the Padres. He hasn’t been flawless or anything like that, but has flashed potential at times.
Lucchesi enters with an overall ERA of 3.70, but has a 5.28 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in his prior three outings. That’s not unusual for a rooking pitcher to go through rough patches here and there. He has preferred to pitch on the road this season, as his 2.87 ERA and 1.09 WHIP away indicates. Maybe he gets too comfortable in the perfect weather of San Diego? His numbers rise to 4.21 and 1.36 at home.
The most perplexing thing is how many long balls Lucchesi has allowed at home. This is a pitcher friendly ballpark, if not the most friendly in baseball, but he’s given up 11 home runs as opposed to only 3 on the road. Arrieta will counter with an ERA of 3.11 and 1.20 WHIP. The Padres haven’t been able to do anything against him in 48 at-bats. They’re hitting just .188 against Arrieta without a single long ball. Only 2 hits have gone for extra bases. Also, Arrieta has been hot lately with an ERA of 1.29 and 0.86 WHIP in his last three outings. I feel confident that he should be able to get the job done Sunday and get the Phillies another win in San Diego.