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D-Backs vs. Padres MLB Pick / Gambling Preview (July. 17)

MLB Saturday Preview – Arizona vs San Diego

Before baseball gambling fans turn their attention to other sports betting events this weekend, we have the Saturday MLB game of the day pick for you. It’s time for our weekly baseball picks for online MLB betting action.

Season Record:
Arizona: 34-55 SU
San Diego: 51-37 SU

First Versus Worst In NL West

MLB Betting – Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres

Rodrigo Lopez (5-7) vs. Clayton Richard (6-4)

Lopez vs. Padres Hitting

Rodrigo Lopez finished the first half of the season on a high note, winning three of four starts and not allowing more than two earned runs in any outing. His overall numbers aren’t great (5-7, 4.40 ERA), but again that relates more to his slow start than how he’s pitched over the past month. However a low strikeout rate, a penchant for walks and overall lack of dominating stuff makes Lopez a risk when betting.

The Padres, though, probably won’t make it that tough on Lopez. Outside of Adrian Gonzalez there isn’t really a credible and consistent offensive threat on the team. Guys like Chase Headley, Scott Hairston and Yorvit Torrealba can get hot at times, but never at the same time and never long enough to really establish themselves as a true powerhouse with the bat. Still, the Padres are in first place for a reason, and have a penchant for timely hits like no other team in the league.

Richard vs. Diamondbacks Hitting

Clayton Richard has been one of the surprise stars in one of the major’s best pitching staff. Richard’s gone 6-4 with a 3.33 ERA this season, although he struggled going into the All-Star break. He’s allowed 11 runs in his past 11 2/3 innings, although his record stayed intact as both were no-decisions. Critics claim batters have begun to figure out how Richard pitches, but more realistically his arm got tired after pitching his first full half in the major leagues. The All-Star break couldn’t have come at a better time.

There are some good bats in the Arizona lineup, but most of them are very streaky and are part of the reason why the Diamondbacks find themselves in last place. Mark Reynolds is playing like only Mark Reynolds can, with 20 home runs and 122 strikeouts. Kelly Johnson has a surprising 14 homers, but his production tailed off as the first half the season came to a close. Chris Young was the team’s token all-star, and is the one consistent threat in the lineup.

Bullpen Comparison

It’s arguable that the Padres have the best starting rotation, although the same can’t be said for the bullpen; that argument is a no-contest for San Diego. Although the trio of Luke Gregerson, Mike Adams and Heath Bell hit some bumps in the beginning of July, the trio remains the most dangerous 7-8-9 combo in the league. Ryan Webb, Joe Thatcher and the retuning Tim Stauffer make up the rest of the bullpen, who lead the league in combined ERA and K/9IP ratio. The nickname for this group of relievers is the ‘PEN-itentiary’  because they lock down opposing offenses. It’s a name befitting for the group.

There’s not much to like in Arizona’s group of relievers. Their closer, Chad Qualls, has blown 4-of-16 save chances and sports an unhealthy 8.60 ERA. No reliever who has logged over 20 innings has an ERA under 3.80, while four (including Qualls) have ERA’s over 6.00. Blaine Boyer gets extra recognition for recording more walks than strikeouts (17-to-11).

Outlook

Arizona is a very bad team, San Diego is a very good team; it’s as simple as that. The Padres haven’t been in first place this late in a season in a very long time, and there’s no reason to believe they can’t keep up their strong play. Arizona, on the other hand, is evaluating their talent base in preparation for the trade deadline. These are the types of series’ the Padres cannot afford to lose, and I’m betting they won’t.

Pick: San Diego Padres

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Poolside Rants hails from beautiful Bozeman Montana by way of Toronto, Canada. (Blame his wife for the move). He’s a Dallas Cowboys football honk. But please….don’t hold that against him. The man knows his sports and has uncanny knowledge when it comes to picking games.

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