The Arizona Diamondbacks take on the San Diego Padres. Check out our MLB odds series for our Diamondbacks Padres prediction and pick.
Merrill Kelly gets the call for the Diamondbacks, while Joe Musgrove goes to the hill for the Padres.
Merrill Kelly is being overshadowed in Arizona by Zac Gallen's late surge in the National League Cy Young race. Gallen's 41 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings are making national headlines. Gallen's ERA is now in the top five among all National League pitchers, at 2.42. Gallen now has a legitimate chance to be the N.L. ERA leader if he can keep up this phenomenal pace to end the season.
Kelly, though, has been no slouch. At 2.84, he is in the upper tier of baseball starters this year. Here's a fascinating fact: In his last eight starts, Kelly has thrown four different scoreless outings of seven innings or more. He has a lot of games on his resume this year in which he has taken the ball, dominated, and gone deep into a game. He has had some bumpy outings over the past month as well — four runs allowed against the White Sox in late August, three runs allowed to the Pirates in just five innings back on Aug. 11 — but Kelly pitched to a 1.31 ERA back in July and has been able to replicate strong outings throughout the season. Merrill Kelly's best stuff is not a very occasional occurrence; that's what mediocre pitchers are guilty of. They are unable to crank out a lot of good starts in a season. Kelly has been able to bounce back from mediocre games and thrive on most occasions.
Joe Musgrove has a 3.01 ERA. He has had a very good year for the Padres. However, his very best pitching occurred in the first half of the season. His season ERA was 1.59 back on June 22. The Colorado Rockies roughed him up twice since then. The Mets gave him a hard time in another one of his starts. His defense let him down in a difficult outing against the Royals. Musgrove has been generally solid over the past month, however. He has delivered a quality start in four of his last five appearances. The Padres need him to do more than go six innings and allow three runs, however. The Padres' hitting has not been able to support that level of pitching, as we saw with Blake Snell on Monday against the D-Backs. Musgrove's margin for error is small, and he needs to regain his early-season form if the Padres are going to hang onto a playoff spot in the National League.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Diamondbacks-Padres MLB odds.
MLB Odds: Diamondbacks-Padres Odds
Arizona Diamondbacks: +1.5 (-156)
San Diego Padres: -1.5 (+130)
Over: 7 (-118)
Under: 7 (-104)
Why The Diamondbacks Could Cover the Spread
The Diamondbacks have been playing great baseball. They have won 10 of their last 13. Corbin Carroll and other September call-ups from the minors have infused this team with energy and quality. The Zac Gallen scoreless inning streak has given everyone in the clubhouse a boost.
Also: Merrill Kelly is an outstanding pitcher who deserves a lot of trust. The Padres might win, but they're probably going to win by only one run, which means Arizona covers the spread. Kelly should be able to limit the Padres at the plate. San Diego has scored only nine runs in its last seven home games at Petco Park. That's an insane fact, but it's true.
Why The Padres Could Cover the Spread
After getting shut out for the second straight home game, the Padres — who have scored a grand total of one run in their last three home games, and have not scored a run at home since Aug. 23 — are due for a breakout. This is just too improbable to continue. Juan Soto isn't hitting. Josh Bell isn't hitting. Brandon Drury isn't hitting. These guys are too talented to remain in a slump at the same time. At least one of them is due to have a big game and get the offense on track. Joe Musgrove is a very solid starting pitcher who should give this team a strong performance.
Final Diamondbacks-Padres Prediction & Pick
This is a stay-away game since the inferior team, the D-Backs, is red hot while the superior team, the Padres, is cold, having lost three in a row and having done virtually nothing on offense in its last seven home games. If you insist on making a pick, go with Merrill Kelly and Arizona plus the run and a half.
Final Diamondbacks-Padres Prediction & Pick: Diamondbacks +1.5