MLB Pick: Philadelphia Phillies at San Diego Padres
Time: 10:10 PM ET
Where: Petco Park. San Diego, California
Listed Pitchers: Eflin (PHI) & Nix (SD)
TV: FOX Sports – San Diego
Moneyline: PHI (-128) / SD (+118)
Over/Under: 8 (-110)
It’s a National League matchup Friday night at Petco Park where the Philadelphia Phillies fly in to town to take on the San Diego Padres. This one’s the first of a three-game set, and the fourth meeting of seven slated for the season between these two clubs. The Phillies lead the season series 2-1 and have outscored the Padres 18-15 thru the first three contests. Philadelphia had a travel day Thursday to get over the shellacking they received by the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday. On the flip side, the lowly San Diego Padres shocked the world by winning a three-game series with one of the National League’s best: Milwaukee. San Diego returns home after a seven-game road trip in which they won four games.
Philadelphia suffered their seventh shutout loss of the season at Arizona Wednesday afternoon. Vince Velasquez (8-9, 3.98 ERA & 1.22 WHIP) was tagged for four earned runs on six hits in just four innings of play. Consequently, the Phillies lost the three-game set to the Diamondbacks: two games to one. However, Philadelphia stills owns a tenuous one-game lead over the Atlanta Braves for the top spot in the National League Standings.
Overall, the Phillies are 64-50 (.561) this year, but they’re just 26-32 (.448) on the road thus far. Philadelphia’s led by their solid pitching staff that’s allowed just 465 runs which is fifth-best in the NL. Their Achilles Heel this season has been a lack of consistent offensive production. The Phillies have scored only 498 runs thus far which is ranked eleventh out of fifteen National League squads. With a +33 run differential, Philadelphia’s seventh in the NL in plus-minus.
San Diego returns home after a seven-game road trip, where they visited Wrigley Field and Miller Park. The Padres split a four-game set with the Cubbies and took two of three from the
Brew Crew. In Thursday afternoon’s game with the Brewers, San Diego trailed 4-2 entering the top of the ninth inning. Then, Hunter Renfroe (.250 AVG, 12 HR, 39 RBI & .315 OBP) hit a grand salami to the Padres ahead definitively. Ultimately, San Diego put up six runs in the top of the ninth and won the game 8-4. It was Renfroe’s fourth straight game with a dinger. In his last five games, Renfroe’s gone 9 for 21 (.429) with four home runs and 12 RBI. The Padres won the series against the Brewers 2-1, while outscoring them 23-17 thru the three decisions.
Despite the run of modest success, San Diego’s still quite pitiful. Overall, they’ve accrued a 46-71 (.393) record which is good for dead last in the National League Standings. San Diego owns the displeasure of boasting the worst home record in the NL: 20-36 (.357). Not surprisingly, the Padres ranked towards the bottom of most statistical categories in the NL. They’ve scored 452 runs (13th NL) and allowed 559 (13th NL). The Padres -107 run differential is second-worst in the NL.
Third-year starter Zach Eflin will make his first career start against the Padres Friday night at Petco Park. The 24 year old right-hander’s accrued an 8-3 record with a 3.61 ERA and 1.11 WHIP so far this season. However, Eflin’s hit a rough-patch recently. In his last four starts, he’s gone 1-1 with a 5.57 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Eflin’s shown a propensity for giving up the long ball, as he’s allowed seven homers in his last four starts. Prior to his recent four-game stretch of struggles, Eflin was on fire. He posted six consecutive victories with a 1.94 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. On the road, Eflin’s 3-2 in eight starts with a 4.01 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.
Jacob Nix will make his MLB debut Friday night versus the Phillies. The 22 year old from Fullerton, California was San Diego’s third-round draft (86th overall) selection in the 2015 MLB Draft. Nix has gone 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 0.83 WHIP for the AAA-El Paso Chihuahuas this year. However, Friday night he’ll be facing-off with the big dogs. In his minor league career, Nix’s 11-17 with a 3.85 ERA and 1.25 WHIP.
Philadelphia’s in the thick of a tight playoff race in the National League, while San Diego’s comfortably parked in the basement. The pitching matchup favors the Phillies here because Nix is in a precarious position in his first big league start. With Philadelphia at -128, they’d need to win 56.1% of the time to make betting on them profitable. In this situation, Philadelphia should win 65% of the time. Consequently, there’s an 8.9% edge in siding with them on the money line. Take the Philadelphia Phillies -128.