Look for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin to continue his magical year against the San Diego Padres at home on Sunday. Corbin currently owns a snazzy 12-1 record and a 2.31 ERA. A big fear at this point in the season for Corbin is fatigue. This is his second year in the big leagues, but he only pitched 107 innings last year; he’s already exceeded that number this season. While some pitchers facing an increased Major League workload for the first time fade as the year drags on, Corbin doesn’t appear to be falling into that trap. In his past three starts, he’s gone 3-0 and allowed just three runs in 20 2/3 innings pitched. Over that stretch he’s been dominant, conceding 14 hits while striking out 26. Against the Padres, he’s already 2-0 this season with a 2.77 ERA.
For San Diego, Tyson Ross will make just his second start since April. He’s thrown well out of the bullpen, but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to go deep in this game as he hasn't been a regular starter in quite some time. As a result, the Padres bullpen will likely be called on for between three and four innings of work. That’s bad news for San Diego, whose relief corps has allowed more runs per game than any other National League bullpen. Go with the Diamondbacks at 1.51.
San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum will continue to struggle following his no-hitter and the Chicago Cubs should take advantage. Throwing a no-hitter is a great accomplishment, but for certain pitchers it can be a curse. The reason: the pitch count required to reach that milestone is typically higher than a pitcher is used to. As a result, some suffer through fatigue following their monumental gem. Lincecum took 148 pitches to earn his no-hitter on 13 July – far more pitches than he’d thrown in any previous start. Not surprisingly, he followed up his big win with a stinker of a start. On July 22, he lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits against the Cincinnati Reds. I don’t see him recovering in this match-up.
While Chicago don’t have the most potent line-up (and it got a little weaker this week when it lost Alfonso Soriano to a trade), they have had success against Lincecum. In 57 career at-bats, Cubs hitters own a .298 batting average against the Giants starter. Even if Lincecum is solid, the Cubs send the underappreciated Travis Wood to the pitcher’s mound. Wood has a 2.95 ERA in 20 starts. Pick the Cubs (2.35) to take the road win.