Home run (Safe bet)
Go with the San Diego Padres (1.82) to earn a home victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
There aren’t a lot of obvious mismatches on Sunday, but what separates this game is the advantage playing at Petco Park means for the Padres starting pitcher, Tyson Ross – and just how bad Arizona has played in 2014.
Ross has been two different pitchers this year. At home, he’s an ace, posting a 1.80 ERA and striking out 23 in 20 innings of work. On the road, he’s been vastly subpar, registering a 5.94 ERA, while striking out just nine in 16 2/3 innings. It should come as little surprise that as a team San Diego has been above a .500 winning percentage at Petco but well below that level anywhere else.
Perhaps against a better team that might not mean much, but the Diamondbacks have been one of the worst thus far this season. While their offense has been below average in run scoring, it’s their pitching that’s been so horrendous. This game’s starter, Wade Miley, has been a primary culprit. He has a 5.36 ERA and leads the National League in runs allowed. While the Padres have struggled to score runs in general, their combined history against Miley is excellent. In 121 plate appearances, San Diego hitters have a .324 lifetime batting average.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
Take the Miami Marlins at 1.55 to win at home versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Sometimes you have to play the hot hand and, while the Dodgers are the better club generally, this is an instance where Miami happens to be holding the ultimate ace. Miami starting pitcher Jose Fernandez has literally been unbeatable at Marlins Park. He has a 12-0 lifetime record there and a 1.00 ERA. And while the Dodgers boast many big names in its lineup, Fernandez hasn’t been phased by the club in his young career. He’s won both starts he’s had against Los Angeles.
Fernandez is not alone in his love for South Florida. His teammates collectively have been dominating there this year, posting a 12-4 record at home coming into this series. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Dodgers pitcher Hyu-jin Ryu. He’s got a solid 3.00 ERA and an even better fielding independent pitching number of 2.79 (FIP is considered by many to be an even better indicator of performance). But he’s coming off his worst performance of the year (five runs allowed in 5 innings of work versus the Colorado Rockies) and, with the Marlins’ home strength, I’m not sure he’s up to the task.