San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Prediction & Pick
San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks
First pitch: 3:40 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Yu Darvish (7-8, 3.80 ERA) vs. Luke Weaver (2-3, 4.50 ERA)
San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Prediction
Woah, just woah. Obviously, the linesmakers opting for a total of 9 in this series finale has much to do with it being the return of Weaver from a lengthy stint on the injured list. But they also seem to be forgetting he’s facing an elite starter.
In comparison to last night’s matchup of Blake Snell vs. Zac Gallen, this really shouldn’t be a full run distant from the prior meeting. After all, while I’ve been preaching how Snell and Gallen are better than the numbers they’ve posted this year, Darvish has to be above both of them. And certainly, Weaver is no slouch.
True, the 35-year-old Japanese import hasn’t looked lately as dominant as he usually does. One of his uncharacteristic outings recently was actually on the road at the site of today’s assignment, Chase Field, a few weeks ago, when Darvish lasted just a season-low 2.2 innings (though that was the second straight time facing them, which can favor hitters). If anything, though, that will fuel him more.
Darvish is the type of upper-echelon starter that doesn’t stay down for long. He exhibited shades of that in the follow-up turn after his dud in Arizona by firing six solid innings against the Dodgers while going opposite fellow ace Max Scherzer.
Remember, also, that Darvish diced up the D-backs in the start prior to when he didn’t escape the third, crafting seven innings of two-run ball to go with a season-high-tying 12 K’s. I think we’ll get something closer to that output rather than the ensuing outing against the Diamondbacks. When a high over/under is attached, that can be a difference maker.
Now, though, we must figure out if Weaver can be counted on in his first start at the Major League level in three and a half months. Based on what he was doing before being sidelined with a strained pitching shoulder, and then his subsequent rehab appearances throughout August, I actually think he can.
First off, Weaver is someone that’s a solid pitcher when he’s healthy. Look no further than his 2019, in which the right-hander held a sub-3.00 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, .227 batting average against and a hearty strikeout rate of 9.65 K/9 across 12 starts.
Unfortunately, Weaver suffered an injury that cost him the rest of that season, and clearly didn’t come back the same in the shortened 60-game campaign last year.
The former first-round draft pick looked pretty good this season, though, and even in his minor league appearances, Weaver looked like he was having his way, notching 18 strikeouts to four walks in three starts, spanning 10 frames of work.
Darvish, meanwhile, will be in a spot to manhandle his foe. Being a getaway-day game right after a nighttime affair, it’s likely he works against the D-backs at less than full strength. If Weaver can bring what he was doing from his tuneup work, that should help clinch a low-scoring bout.
Pick: UNDER 9 (-118)
Braves-Dodgers Under 7.5
2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “71-61-9,” +2.67 units
Yesterday’s Result: Pirates-White Sox Under 9 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit