The Arizona Diamondbacks (4-1) and San Diego Padres (2-4) will play the rubber game of a three-game set between National League West rivals inside Petco Park on Thursday night in San Diego, with the first pitch scheduled for 10:05 ET.
Las Vegas oddsmakers have established the Diamondbacks as minus-135 road favorites, while the total stands at 6.5 across the board.
Arizona suffered its first loss of the 2012 season by dropping a 2-1 contest on Wednesday, they failed to hold onto a one-run lead by allowing two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Its bullpen had been outstanding in leading the club to its best start in franchise history, boasting a 2-0 record and 1.15 ERA in the first four games.
The Diamondbacks are still an incredible 83-47 in their last 129 regular-season games dating back to last season.
Ian Kennedy (1-0, 4.05 ERA) gives them a great opportunity to bounce back in the series finale, coming in with a 7-0 record and 1.95 ERA in his last eight starts dating back to the 2011 campaign.
The 27-year-old right-hander is also a dominating 5-0 with a 2.01 ERA in seven career starts versus the Padres, including a 2-0 mark and 1.00 ERA in three outings at Petco Park.
Bettors will have a hard time wagering against the Diamondbacks due to their 20-6 mark in Kennedy's last 26 starts versus divisional opponents.
San Diego has good reason to be confident in trying to put together its first winning streak of the year, as it has compiled a solid 14-6 against Arizona over the last two-plus seasons.
The Padres bullpen seems to be a strength, once again, this year despite closer Heath Bell moving on to Miami, entering this affair with a 2.62 ERA. The group combined for 3.2 shutout innings behind last night's starter Cory Luebke.
Anthony Bass (0-1, 2.25 ERA) will make his first start of the year after appearing in relief two times in this young season, allowing one run and two hits over four frames.
He is no stranger to pitching in this series, as he came out of the bullpen six times during his rookie season against the Diamondbacks, surrendering two runs and six hits over 5.2 innings.
Bass was impressive during the spring in seven games (two starts), finishing with a 2-0 record and 3.00 ERA, issuing just a single walk and striking out nine.
The Padres are looking to turn around a 17-35 record in their last 52 games as a home underdog.
Weather forecasts are suggesting partly cloudy skies and game-time temperatures in the upper-50s, with a slight breeze out of the west.
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