San Diego was swept at home over the weekend against the Phillies, making it four straight losses and just like that, there is a division race once again. The Padres lead the Giants by just five games in the National League West and while that is still a decent lead, it is getting a little too close for comfort. This is a good time to face the worst team in the division as wins are becoming even more of a priority.
The Diamondbacks went 3-3 on their most recent roadtrip which is pretty good for a team that is 21 games under .500 away from home on the season. They are better at home but certainly nothing special as Arizona is six games under .500 at Chase Field. The problem has been the pitching where the Diamondbacks possess a 4.80 ERA which is easily the worst in the National League.
The pitching matchup tonight is definitely not on their side.
Wade LeBlanc gets the call for the Padres. He has a 3.86 ERA on the season and while his ERA on the road is a run and a half higher higher, it is really due to just two bad starts, one in Seattle back in May where he allowed eight runs in three innings and another two starts back in Milwaukee where he allowed seven runs in 3.1 innings. Five of his other nine starts on the road have been quality outings and take those two games out of the equation and his road ERA drops from 5.37 to 3.50.
Joe Saunders counters for Arizona and he has had a rough time of it of late. He is 1-4 with a 5.21 ERA in six starts with the Diamondback but that only tells part of the story. He started with two straight quality outings since coming over from the Angels but his last four outings have been a disaster. He has given up 19 earned runs in his last 22 innings and this includes the Padres reaching Saunders for six runs (five earned) over six innings on August 8th and for nine runs (six earned) in four innings on August 25th.
San Diego is 14-2 in the second half of the season against National League teams with a batting average of .255 or worse while going 11-1 as a road favorite of -125 or higher this season. 3* San Diego Padres
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