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June 26, 2015 (Posted at 5:00 PM ET)

Picks will be posted at 3:00 PM ET on Saturday.

Take San Diego Padres (-144) on the Money Line against Arizona Diamondbacks risking 3% of bankroll.
(Ross and Ray must start for wager to have action)

The Padres and Diamondbacks face off at Petco Park for the opener of this NL West division 3-game series. San Diego has been one of the biggest disappointments in the league this season and are entering this weekend at five games under .500! While their season thus far has been disappointing, this was almost to be expected. They made a lot of big moves in the offseason and now have a lot of talent on their roster, they just simply have not gelled as of yet. They are currently underperforming, which makes this game that much more interesting. The Padres are listed as fairly hefty favorites tonight, despite having a worse record than their opponents and regardless of their lackluster performances in recent memory. We believe that says quite a bit about this matchup. 

Robbie Ray has had an excellent start to the season. Looking at his overall numbers, you'll see that he has a 1.78 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP which does look impressive. What many fail to see however is that his last start was his worst of the season when he logged just 5.2 innings giving up 6 hits and 4 runs which happened to come against these same San Diego Padres. The Padres bats proved that they could get to Ray and we believe they will do so once against tonight. Ray is simply not as good a pitcher as his recent numbers suggest and it will be interesting to see if he can bounce back from his worst performance of the season. He may come into this contest just a bit hesitant because of what happened before and that may be all the Friars need to capitalize on him. He has also thrown 100 or more pitches in 4 straight games! Fatigue could certainly come into play tonight for a pitcher who is as inexperienced as Ray on the mound. A couple pitches that miss their mark and hang in the zone due to a fatigued delivery is all a player like Justin Upton needs to change the course of the game. San Diego is also a ball club that has hit lefties better than righties this season which could prove to be disastrous for Ray tonight.  

Meanwhile Tyson Ross will take the mound for the Friars and even though his numbers don't do him justice, Ross is an extremely consistent and quality pitcher. He has good stuff and features a slider-heavy arsenal. HE has shown that when he can find the zone with his slider and limit the walks, he can be one of the hardest pitchers to hit in the National League. He also happens to be coming off his best start of the season as he logged 9 innings against Arizona on the road giving up 4 hits and 1 run while striking out 9. He should certainly come into this game brimming with confidence as he knows he can already navigate himself around this explosive Diamondbacks offense. As explosive as Arizona's lineup has been this season, AJ Pollock, Jake Lamb and Chris Owings have all struggled against Tyson Ross in their careers and with all 3 starting tonight, their struggles could continue. Ross owns an impressive 2.77 ERA and 1.06 WHIP against Arizona in 10 career starts!

Even after the two starters are pulled, the Padres should still have the pitching edge with their bullpen. Yes, they used quite a few of them last night but others like Craig Kimbrel (closer) were not. And chances are Tyson Ross will give them another quality start. The Diamondbacks bullpen has struggled this season and has been their Achilles Heel on more than one occasion. The D-Backs' pen cost them another game last night in Denver. 

The Padres lost their game last night but they showed tremendous heart in that contest. They were getting shutout 7-0 and yet they continued to claw and battle and actually made it a one run game. Ultimately it wasn't enough, but it did show that this is a team that still has a lot of fight left in them and doesn't give up despite adversity staring them in the face. We believe the momentum from their late rally yesterday will actually carry over into this game tonight. Meanwhile D-Backs actually lost a game that they were winning yesterday after their bullpen managed to give up 5 runs in the 8th inning. That's a tough loss to handle which could cause the Arizona players to come into this contest just a bit deflated tonight. Tyson Ross was fantastic last Saturday against the Diamondbacks and while we don't expect as strong a performance as the complete game he tossed last time out, we do believe he will produce another quality outing and lead his team to victory. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • San Diego is 7-2 as a home favorite of -125 to -150 this season!
  • Arizona has lost 4 of its last 5 visits to Petco Park.
  • San Diego is 6-2 after a game where they allowed 10 or more runs.

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