The NL West-leading Padres are in for a dog fight on Thursday night.
Houston Astros at San Diego Padres
Houston left Milwaukee with a 5-1 victory on Wednesday afternoon, securing the team’s first month this season in which it didn’t finish at least six games under .500. The Astros also moved its winning streak to nine straight on Wednesday’s this season. “It seems like we’re playing better baseball,” reliever Brandon Lyon said after the game. Houston crossed over the magic four-run barrier against the Brewers, moving its record to 27-11 when scoring four or more runs, which might be tough to do against the league’s best pitching staff coming up. The Astros are 21-39 against right-handed starters (-940), with the team facing southpaws just 18 times (9-9).
Astros starting pitcher Brian Moehler is 1-4 with a 5.63 ERA in 18 outings (six starts) this season. All six of those starts have come since taking Ben Norris‘ spot in the rotation on May 29. The right-hander has a losing 1-2 record and 6.75 ERA on the road, issuing 16 walks and striking out just 11 over 24 innings. He happened to pick up his only victory of the year last time out, allowing three runs (two earned) runs and eight hits over five innings in a 7-4 road victory over the Texas Rangers. In nine career outings (five starts) against the Padres, he has produced a 2-1 mark and 3.18 ERA. He happens to be a perfect 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA in three appearances (two starts) at Petco Park.
San Diego drilled the Colorado Rockies by a score of 13-3 in the series finale at Petco Park, with every player in the lineup recording at least a single hit. “As soon as we came into the clubhouse after the win we were screaming, ‘same lineup,’ said Jerry Hairston Jr. Even though the Padres home park is known as a pitcher’s paradise, the Friars have managed to score 13 or more runs for the third time at home this season. With the win, the Padres avoided losing three straight games for just the second time this season (LAD: 5/14-16). The club also finished the month with a 15-12 record, its fifth straight winning month, dating back to 2009.
Padres starting pitcher Jon Garland is 8-5 with a 3.13 ERA in 16 starts this season, including back-to-back victories in his last two starts. In those games against Baltimore and Florida, he allowed five earned runs and nine hits over 12.2 innings. The right-hander brings a 4-1 record and 2.34 ERA to the table in eight home starts, even though he’s issued 25 walks and struck out just 29. His home ERA ranks 10th in Major League Baseball and sixth in the National League. Garland will be making his seventh career start against the Astros, producing a 3-1 record and 3.00 ERA. He made an earlier start this year at Minute Maid Park, picking up a 2-1 road victory while tossing seven shutout innings.
Bettors beware, as a dangerous underdog is in play. The Astros are just a game under .500 in this spot as a road underdog of +175 to +200 (+320). It’s important to note that the total is 3-8 O/U in those games as well. San Diego checks in as a home favorite of -200 to -225 for the first time this season – Look out below!