Ryan Vogelsong of the Giants is showing last year was not a fluke by again ranking among the league leaders in ERA in 2012, but Clayton Richard is also pitching well and the Padres have been playing better. Take San Diego Monday.
The underdog looks to be offering excellent value in a National League West battle in Monday night when Clayton Richard and the San Diego Padres (41-56 overall, 19-27 away) take on Ryan Vogelsong and the San Francisco Giants (53-42 overall, 29-16 home) as the teams open up a three-game series from AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA at 10:15 ET.MLB Pick
The money line at Bodog has San Diego as a very nice-priced underdog for this contest at current odds of +155.
Now the Giants are currently in first place in the National League West with a 1½-game lead over the second place Los Angeles Dodgers while the Padres are in fourth place and 13 games out, but remember that the Padres were in last place for much of this season and their better play recently has now enabled them to open up a 3½-game bulge on the new last-place team, the Colorado Rockies.
San Diego has moved up a bit in the standings by going 12-6 in its last 18 games, and the normally light hitting Padres are actually scoring runs, putting up six runs or more in six of their last nine games including scoring at least seven runs in five of those contests. They are hitting the road after a successful 5-2 home stand that began with a 2-0 loss, but then saw the Pads average 5.83 runs over their last six contests and the most pitcher friendly stadium in the NL.
That bodes well for San Diego’s chances on the road where it is averaging 4.11 runs per game on the season, and while that may not sound that much, it is considerably better than its usual pathetic offensive performances at Petco Park. It also helps that they have an underrated pitcher on the mound tonight in Richard.
Yes he is only 7-10 overall, but he was a victim of the Padres’ weak offense earlier in the year, as he has a 3.86 ERA and an excellent.1.17 WHIP with a good ratio of 72 strikeouts against only 28 walks in 135.1 innings. Richard has six Quality Starts in his last eight outings and most were not of the cheap variety either, as he allowed two runs or less in five of them including allowing one run or less on three occasions.
Just about the only kink in Richard’s armor has been the home run ball as he has surrendered 19 of them in 20 starts, but he may not have to worry all that much about that here given that the Giants have hit a Major League worst 15 home runs at home all year.
The Giants maintained their lead in the West by going 4-2 on their just completed eastern road trip that wrapped up with San Francisco taking two out of three games vs. the Philadelphia Phillies this past weekend. That does however put the Giants at a disadvantage here from a travel perspective, as while the Padres made the short trip from San Diego, the Giants are playing without a day off after flying cross-country following Sunday’s contest.
San Francisco’s starter Vogelsong, who turned 35-years-old on Sunday, came out of nowhere last year, having what most thought was a career year. However, perhaps it was not a career year after all as he has followed it up by ranking third in the National League with a 2.31 ERA this season while going 7-4 with a 1.11 WHIP and holding the opposition to only a .219 average.
With that said, Vogelsong may not get much run support tonight considering Richard’s current form and some possible fatigue after playing in Philadelphia yesterday, which at worst makes this game closer to a toss-up. Thus, San Diego offers nice value at this nice underdog price on Monday.
: Padres +155