The San Diego Padres look to run their winning streak to four games as they square off against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first game of a traditional doubleheader on Saturday. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. ET at Citizens Bank Park in Philly. White-hot lefty Blake Snell (6-7, 2.85 ERA) takes the mound for San Diego, while the Phillies counter with Taijuan Walker (10-3, 4.02).
The Padres enter as -130 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with Philly the narrow +110 underdogs. The run total is set at 9.
Padres-Phillies picks: Saturday, July 15
Out: RP Steven Wilson (right pectoral strain), OF Preston Tucker (right foot plantar fascitis), SP Michael Wacha (right shoulder inflammation), RP Drew Carlton (right elbow inflammation), RP Reiss Knehr (right elbow strain)
Out: INF Josh Harrison (right wrist contusion), RP Jose Alvarado (left elbow inflammation), Seranthony Dominquez (left oblique strain)
Blake Snell vs. Taijuan Walker
There may not be a hotter pitcher in the sport right now than Snell. The former Cy Young winner’s ERA stood at 5.40 on May 19, but from that point on, he’s been unconscious, pitching to a 0.68 mark with a whopping 84 Ks in 53 innings across nine starts. He entered the All-Star break on a high note, dominating the Mets while striking out 11 over six one-hit innings. Control can still be an issue, but when Snell is in the strike zone, he’s nearly unhittable; a whopping three different pitches carry a whiff rate over 50%.
Walker’s been no slouch himself, pitching to a 2.09 ERA since the start of June. He struggled with walks in his most recent outing, handing out five free passes while giving up four runs and striking out eight in seven innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. The righty has largely shelved his four-seam fastball, going heavy on his splitter and sinker and forcing tons of ground balls as a result.
Snell is simply going too good right now for this number to be so high. Sure, there’s a chance his command collapses and we see the return of April Snell, but he’s going on two months of pitching like a Cy Young winner, so I’ll believe it when it happens. Philly’s offense hasn’t been able to get going so far this season, and key cogs like Trea Turner (.167 BA against), Nick Castellanos (.143) and Bryce Harper (.222) haven’t fared well in their careers against the San Diego lefty. The Padres did put up eight runs in Friday’s win, and could push this over by themselves, but given how well Walker’s been pitching — and how inconsistent San Diego has been at the plate — I’m betting on the under, especially given what could be weakened lineups with a doubleheader.
Pick: Under 9
I’m not picking against Snell right now, especially not with relatively even odds. San Diego has won five of his last seven starts, and they’ve ripped off six wins in their last eight games stretching back before the All-Star break as they look to make up ground in the NL Wild Card race.