July 30 MLB Preview — Baltimore Orioles (35-71) at San Diego Padres (50-56)

(Manny Machado photo courtesy Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports)

This is the full preview(s) as seen on the Winners and Whiners and Stat Salt websites. The confidence rating for all picks on a scale from 1 to 5 is in parentheses.

Note: The 5/5 does NOT represent the best overall pick of the day’s games when there are multiple games, simply the best pick(s) from each individual game.

When and Where: Tuesday, July 30, Petco Park, San Diego, Calif., 3:40 p.m. EDT.

In what could be a showcase start for Dinelson Lamet, the right-hander tries again for his first victory since coming back from Tommy John surgery Tuesday when the San Diego Padres wrap up a two-game series with the Baltimore Orioles.

Eshelman again bids for first major league win

The Orioles are hoping Tom Eshelman’s stint as a bulk reliever in his last outing will be a springboard in helping the rookie claim his first major league victory.

Eshelman (0-2, 5.79) followed Jimmy Yacabonis on Thursday and limited the Los Angeles Angels to one run in 4 1-3 innings, leaving well before a bizarre series of events that eventually resulted in Baltimore’s 10-8, 16-inning win.

The righty’s two best outings among his four appearances since being called up earlier this month have come on the road. Eshelman’s major league debut came July 1 at Tampa Bay, where he allowed two runs in five innings and left without a decision in Baltimore’s 6-3 defeat.

Lamet being rumored as part of package in potential Syndergaard deal

This will be Lamet‘s fifth start since missing nearly full two years after undergoing elbow surgery. The right-hander was on a pitch count in his previous four outings, maxing out at 85.

Lamet (0-2, 5.00) has been one of the pitchers rumored to be part of a potential package the Padres could offer the New York Mets for Noah Syndergaard as Wednesday’s deadline draws closer. The Mets got an up-close look at him Wednesday when he struck out six in four innings and gave up two runs as San Diego eventually won 7-2.

“We know he’s going to,” manager Andy Green told the Padres’ official website about Lamet realizing his potential. “Ultimately, like with any pitcher, it’s on them. The more efficient they are, the deeper they’ll work in the game.”

Lamet did not fare well in interleague matchups as a rookie in 2017, going 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA in four starts versus AL Central teams. He also took a loss in his lone start at Petco Park this year, giving up a pair of home runs that accounted for all four runs allowed in five innings of a 5-3 defeat to Atlanta on July 12.

Manny Machado, who went 3 for 4 with a triple and two runs scored in Monday night’s 8-1 victory, has gone 6 for 12 with a homer in his first three games against his former team after being dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season and signing with the Padres in free agency this winter.

Notable Trends

The Padres are:

  • 7-2 in Lamet’s last nine starts vs. sub-.500 teams.
  • 4-0 in Lamet’s last four home starts vs. sub-.500 teams.
  • 9-3 in their last 12 interleague games.

The Orioles are:

  • 5-23 in their last 28 interleague games vs. right-handed starters.
  • 19-75 in their last 94 games vs. right-handed starters.
  • 5-17 in their last 22 road interleague games vs. right-handed starters.

*****5-Star Pick*****

Padres -1.5 runs (-121)

Though there will be an extra layer of pressure on Lamet as every pitch gets scrutinized, the Padres get the slight nod here after their solid victory Monday night.

Neither pitcher has shown much in the way of consistency, and with this being a getaway day for the Orioles as their nine-game road trip comes to an end, the hedge is if the Padres score early against Eshelman, they can roll to an easy win.

****4-Star Pick****

OVER 5 runs first 5 innings (-121)

Since both starters have yet to prove themselves effective in any of their seven combined starts, the over gets the nod here. Lamet has yielded at least two runs in all four of his starts without lasting more than five innings, and Eshelman has also been reached for at least two runs in all three of his.

The runs may not come in bunches the way the Padres hit four home runs in Monday’s opener, but with the five-inning over 5-2-1 on this trip for Baltimore, there is confidence in it happening one more time.

***3-Star Picks***

UNDER 9 runs (-105)

There is little track record to utilize for either pitcher, which makes this a 50/50 pick. The under hit in two of Eshelman’s three starts — but they were both against Tampa Bay. The over came against Boston, so all three feel like games on opposite ends of the spectrum.

The under is 3-1 in Lamet’s four starts, and San Diego’s bullpen has a 3.07 ERA since the All-Star break. The number landed within the expected range, but being a flat nine makes this a toss-up. If the hook goes lower to 8.5, take the over, if it trends in the opposite direction to 9.5 runs, take the under.

It’s a very small lean, but the under gets it here.

Orioles UNDER 3.5 runs (-125)

The Orioles have scored three or fewer runs in seven of their last 10 interleague games after Monday’s loss, which also showed the stark differences between facing a patched-together pitching staff in the Angels and a phalanx of young arms in the Padres.

With Lamet likely still on a pitch count, the bullpen is the swing vote here. After Monday’s win, Padres relievers have a 1.86 ERA in the three games against Baltimore and have struck out 15 in 9 2-3 innings, so there is confidence in taking the under.

Padres -0.5 runs first 5 innings (-155)

This pick is more anti-Eshelman than pro-Lamet given the Padres have gone 1-3 at the five-inning mark in his last four starts. Baltimore has trailed in all but one of its last 10 interleague games and failed to grab a lead in any of Eshelman’s three starts.

OVER 3 runs first 3 innings (+105)

The flat number makes this a challenging pick, but Baltimore’s starting pitching woes and a plus-money offering make this worth a flyer. Eshelman’s best ERA in the first three innings of games is his 4.50 mark in the third, and the Orioles have had three or more runs scored in the first three frames in four straight games and nine of 11.

Additionally, Lamet has a 9.00 ERA in the first inning, and the Padres have had three or more runs in the first three innings in seven of their last 11 contests.


Published by:

Chris Altruda

Currently a freelance sportswriter on the hunt for full-time work. If you like my work or have constructive criticism, please share it and/or contact me at chris.altruda@hotmail.com or via Twitter at @AlTruda73 My portfolio of clippings can be viewed at http://www.clippings.me/caltruda And thank you for taking time out of your day to read my posts.

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