San Diego Padres are one of the worst teams in the league and they are more competitive at home, but I think they could struggle most of the season on the road. Right now, they are sitting on the record of 12-28 and they beat Pittsburgh yesterday, but they were also lucky, because Pittsburgh left 13 batters on bases.
On the other side we have Pittsburgh Pirates with the record of 28-16 and they are playing very solid baseball so far. And at home, they are even better the record of 15-7.
San Diego will start with Clayton Richard, left handed pitcher who holds ERA of 5.20 and on the road ERA of 8.36. So, at the first look, pretty bad numbers, but if we check his performance and his other ERA-metrics, we can expect that his ERA will go down and he is playing much better than his initial ERA numbers show. He struck out 50 batters in 53 innings and in his last 2 games he was very sharp. Striking out 8 against Washington Nationals and 10 against St Louis Cardinals.
Still, if we compare today’s starters, I don’t give any advantage to San Diego. Kingham who will start for Pittsburgh played only two games so far, but he pitched well. 16 strike outs in 13 innings. 7 strike outs against Milwaukee and 9 against St Louis. His ERA is 2.92 and we can expect, that his ERA will go up little bit. But still, if we compare the numbers with Richard’s numbers on the other side there will be not big difference at the start of the game.
But I see Pittsburgh’s advantage later in the game. First of all Pittsburgh is playing at home, where they are strong. Secondly, they lost yesterday and they will try to win this series, despite we should not rely on such things, because San Diego also have their own plans for this game. But Pittsburgh is better overall. They score more, they have better hitting team and both teams have very good bullpen with maybe better bullpen on Pirates side.
Bookmakers offer the odds of around 1.70 on Pittsburgh and I have projected, that Pittsburgh should be much bigger favourite. I was not fooled by Richard ERA numbers and I understand that he has better stuff and his ERA will go down, but I still don’t see any pitching advantage here from San Diego side, because Kingham was very solid too. Better hitting team, slightly better bullpen, playing at home, trying to bounce back and win this searies….