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San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks Betting Preview

The NL West will be on full display on Opening Day as the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks clash Thursday night. The Diamondbacks will host this one at Chase Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 9:40 pm ET.

For the Padres, they are hoping to rise to the top of a loaded NL West division. With the Dodgers and Giants in their way, though, it won’t be easy. Last season, they finished 79-83, 28 games behind the division-leading Giants.

For the Diamondbacks, they finished last in the division at 52-110. That put them a whopping 55 games back of the first place. The Diamondbacks hope to win the home opener at Chase Field, where they were just 32-49 last season.

The Padres are the favorites in this one despite playing on the road. They are -158 to win while the Diamondbacks’ moneyline sits at +146. Arizona is +1.5, while the over/under for total runs is 8.5.

Padres Hope To Find Consistency Under New Manager

Despite a bevy of offseason moves, the most important move that San Diego made this offseason might be the addition of manager Bob Melvin. Brought over from the Oakland A’s, Melvin will try to bring a calming influence to a team that struggled down the stretch last year.

Without a doubt, the Padres have plenty of talent and the resources to add more help if need be. Already this offseason, the Padres added starter Sean Manaea, first baseman Luke Voit, outfielder Matt Beaty, pitcher Nick Martinez, and others.

One player that San Diego will be without Thursday is star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who is still recovering from wrist surgery.

Still, the Padres ranked 13th last season in scoring, averaging 4.50 runs per game, and they should again be solid.

In Tatis’ absence, leading the offense is Manny Machado. Last season, he hit .278/.347/.489 with 28 home runs, 106 runs batted in, 92 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases for the Friars.

On the mound on Thursday will be ace Yu Darvish. In 30 starts in 2021, Darvish finished 8-11 with a 4.22 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and had 199 strikeouts in 166.1 innings. While those stats weren’t awful, the Padres will hope that the 35-year-old Darvish can be even better this year.

Diamondbacks Looking For Small Progressions

At +15000 to win the NL West, the Arizona Diamondbacks know that this is probably not the year they will compete. Still, they are hoping to see progressions from some of their young guys as they build back towards contention.

While Arizona was not overly active on the free-agent market, they did sign one of their own to a long-term deal. After hitting .318/.377/.532 with 14 home runs, 50 runs batted in, and 52 runs scored in just 340 at bats last season, Ketel Marte and Arizona agreed to a five-year extension worth $76 million.

Arizona’s offense is hoping that David Peralta can carry over a hot spring into the regular season. In 31 at bats this spring, Peralta hit .323/.417/.903 with five home runs and nine runs batted in. With not too many potent bats in the lineup, a bounceback year from Peralta would be huge for the Diamondbacks.

Veteran southpaw Madison Bumgarner will take the mound in the opener for Arizona. Last season, the 32-year-old went 7-10 in 26 starts with a 4.67 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and had 124 strikeouts in 146.1 innings.

Take Arizona And The Runs

As crazy as it might sound, there is some value with Arizona in this one. San Diego is a far better team on paper than Arizona and will undoubtedly have a better record than Arizona, but they have struggled against the Diamondbacks.

In their last 19 road games against the Diamondbacks, San Diego is a disappointing 4-15. Add to that, in their last nine road games overall; the Padres finished the season last year 1-8.

Granted, it is a new year, and anything can happen on Opening Day, but with Tatis out and the Padres’ struggles at Chase Field, Arizona might be worth taking a gamble on.

Take Arizona +1.5 (-105).

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