Padres Series Preview: Friars Look To Bounce Back Against Last Place Reds
The San Diego Padres have lost three games in a row and now welcome the Cincinnati Reds to town for a three-game series.
The San Diego Padres will open a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds at Petco Park this Thursday, April 18. The Friars were just swept in a two-game series against the Colorado Rockies at home and are currently on a three-game losing streak.
This series against the Reds can prove to be the perfect opportunity to bounce back as Cincinnati is currently bottom of the NL Central division. The Ohio based team had an interesting offseason, reminiscent of what the Padres tried to do in the 2015 season.
The Reds bolstered their offense by acquiring players like Matt Kemp, Jose Iglesias, and Yasiel Puig while also hanging onto Eugenio Suarez and Joey Votto. However, just like the Padres in 2015, the pitching is simply not good enough to stay competitive.
The current Padres pitching staff must improve dramatically to stay competitive as well. The Friars are second in the NL West with an 11-8 record, just a half game behind the first-place Dodgers, but must win a series like this to stay in the race. The Dodgers just swept the Reds in a three-game series, and now it is a good opportunity for the Padres to stay near the top of the division.
Game 1 (Thursday, April 18 – 7:10 PST) Chris Paddack (0-0, 1.29 ERA) vs Tanner Roark (0-0, 4.29 ERA)
Game 2 (Friday, April 19 – 7:10 PST) Matt Strahm (0-2, 4.26 ERA) vs Anthony DeSclafani (0-1, 7.43 ERA)
Game 3 (Saturday, April 20 – 5:40 PM PST) Eric Lauer (2-2, 4.91 ERA) vs Luis Castillo (1-1, 1.46 ERA)
Game 4 (Sunday, April 21 – 1:10 PM PST) Tyler Mahle (0-1, 2.65 ERA) vs Joey Lucchesi (2-2, 5.06 ERA)
Both pitching staffs have been highly inconsistent heading into this series, and the offenses can get an opportunity to shine in this four-game set at Petco Park. However, there are a few intriguing matchups throughout the series, specifically the one in the first game of the series.
Chris Paddack has been incredible so far this season but has not received support from his teammates as he is still yet to record his first MLB win. The Texas-born hurler has only allowed a run in each of his three starts this season and will need to get past veteran Tanner Roark to try and accomplish that feat. Roark’s numbers are not very impressive, but he did allow just one earned run in 5 1/3 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals his last time out.
The other intriguing matchup in this series will be the Game 3 clash between Eric Lauer and Luis Castillo. Lauer had a nice start to the season but has struggled recently while Luis Castillo has been lights out for the Reds. Castillo will be a tough opponent as the Dominican pitcher has only allowed four earned runs and no home runs in four starts this season. However, Lauer has an impressive ERA of 1.00 in two career starts against Cincinnati and will have a good shot to record another win at home.
Players to Watch
Eric Hosmer has been a trending topic for Padres fans and the baseball world recently, but not for positive reasons. The Padres’ first baseman is off to a dreadful start in 2019, batting .194/.270/.284 with just one home run and a horrendous WAR of -0.4. The 29-year-old needs to pick up the pace and he is fully capable of taking advantage of the Reds inconsistent pitching staff.
Puig is off to a rough start this season, currently batting just .176/.208/.353, but his numbers against the Padres are too good to ignore. The Cuban outfielder has hit 13 home runs against the Padres in his career, which is the most he has hit against any team. Puig has also has hit .282/.366/.444 with five home runs and 17 RBI in 41 career games at Petco Park.
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres’ 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.