After a little hiatus, I’m back with a Friday play following the tough push to begin the week. The Padres lost to Philadelphia Thursday before they head to Flushing to play a weekend series with the Mets. The Padres actually lost all three games at Citizen’s Bank Park this week, and scored just five runs in the process. The Phillies shut down San Diego’s Quadruple-A offense, which will go up against Bartolo Colon Friday. And King Bartolo appears to be getting San Diego in the midst of a hot run. With Andrew Cashner on the other side, oddsmakers have made this a low total of 7.0 with some juice on the under.
In short, the total is low. But the total isn’t low enough. The juice doesn’t really scare me here because of the key number of 7.0. Look, maybe you make a case for the Mariners, Royals or Cubs, but I’d go as far to say that the two worst offenses in baseball will go head to head over the weekend. There isn’t much to argue about with San Diego. The Padres are the worst offense in the MLB by just about every meaningful statistic – OBP, SLG, runs scored. The Mets rank second-last in slugging, but have somehow managed to score more runs than teams like Boston, St. Louis and Atlanta, whose names skew the casual fan into thinking the Mets have actually been productive. No matter where you put New York in the argument, the Mets are really, really bad. And Andrew Cashner’s stuff won’t make it much easier.
Cashner came off the disabled list to make his first start in almost a month on Saturday. And everything looks to be a go. Cashner 2-hit the Nationals over six innings of work (70 pitches) to pick right back up where he left off before the arm troubles. He hasn’t thrown against the Mets this year, but their current roster is just 4-22 lifetime against him in their collective careers, which means almost nothing but I still find myself compelled to mention it. You don’t need to delve very deep into analysis to figure he probably goes at least seven and maybe gives up three if he doesn’t have his best stuff, with potential for a lot better if he’s his usual self.
On the other side, Colon has strung together 28 innings over his last five starts and only allowed five runs. He appears to be over that tough transition to New York after a few rough outings and is back to his ageless self. With his attacking approach, the floor is higher for Colon than many pitchers on his general level. He won’t beat himself and if there’s a team to beat him it certainly isn’t San Diego. He’ll be just fine.
The Pads went into extras today, though they didn’t use Benoit or Street. But couple that with the Mets’ heart-stopping bullpen and I’m content to hit the under in the first five innings with our starters.
Free Pick: First 5 Under 3.5 (-130)
YTD: 22-15-1 +4.58