MLB Regular Season
Matchup: Miami Marlins at San Diego Padres
Date/Time: July 26, 4:10 p.m. ET
Pitching Matchup: Mat Latos (4-6, 4.48) vs. Odrisamer Despaigne (3-7, 4.98)
MLB Betting Odds From BetDSI Sportsbook
Moneyline: San Diego -110
It’s always tough to figure out what will happen in games between teams like the Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres with the MLB Trade Deadline hanging over both clubhouses. The Marlins have already traded off one piece, sending former closer Steve Cishek to the St. Louis Cardinals, and more moves are expected. Nobody knows what to expect from Padres GM AJ Preller, who built the team to contend this past offseason and may now be rebuilding on the fly in late July. As these two teams wrap up their weekend series, a lot of players are sitting on pins and needles.
The Marlins were a trendy pick to contend prior to the season. Jose Fernandez would be back in June from Tommy John surgery and the team had some exciting young position player talent along with just enough pitching to get by. Those hopes and dreams have not come to fruition and, instead, the Marlins have been an embarrassment of an organization. Mike Redmond was fired, replaced by then-GM Dan Jennings. Jennings had no managerial experience, but penny-pinching owner Jeffrey Loria didn’t want to hire a new manager since he was already paying Ozzie Guillen and Redmond to not manage.
On the other side, the Padres were a trendy pick because they added some big names during a preseason trading spree. Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, and Wil Myers were all brought in to help out the worst offense in baseball in 2014. In making this flurry of transactions, Preller neglected to address just how right-handed heavy the lineup was and how awful the Padres would be defensively. Both of those things have been their downfall this season and now Preller is attempting to build for 2016.
Mat Latos is not part of Miami’s plans going forward and he could very likely find himself in a new city prior to Friday’s trade deadline. Latos is an impending free agent and it will be interesting to see what happens with him after the season. He missed half of last season with the Reds and has also missed time this season. Latos has raised his strikeout rate back up to an impressive 21.3 percent rate, which is in line with his career average. Unfortunately, sequencing luck has not been on his side.
Latos owns a 4.48 ERA, but his 3.32 FIP and 3.55 xFIP are going to be attractive to stat-savvy front offices. Latos has only stranded 65.1 percent of his runners this season because of a .321 BABIP against with runners in scoring position. He also has some stunning home/road splits, with a 6.92 ERA at home and a 2.14 ERA on the road. This is why bettors shouldn’t pay too much attention to small sample sizes. In his 2015 debut, Latos gave up seven runs in two-thirds of an inning. He has also allowed six runs and five runs in two other home starts.
Odrisamer Despaigne probably won’t be in the starting rotation on 28 other Major League teams. He has a 4.98 ERA with a 4.73 FIP and a 4.21 xFIP on the season. The Cuban defector had some interesting numbers in the minor leagues over just seven starts before the Padres hastily called him up in 2014. He pitched rather well, with a 3.36/3.74/4.01 pitcher slash, but has not been able to replicate that success this season. A drop in strikeouts and a spike in home runs have been the chief reasons why. In 96.1 innings last season, Despaigne allowed six home runs and struck out 65 batters. This season, over 90.1 innings, Despaigne has allowed 13 home runs and has only struck out 48 batters.
MLB Prediction: Miami Marlins
Neither team is an attractive bet right now, but Latos would like to get out of Miami and get onto a contending team. Impending free agents can make a lot of money by showcasing themselves down the stretch run and, if lucky, into the playoffs. That’s the goal for Latos right now. Despaigne has been a well below average starter this season and even a subpar offense like the Marlins should be able to do a bit of damage.