Not much was expected out of the Arizona Diamondbacks this season, and truth be told, they really can't be considered a legitimate threat in the National League West - at least not yet. But they are coming on a bit lately, and a big reason for that is the man who is one of the most respected sluggers in the major leagues, although he does not necessarily receive a lot of fanfare for his efforts. Of course, we are talking about Paul Goldschmidt, who leads them into battle as they face the San Diego Padres in a division game that starts at 10:10 PM ET at Chase Field in Phoenix. MLB Betting action will continue after the opening pitch for BetAnySports customers, as they partake in all kinds of wagers while the game is in progress, thanks to the magic of Live Betting Extra.

Arizona (33-34) has won six of its last eight games to move into third place in the NL West, ahead of San Diego (33-37), which has been something of a disappointment to its fans after making many bold moves in the off-season. Goldschmidt had a streak of 27 straight games in which he reached base until it was stopped on Thursday in a 7-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. The D-Backs won the opener of this three-game series on Friday with a 4-2 victory.

Tyson Ross, a member of the National League All-Star team last year, takes the mound for the Padres. He is just 3-7 but appears to have pitched better than that, with a 3.90 ERA. Robbie Ray, a southpaw, is the Arizona starter. He has been very effective in limited action, with a 2-1 mark and 1.09 ERA, and is coming off a brilliant effort in Anaheim.

In the MLB betting odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, the Diamondbacks are very slight favorites at home:

Arizona Diamondbacks (Ray – L) -106
San Diego Padres (Ross – R) -104

Under 8.5 runs -120
Over 8.5 runs +100

Goldschmidt, a rare Jewish star in the majors, led the National League in home runs (36) and RBIs (125) in 2013, as well as slugging, OPS and total bases, and finished as the runner-up and total bases, and finished as the runner-up in the Most Valuable Player balloting. Last year he slumped to just 19 home runs and 69 RBIs, although he batted 300. This season, it looks like he is going to at least approach this 2013 power numbers, and he is well above his career-high in batting.

Over his last nine games, Goldschmidt has picked up 16 hits in 33 at-bats, and he has taken over the NL lead in hitting at .358. As such, he is building a pretty strong case for the MVP award once again. Against San Diego pitching thus far this season, he has hit .385, with an on-base percentage of .515. And against Ross, his career slugging percentage in 21 plate appearances is .824.

BetAnySports patrons may not have seen much of Ray, and he will be making his first start against the Padres. Five days ago he blanked the Angels on two hits over seven innings, and he has only allowed three earned runs thus far in 24-2/3 frames. Ross got a no-decision against the D-Backs on May 9, leaving after giving up two runs in six innings.

The Padres, who have lost five of their last six games, have actually done better as a road club (17-18) than they have at home (16-19). And they are hitting .265 against left-handed starters, which is more than respectable. Ray has allowed just one homer in his 24-1/3 innings, and has kept his WHIP ratio under the 1.00 mark. That's a lot better than he did in his limited tenure with the Detroit Tigers last season, when he had an ERA of 8.16.

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