San Diego dropped its second consecutive game by a two-run margin with a 4-2 defeat at Coors Field against the streaking Colorado Rockies.  The team has stated that it’s not panicking despite having its lead cut to just a game in the NL West division.  “Why should we be panicking?,” said Padres pitcher Wade LeBlanc.  “We’re at the All-Star break.”  The Padres are 5-7 over their last 12 games while the today’s opposition has won 10 of their last 12 games.  In 27 previous games against left-handed starters, San Diego has posted a solid 17-10 mark this season (+890), which is a dramatic improvement from its 63-74 record the last three years (-650).  The lineup is hitting .260 against southpaws overall, which is 11 points higher than its overall batting average for the season (.249).

Padres starting pitcher Clayton Richard is 6-4 with a 3.00 ERA in 17 starts this season (-230).  He is coming off a disappointing start last time out, allowing five earned runs and nine hits over six innings in a 6-5 road loss to the Washington Nationals.  The left-hander is a solid 3-1 with a 2.98 ERA in seven road starts, but has allowed 49 hits and issued 18 free passes in 45.1 innings.  Richard has made just five daytime starts, posting an even 1-1 record and 3.06 ERA.  In five career starts versus the Rockies, he sits an even 1-1 with a 3.90 ERA (-340), but picked up a 13-3 home win against them two starts back.  He limited the Rockies to two runs and five hits while striking out 10 in seven innings.

Colorado will play its final game of a 11-day, 10-game homestand this afternoon, as the team is currently 8-1 over that span.  The Rockies are 14-3 in their last 17 home games and 31-15 overall at Coors Field (+910).  The club is 4-1 at home against the Padres this season.  “Sunday’s a big day,” said closer Huston Street.  “We finish strong, finish this first half on the right note and go into the All-Star break.”  Coming into yesterday’s game, Colorado was leading the majors in batting average this month (.349) and on-base percentage (.419).  The team is a solid 18-12 in day games this season (+480), with the total coming in at 9-20-1 O/U in those contests.

Rockies starting pitcher Jeff Francis is 2-3 with a 5.12 ERA in 10 starts this season (+60), but has managed to last just seven combined innings in his last two outings.  In those games, the left-hander has surrendered 13 runs and 13 hits over seven innings.  He stands an even 1-1 with a 4.42 ERA in six home starts, managing to walk just seven batters and strike out 19 in 36.2 frames.  Francis is 2-1 with a 4.24 ERA in four daytime starts and has not allowed a home run in 23.1 innings.  In 19 career outings against the Padres, he is 5-11 with a 5.66 ERA (-340), but allowed eight runs and seven hits over three innings in a 13-3 loss in his last outing against them on June 30 at Petco Park.

Bettors must take a hard look at playing the total due to the aforementioned daytime mark of the Rockies (9-20 O/U) and the Padres checking in at 13-24 O/U on the road.  The total currently sits at 9.5 at Playing the road underdog in this contest seems to possess value, as the Padres are 7-3 in Richard’s last 10 starts versus the division.  Colorado has dropped five straight NL West games with Francis on the hill.