Padres Series Preview: Padres Back At It Against The O’s For Another Two Game Set

Credit: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Credit: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

The San Diego Padres are coming off a fantastic series against the Cincinnati Reds. The Padres took three out of the four games against the Reds at Great American Ballpark. The series proved that the Padres are clearly superior to a team like the Reds.

The Friars will now start a new series back home at Petco Park. The Padres will face some familiar foes in the Baltimore Orioles. The two teams matched up last week in splitting a two game series at Camden Yards. Well now the Padres will play a two game series against the O’s at Petco Park. This series will mark the beginning of the last home stand before the All Star Game.

This home stand will not be an easy one as they will face the Orioles and the New York Yankees. On paper it looks absolutely terrifying but honestly it can be pretty close. The Padres split the last two game series they had against the Orioles. If the Padres offense continues to perform there is no reason to get a similar result this time around. Also the Yankees are not the dominant force they once were.

Pitching Matchups

Ubaldo Jimenez vs Erik Johnson 7:10 p.m.

Yovani Gallardo vs Christian Friedrich 12:40 p.m.

The first matchup of the series clearly favorites the Orioles for obvious reasons. The biggest reason being that Jimenez and Johnson have already faced each other. Jimenez got the best of Johnson in that matchup last week. Jimenez would have a great game in his spot start against the Padres. Ubaldo would throw six innings and only allow two runs against the Padres. Johnson on the other hand would only go four innings and allow six runs to cross the plate. Johnson has really been abysmal this season. Anytime he’s on the mound, definitely means that the opposing team has more of a chance for victory. However, there is a factor that may favor the Padres in this game. Jimenez has struggled heavily at Petco Park. Ubaldo has had a very tough time in San Diego with a career 4.59 ERA at Petco Park. If the Padres offense can pick it up again there is a chance of winning game one of this series.

We then go onto game two of the series. Yovani Gallardo will get the nod for the Orioles. The Mexican pitcher has struggled heavily in this 2016 campaign. In six starts Gallardo has an ERA of 6.67. He really has been a free agent bust for the O’s this season. Despite this Gallardo is still no laughing matter. He has always been a very good pitcher. He is capable of going out there and shutting out the Padres on any give day. He is also a force at the plate, Gallardo is one of the better hitting pitchers in baseball. It will be interesting to see how he fairs on Wednesday afternoon’s game. Christian Friedrich will have no easy task in the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles have been one of the best teams in baseball in terms of hitting. It also doesn’t help that Gallardo will be batting in that nine hole. To add to it Friedrich would also not have a very nice game his last time out. The lefty would go five innings and allow four runs to cross the plate. Despite this I do believe Friedrich will have a nice game on Wednesday afternoon. I feel that if the Padres do take a game in this series, it will definitely be Wednesday’s game. Overall I do feel like the Padres will split another series against the Birds. Pitching wise what I really hope for is for Erik Johnson to just eat up some innings. If he can’t at least do that there is no reason to have him on the team. Hopefully he can have a decent start, but if he can at least go five innings that will be fine. He has been a disappointment so far.

Players To Watch

Pedro Alvarez

Pedro Alvarez had actually had a really average season. His BA is all the way down at .236. He also only has nine home runs with only 26 RBI. Not really an ideal season at all. The only reason Pedro is in here is because of his phenomenal performance last time these two teams played each other. Alvarez would actually go 0-4 in one of the games. However in the other he would go 3-5 with five RBI. He would blast two, two run home runs in one game. Pedro would have an amazing performance against the Padres. Alvarez has always possessed amazing power. He should definitely be one to look out for in this series.

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

Adam Jones

I just had to include the San Diego native in the players to watch in this series. Jones has always been a really solid player in the MLB. He has been very consistent throughout his career. Jones is yet again having another very nice year. Jones currently has a BA of .265 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI. Adam “Not Pacman” Jones has also had a very successful career at Petco Park. In fact his numbers at Petco are quite astonishing. In five games at Petco Park Jones has an astronomical BA of .550 with two home runs. Jones has also been pretty successful against his hometown team. In nine games Jones has a BA of .432 and an OBP of .447 against the Friars. The San Diego native is definitely one to look out for in these two games.

Wil Myers

Well we’re back at Petco Park. You know what that means. It’s time for Wil Myers to start killing it again. Despite his overall bad series in Cincinnati, Wil still has all-star numbers. Myers is still at a .282 BA with 17 home runs and 50 RBI. Well after a 3-14 series against the Reds, Wil will definitely be glad to be back at home. Myers will be looking to improve to his .337 home BA. He will also be looking to add to his 11 home runs at Petco Park. The all-star game ambassador will surely show his dominance of Petco Park in this series. The combination of Wil’s home numbers and the Orioles mediocre pitching should be a formula for success for Myers in this series.

Matchups

Matt Kemp vs Orioles Starting Pitchers

Matt Kemp has dominated both Ubaldo Jimenez and Yovani Gallardo. Kemp obviously saw a lot of Jimenez, back when Ubaldo was the ace of the Rox pitching staff. Well Matty sure dominated him over the course of the years. In 41 at bats against Jimenez, Kemp has a Ba of .341 and a really impressive OBP of .426. surprisingly enough he does only have two home runs in the mix. Kemp has also had his fair of success over Yovani Gallardo. In 25 at bats Kemp has a BA of .360 with an OBP of .429 against Gallardo. He also has two dingers against the Mexican pitcher. As you can see Kemp has some quite similar numbers against both pitchers. Kemp should definitely be due for a nice two game series against these familiar foes.

Mark Trumbo vs Erik Johnson

These two have not faced each other much at all. In fact their only couple of matchups came in this season. Trumbo only had two at bats against Johnson. But that was enough to prove his dominance over him. In those two at bats Trumbo would get a double and a home run. Johnson has struggled tremendously this season. Johnson has specifically struggled with the long ball. As a Padre Johnson has given up seven home runs in 14 2/3 innings of work. That is just horrendous, and really unacceptable. Trumbo is currently one of the best home run hitters in baseball with 22 homers. Unfortunately for the Pads I do feel like he will bag at least his 23rd on Tuesday night.

Storyline

Will Erik Johnson Perform?

Okay so the Padres really do not need Erik Johnson on the team anymore. The Padres do have Edwin Jackson waiting to get the call at any moment. I really feel like Johnson has to prove himself in this next game to stay on the MLB roster. I mean it really isn’t fair to the other players who have proven themselves throughout the year. Everyone was skeptical about Drew Pomernaz, well now he’s our ace. Look at Christian Friedrich as well. Luis Perdomo has more than proven himself as well and is now turning heads as a starting pitcher. Erik Johnson has proven that he doesn’t belong on an MLB team at this point. I mean giving up seven home runs in 14 2/3 innings is just laughable. It really is. That has to be one of the worst ratios in the whole MLB. I’m not sure if AAA pitchers even do that bad. I really hope that Johnson can perform. I mean he was acquired in the James Shields trade after all. But if he can’t perform, it’s really not a big deal. The Padres have shown time after time, that depth is not a problem. We’ll see how it goes for Johnson on Tuesday night. If he can’t perform, let’s hope our offense does. Go Padres!

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. 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 Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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