Sept. 13 MLB Picks and Preview — San Diego Padres (68-78) at Colorado Rockies (62-85)

(Joey Lucchesi photo courtesy Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports)

This is the full preview(s) as seen on the Winners and Whiners and Stat Salt websites. The confidence rating for all picks on a scale from 1 to 5 is in parentheses.

Note: The 5/5 does NOT represent the best overall pick of the day’s games when there are multiple games, simply the best pick(s) from each individual game.

When and Where: Friday, Sept. 13, Coors Field, Denver, Colo., 8:40 p.m. EDT.

Joey Lucchesi looks to stifle the Colorado Rockies for the second time in six days as he leads the San Diego Padres into the opener of a three-game set against their NL West rivals on Friday night.

Lucchesi looking to roll to fourth straight victory

Lucchesi (10-7, 3.84 ERA) turned in one of his better outings of the season Saturday, scattering a pair of singles and five walks while striking out eight in six innings of a 3-0 victory. The second-year left-hander is enjoying the first three-game winning streak of his career and has limited opponents to four runs over 23 innings in four starts during that run.

“The way it started was sensational, the way it ended, was honestly, a little bit lucky,” Padres manager Andy Green told The Associated Press. “Just too many walks. Ultimately though he did what we needed him to do, which was battle and execute when he had to and get through scoreless innings and get to the bullpen with the lead.”

Lucchesi has seen plenty of the Rockies in his short career, going 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA over seven starts. The southpaw has also been effective at Coors Field, posting a 1-0 record and 1.56 ERA in three outings after limiting them to one run and three hits in 5 1-3 innings and leaving without a decision in San Diego’s 4-3 victory May 11.

The Padres (68-78) settled for a split of their four-game series against the Cubs with a 4-1 loss Thursday. Manny Machado, who is one homer shy of his fifth 30-homer season, is 15 for 31 (.484) with three homers and three doubles in seven games at Coors Field this year.

Hoffman hoping for runs in second crack at Lucchesi

Jeff Hoffman (1-6, 7.06) is looking to avoid a fourth consecutive losing start and a second defeat to Lucchesi and the Padres inside of a week. The right-hander made two mistakes that were deposited over the fence Saturday — a solo shot by Wil Myers in the fifth and a two-run homer by Machado an inning later — spoiling an otherwise solid outing in which he struck out eight in 5 2-3 innings.

Hoffman admitted the pitch on Myers’ home run “got away from me a little bit,” but admitted there was not much he would’ve changed on Machado’s blast.

“It was on the right side of the plate, it was just up. Good hitters can lift that pitch and he got enough of it where it snuck out. What are you going to do? The guy made $300 million dollars for a reason.”

Hoffman was one of the few effective pitchers in the four-game series at Coors in June that set a major league record for runs with 92. He limited San Diego to one run in five innings June 11, leaving long before the Padres rallied for six ninth-inning runs and won 16-12 in 12.

The righty is 1-2 with a 2.21 ERA in four career starts versus the Padres, striking out 22 in 20 1-3 innings. Colorado (62-85) was denied a sweep of a three-game series of St. Louis on Thursday, losing 10-3 for its 18th defeat in 23 games.

Notable Trends

The Rockies are:

  • 1-7 in their last eight home games vs. left-handed starters.
  • 7-23 in their last 30 games vs. NL West teams.
  • 6-21 in their last 27 games vs. left-handed starters.

The Padres are:

  • 7-3 in Luchesi’s last 10 starts following a quality start in his previous appearance.
  • 6-2 in their last eight games vs. the Rockies.
  • 4-1 in their last five games vs. sub-.500 teams.

*****5-Star Pick*****

Padres -0.5 runs first 5 innings (Even)

While Hoffman has pitched better in his two starts since being recalled, the Rockies still have trailed at the five-inning mark in both of them because they have failed to back him with any runs in either start. Lucchesi has held opponents to one or no runs in four consecutive starts in the first five frames and gets the nod here.

****4-Star Pick****

UNDER 13 runs (-136)

Machado mashing the ball at Coors aside, Hoffman has fared well since his September call-up in limiting opponents to five runs in 10 2-3 innings. Lucchesi, though, is the primary driver here as the under is 6-1 in his last seven starts versus NL West teams and 5-1 in his last six on the road.

The under has also hit in the lefty’s last four starts versus the Rockies. The under has trended well with the Rockies and southpaws, going 7-0-2 in the last nine such outings at Coors and 15-4-2 in the last 21 overall.

This line has come down one-half run, which is always dangerous at Coors Field, so shop around and see if there are any places still offering the 13 flat to help the cause.

***3-Star Picks***

Padres -1.5 runs (+115)

A confidence pick in Lucchesi getting the better of Hoffman and the Rockies again. The key is his overall consistency against Colorado regardless of venue, and the fact he was not part of that June pitching fiasco at Coors plays into his favor as one of the few pitchers without nightmares from it.

Machado to hit HR (+260)

The Padres slugger is absolutely worth a flyer given his numbers at Coors Field this year, with the hope that trumps his recent form in which he has gone deep just once in his last 12 games. Machado’s lone hit versus Hoffman in five at-bats also left the yard.

UNDER 7.5 runs first 5 innings (-125)

Sometimes a number is just too high to chase, and that is the feeling here given Lucchesi’s run of form. It is high enough that one pitcher could get rocked and the under could still deliver. Colorado’s scuffling offense also gives confidence to the under hitting — the Rockies have been held to three or fewer runs overall in eight straight games.

Rockies UNDER 3 runs first 5 innings (-110)

There is always some hesitation in taking the under for anything at Coors Field, but the Rockies struggling to string together hits and Lucchesi arguably in his best stretch of the season make taking the left-hander viable at a reasonable number for the first five frames.

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