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The San Diego Padres will host the Oakland Athletics as the clubs open a mini two game interleague series Tuesday evening from Petco Park. The Athletics will send 24-year old right-hander Paul Blackburn to the mound, and the Padres will counter with 23-year old left-hander Eric Lauer. This marks the first series between these two teams since the 2015 season.
Blackburn Allows Eight Runs in Disastrous Outing
Paul Blackburn will get the call for the third time of the season, attempting to bounce back from a disastrous outing. Blackburn surrendered eight runs in just 1.1 innings against the Astros in his previous start, resulting in a loss to even his record at 1-1. The young right-hander was sharp in his season debut, holding the Royals to one run in six innings. Blackburn was outstanding in his first taste of the Majors last season, registering a 3.22 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP spread across 10 starts. This will mark his first career start against the Padres.
Khris Davis is on a power surge at the plate, launching seven home runs along with nine RBI’s in his last 12 games. The 30-year old slugger is having another productive season, posting a .238 average with a team-leading 20 home runs and 49 RBI’s. Davis has enjoyed success in his 14 career games against the Padres, bashing four homers with 11 RBI’s. The Athletics are having a solid season at the plate, currently averaging 4.39 runs per game, ranking them 14th in the Majors. The Oakland pitching staff possesses a decent 4.05 team ERA, pegging them 15th in the Major Leagues.
Lauer Solid in Win Against Cardinals
Eric Lauer will make his 11th start of the season, targeting his third win of the month. Lauer conceded two runs in 5.2 innings in St. Louis in his latest effort, leading to a 4-2 Padres’ win. The rookie left-hander features a solid 3.45 ERA this month, however overall he is having a rough entrance to the Majors, heading into this one with a 6.20 ERA and a 1.98 WHIP in 45 innings logged on the season. Lauer is having issues with his control, recording 24 walks in his 45 innings pitched. This will be his first career meeting against the Athletics.
Manuel Margot is locked in at the plate, collecting seven hits in his last six games, and he features a solid .326 average on the month. Overall, the 23-year old center fielder is having a quiet season, currently hitting .231 with one home run and 17 RBI’s. Margot is facing the Athletics for the first time in his career in this series. The Padres are scoring an average of 3.82 runs per game, ranking them down at 25th in the Majors. The San Diego pitching staff owns a 4.09 team ERA, positioning them 17th in the Major Leagues.
The Oakland Athletics are:
- 5-1 in their last 6 games in San Diego.
- 4-0 in Blackburn’s last 4 starts against a team with a losing record.
- 16-6 in their last 22 games against a team with a losing record.
The San Diego Padres are:
- 1-5 in their last 6 interleague games.
- 1-4 in Lauer’s last 5 starts on five days of rest.
- 0-4 in Lauer’s last 4 starts in the first game of a series.
I am taking the Athletics in this contest. Eric Lauer has allowed 19 hits and nine walks over his last three starts (15.2 innings), and he owns a poor 6.20 ERA on the season. Lauer also owns a terrible 6.89 ERA with a .371 opponent batting average in his four home starts on the season, so the Athletics should definitely get to him for some runs. Also, while Paul Blackburn was roughed up in his latest start, he only allowed one run in six innings in his first start, and last season he posted a terrific 3.22 ERA in 10 starts. The A’s have also won 16 out of their last 22 games against a team with a losing record.