This is a Free play on PHI +1.5.
The Padres swept the Diamondbacks in a home series without Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr., and now they are a big favorite in Game 1 of home series versus Philly.
Ranger Saurez will toe the slab for Philly, and he has some interesting split starts. While his numbers at home aren't great, he's 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA in six starts on the road.
The Padres hand the ball to Joe Musgrove, who's stats jump off the page no matter how you read them. Musgrove (8-0, 1.59 ERA) was placed on the Covid list just last week, but has been cleared to start tonight.
Philly has won 15 of their last 20 overall, and they have won 10 of their last 12 versus right-handed pitchers.
My free play is on the SD Padres at 9:40 ET.
The Philadelphia Phillies opened the season having failed to make the playoffs in each of the last 10 years, the second-longest active streak in MLB. The San Diego Padres ended a 13-year playoff drought in 2020's 60-game season and were expected to contend for the NL West title in 2021. However, the Padres would finish 79-83, 20 games behind the first-place Giants. The Phillies closed May on a five-game losing streak but beat the Giants on June 1. However, Joe Girardi was fired on June 3. Rob Thomson took over as interim manager and the Phils have gone 14-5 under him, although they visit San Diego on a three-game losing streak. The Phillies are just 36-34 on the season, 8.5 games behind the Mets in the NL East, as well as four games behind the defending WS champion Braves. Can you say 11 straight non-playoff seasons? The Padres didn't live up to expectations in 2021 but that hasn't been the case in 2022. San Diego is currently 44-27 (.620), leaving them in a virtual tie with the 42-25 (.627) Dodgers for first place in the NL West. Both teams are 4.5 games better than the defending NL West champion Giants.
Taking the mound for tonight's opener of this four-game series will be Ranger Suarez (5-4, 4.43 ERA) for Philadelphia and Joe Musgrove (8-0, 1.59 ERA) for San Diego. Suarez is in his fifth season but has made just 28 starts in his 96 career appearances. His lifetime record is 20-12 with a 3.13 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. He has made 13 starts in 2022 but while the Phillies are 8-5 in those starts, note that his ERA is up over a full run (4.43) and his WHIP is up to 1.51. Musgrove threw the first no-hitter in Padres history just over a year ago and his 11 wins, 3.18 ERA and 31 starts were San Diego's best marks in what was a disappointing 2021 season. However, let me note that 2021 was the first winning year he's had in his six MLB seasons. That said, he's been TERRIFIC here in his seventh big league season. The Padres are 11-1 in his 12 starts, with his 1.59 ERA and 0.92 WHIP showing marked improvement from his career numbers (3.77 ERA and 1.16 WHIP).
Musgrove will rejoin the Padres on Thursday, coming back from COVID-19 protocol to face the Phillies in the series opener (last start was Jun 16). Speaking of COVID, the Padres are finally back under their manager after Bob Melvin who returned from COVID-19 protocol on Wednesday. Melvin has missed 20 games this season -- including the first Phillies series -- due to two medical issues. I'm not about to buck Musgrove!