MLB over/under of the day, April 7: San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks
- Over/Under: 9
- First pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET
- Probables: Yu Darvish (0-0, -.– ERA) vs. Madison Bumgarner (0-0, -.– ERA)
Deja vu, right? If this Opening Day encounter seems familiar, that’s because it’s a rematch of last year’s opener.
In that bout, both Darvish and Bumgarner didn’t provide their best work, each unable to make it through the fifth inning. However, don’t expect similar results here.
For one, Darvish is coming off a delightful spring training that lends hope he can return to first-half form from a year ago — the form that led him to the All-Star team.
The second half of the campaign was a much different story, as Darvish labored following the Midsummer Classic to an unsightly 1-8 record and 6.16 ERA. That showing was a complete outlier, though.
When healthy, Darvish is still one of the true upper echelon pitchers in the game, attaining the reputation of a surgeon based on how he routinely works the strike zone with pinpoint precision.
The 35-year-old constructed a 2.38 ERA and 1.06 WHIP while crafting 14 K’s across his three starts, spanning 11.1 innings. While he experienced mixed results against the D-backs in 2021, I believe that can still help Darvish out in being better prepared for the lineup’s most dangerous bats, Ketel Marte and Christian Walker.
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A notable variable involved is that Darvish will no longer have his personal catcher, Victor Caratini, who was dealt just yesterday to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Despite this, Darvish should be fine. Before even playing with Caratini, the Japanese import owned a 3.49 ERA and was amassing 11 K/9 in his first six years in the big leagues. He’ll be in fine shape.
Meanwhile, fellow veteran starter Mad Bum will also be following up a season that was up and down. At times, Bumgarner looked like he was nearing the end of his illustrious career, but in other stretches, he still looked very much like an elite arm.
We’ll be betting on the southpaw to portray the latter form, or at least close to it. Bumgarner holds solid numbers against this opponent, pitching to a 3.73 ERA and 1.08 WHIP innings when seeing San Diego.
This version of the Padres is also considerably less dangerous when Fernando Tatis Jr. (wrist) is not featured. In fact, they barely topped four runs per game in the 37 games Tatis didn’t play or start in last season.
Bumgarner just needs to prevent them from notching any sort of crooked number on the scoreboard and that may be a deciding factor in the total.
With the over/under being as high as 9, simply one standout performance will have this one in position for a final tally on the low side. Neither starter is going to get tattooed like in the opener of a year ago. Pick: UNDER 9 (-110)