MLB Free Pick of the Day – Tuesday, July 23

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh
* 2019 MLB Record: 152-124-7 (55.1%) *

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[7:10 p.m. EST] San Diego Padres (ML: -137) at New York Mets
SD: Chris Paddack – R (6-4, 2.70 ERA/0.87 WHIP)
NYM: Jason Vargas – L (4-5, 4.25 ERA/1.28 WHIP)

The Padres have had a rough go of things since the All-Star break, but they do have their best pitcher on the mound and a great matchup with all of their power-right bats to go against a left-handed pitcher. Vegas already put their stamp on this game, giving the Mets a -0.4 implied run total decrease, which is tied for the highest on tonight’s slate.

Chris Paddack has been outstanding this season, and he nearly had a no-hitter in his last start. The rookie righty has been incredibly dominant in his last three outings, allowing a total of six hits and two runs to go along with 22 strikeouts over his last 19 1/3 innings of work.

There’s a little bit of tension in this matchup against the Mets. Earlier this season, Paddack felt like he should have been named the NL Rookie of the Month for April. Pete Alonso of the Mets ended up winning the award, and Paddack said he was “coming for Alonso.” Paddack took that fire into a start earlier this season against New York, getting the win via 7 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. He even struck out Alonso in the first two at-bats.

Jason Vargas is finally starting to come back down to Earth, much to the delight of me and anyone else who loves to pick on the Mets. In the month of July, he has now allowed 12 runs and five homers over 16 1/3 innings of work.

Working against Vargas tonight is San Diego’s lineup, which has plenty of right-handed pop. The first four hitters in their lineup (Tatis Jr., Margot, Machado and Renfroe) all have an ISO/power metric of .250 or more against left-handed pitching over the last 21 days. I’m no mathematician, but more at-bats from your power-hitting sources sounds like a great idea to me.

All in all, we’ve got a huge mismatch of starting pitchers that should bode well for San Diego tonight. Look for the Padres to use the long ball to their advantage and get the win in the process.

* Final Score Prediction * San Diego Padres: 5 – New York Mets: 2