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Series Preview: Padres at Pirates

Detroit Tigers v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Next up for the Pirates are the San Diego Padres, winners of their last four and five of the last ten games. The two teams last met back in mid-May with the Pirates winning the series 3-1, outscoring the Padres 21-13.

San Diego is coming off a three-game series sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers where they finished with a +5 run differential. Pittsburgh has dropped seven of their last ten and are coming off a two-game series split with the Detroit Tigers.

The Padres are 12.5 games behind the National League West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers and are two games out of a Wild Card spot. The Pirates sit in last place in the NL Central, six games behind the Brewers and Chicago Cubs.

Both teams have a negative run differential, with the Padres at -32 and the Pirates at -77.

Schedule

Friday, 7:05 p.m — Joe Musgrove (4-7, 4.87 ERA) vs. Eric Lauer (5-6, 4.60 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Saturday, 4:05 p.m. — Chris Archer (3-6, 5.85 ERA) vs. TBD
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. — Steven Brault (3-1, 4.40 ERA) vs. Joey Lucchesi (6-4, 3.74 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Padres Notes

Offense

-Manny Machado is on an absolute tear lately, hitting .447 with a .421 ISO. He’s scored 13 runs hit four homers and driven in nine baserunners through his last 41 plate appearances.

-Fernando Tatis Jr. is another hot hitter for the Padres, batting .385 with a .519 BABIP. While he’s striking out a little over one in every four at-bats, his offensive production has been great with a wRC+ of 185 during his last nine games.

-Austin Hedges has been struggling the last several days, with a 38.1% K-rate and a batting average of just .150. His OBP is sub-.200 and he’s produced a 4 wRC+.

Pitching

-Lauer gets the nod in game one, his 15th start of 2019. He has 59 strikeouts in 74.1 innings with an ERA of 4.60. He’s a contact-oriented pitcher (43% GB-rate) who has a tendency to give up a lot of hard hits (42.6%). Lauer’s last start this past Saturday against the Rockies was a disaster, throwing just 2.2 innings and allowing five earned runs off of 10 hits. He faced the Pirates back on May 16th, going 5.2 innings and allowing one earned run, seven hits, with three strikeouts and no walks.

-The southpaw Lucchesi closes out the series for the Padres on Sunday. He’s pitched 79.1 innings in 2019 with a 3.71 FIP and a 1.11 WHIP. His season has been up and down, with half of his starts resulting in two or less earned runs; three of which were 5+ IP with zero runs allowed. Lucchesi faced the Pirates back in May, taking a loss after going seven innings and holding Pittsburgh to just two earned runs on five hits with six strikeouts and no walks. In his last outing against the Brewers, he pitched seven shutout innings and allowed only three hits.