The Oakland A’s and the San Diego Padres battle it out tonight at Petco Park. It will be the San Diego debut of Adam Frazier, who adds a much-needed contact element to the San Diego offense. The Padres are climbing the ranks offensively of late, as they’ve really swung the bats well since foreign substances went by the wayside.
Frazier’s addition to this lineup should really help. He’s the league leader in hits and up there with the top guys in batting average. I’m not a big batting average guy, as it is open to a lot of interpretation and variance, more so than other offensive metrics, but he puts a ton of balls in play and has taken a whole-field approach, something that few players do nowadays.
For the season, San Diego is 12th in wOBA, but since June 21, the Padres are second in wOBA. San Diego is sixth in wOBA since June 3, which was the day that the now infamous memo was sent out by MLB. The Padres have made a lot of hard contact all year long, but haven’t really shown much in the way of results until recently.
This is a solid offensive squad, though, and they’ve really got a lot going for them at present.
They may have a lot going for them tonight against James Kaprielian as well. Kaprielian has a 2.65 ERA with a 4.15 FIP in his 68 innings of work. He’s tilted more towards the fly ball side this season, which has allowed him to carry a .241 BABIP. He has a 90.6% LOB%.
Not surprisingly, a guy like that can thrive in Oakland. He has a .224 wOBA against with a 1.13 ERA in 32 home innings this season. On the road, however, he has a .340 wOBA against in 36 innings with a 4.00 ERA. He has allowed eight of his 10 home runs on the road in just four additional innings.
Kaprielian’s control has also been worse on the road, where he probably puts a little more pressure on himself to locate well because Oakland Coliseum is so forgiving. His BB% at home is 7.2% compared to 11.2% on the road. His home FIP is 2.68 and his road FIP is 5.46.
That leaves me with a pretty good feeling about the Padres offense against Kaprielian. I think they can do some damage in this game tonight.
But, I also think that the A’s can do some damage against San Diego starter Chris Paddack. Paddack is not a guy that I believe strongly in and a lot of it has to do with how shallow his arsenal is. The 25-year-old effectively throws two pitchers and that is a hard way to make a living with a subpar command profile. Paddack has a 5.17 ERA with a 3.85 FIP on the season. His 60.5% LOB% tells part of the story, but he has also allowed 13 homers in just 87 innings.
Paddack’s Hard Hit% is 41.5%, so he has allowed a good bit of hard contact this year. Hitters can really hone in on one of his two pitches and are typically able to have a lot of success as a result. Like most pitchers, Paddack’s fastball spin rate has also declined, so a pitch he throws over 60% of the time has lost some of its effectiveness.
The A’s hit better on the road than they do at home, especially from a power standpoint. That has to be factored into the equation in a game like this, where Oakland will have to try and keep up offensively.
These are two solid bullpens, so I’ll just go with the 1st 5 over in this one.