MLB Odds: Philadelphia Phillies at San Diego Padres

By: Stephen Nover | Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Roy Oswalt is 10-2 lifetime vs. the San Diego Padres with a 2.45 ERA.

Worried about Mat Latos? Don’t be.

True, the 23-year-old righty is 0-2 with a 5.84 ERA in two starts this season. But Latos hasn’t suddenly forgot how to pitch after emerging as one of the best young pitchers last season when he went 14-10 with a 2.92 ERA.

Latos is slated to get the start when San Diego returns home after being on the road since April 14 to host Philadelphia Thursday at 7:05 p.m. PT. It’s the first of a four-game series.

Roy Oswalt, a Hall of Fame candidate when he retires, is expected to oppose Latos for Philadelphia. Oswalt is 152-83 lifetime with a 3.17 ERA.

The thing to keep in mind about Latos is the possibility that he’s still regaining arm strength after opening the season on the 15-day disabled list due to a muscle strain in his right shoulder.

Latos has only thrown 12 1/3 innings this season. He’s had some bad luck with five of six inherited base runners scoring after a reliever replaced him.

The Houston Astros roughed up Latos this past Saturday getting to him for five runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings. Latos lost, 5-3, as a 145 road favorite against Nelson Figueroa. The combined eight runs went ‘over’ the 7 ½-run total.

After finishing a surprising 90-72 last year, two games in back of the world champion San Francisco Giants in the National League West Division, the Padres have lost nine of their first 16 games in 2011. They are 3-5 at Petco Park.

Philadelphia has won four of its first six road contests. This is the Phillies’ first games versus an NL West foe. The Phillies dominated NL West competition last season going 22-10. They also were 45-36 on the road last year.

The Padres dropped five of seven to the Phillies last year, including getting swept in a three-game home series.

Latos and Oswalt hooked up in one of those games at Petco Park last season. Oswalt went eight strong innings holding San Diego to one run on five hits with six strikeouts and no walks.

Oswalt didn’t get the decision in a 3-2, 10-inning victory. Latos, who was a 125 favorite, nearly matched Oswalt holding the Phillies to one run in seven innings on five hits with six strikeouts and two walks. The combined five runs dipped ‘under’ the 6 ½-run total.

Oswalt is 10-2 lifetime against the Padres with a 2.45 ERA in 113 2/3 innings. The 33-year-old right-hander is off to fast start with a 2-0 mark, 2.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Oswalt did have to leave his last start, this past Friday against Florida, after suffering back spasms. He didn’t get a decision in that outing, a 4-3 loss as 170 home favorite against Javier Vazquez.

The Marlins managed two runs off Oswalt in six innings on four hits. Oswalt, who departed after throwing 89 pitches, struck out six and walked one. The combined seven runs fell ‘under’ the eight-run total.

While Oswalt should be OK to start, the Phillies lost another relief pitcher. Left-handed setup man J.C. Romero was put on the DL with a strained right calf. The Phillies already are without injured closer Brad Lidge.

The Padres have been getting outstanding relief pitching from closer Heath Bell and Mike Adams. Bell has four saves and a 1.29 ERA through 16 games, while Adams had retired 26 straight batters through this past Tuesday.

Following this series, the Padres host Atlanta Monday through Wednesday. The Phillies travel to Arizona after this series to play three games against the Diamondbacks also Monday through Wednesday.

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