Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:59 AM

Thursday's Tip Sheet

Game of the Night: Padres at Diamondbacks – 9:40 PM EST

The Dodgers have struggled in St. Louis this week, opening the door for the Padres (8-5) to climb closer towards the top of the NL West race. San Diego finished off its second series victory over San Francisco this season in Wednesday’s 3-1 road win at AT&T Park. Nick Margevicius picked up his first Major League win by tossing six innings and allowing one run for the third straight start, while Manny Machado knocked out his third home run of the season for San Diego.

The Diamondbacks (6-6) continue their homestand after going 3-2 against a pair of American League squads in Boston and Texas. Arizona rallied from a 4-0 deficit to stun Texas on a two-run walk-off home run by Jarrod Dyson in Tuesday’s 5-4 triumph, but the D-backs couldn’t get any offense going in Wednesday’s 5-2 setback to the Rangers. The D-backs plated five or more runs in eight of the first nine games, but have been limited to two runs or less in two of the past three contests.

Zack Godley (1-1, 6.55 ERA) makes his third start of the season for Arizona, as he rebounded from an awful outing against the Dodgers on March 30 in which he allowed eight runs in 5.1 innings to beat the Red Sox his last time out. In last Friday’s start against Boston, Godley settled down and yielded three hits and one run in 5.2 innings of a 15-8 victory as a +120 home underdog. Arizona won three of Godley’s five starts against San Diego last season, but the only home loss came as a -215 favorite in a 6-2 defeat last September.

Pedro Avila makes his Major League debut for the Padres following one start in Double-A. The 22-year old right-hander faces an Arizona squad that has won three consecutive series openers, while San Diego owns a 3-1 record in Game 1’s of a series. The last time these NL West rivals met up at Petco Park earlier this month, the D-backs grabbed the first two meetings before the Padres captured the series finale, 4-1 to avoid the sweep.

Blue Jays at Red Sox – 7:10 PM EST

The defending champion Red Sox (3-9) are looking up at the rest of the AL East only 12 games in as Boston dropped its home opener on Wednesday to Toronto, 7-5. The Sox struggled on their opening road trip of the season by losing two of three each at Seattle, Oakland, and Arizona. Ace Chris Sale fell to 0-3 after allowing five earned runs in four innings of work against the Blue Jays as the southpaw suffered only four losses in 27 starts last season.

Toronto (4-8) snapped a four-game skid after getting swept at Cleveland with Wednesday’s victory, as the Blue Jays scored more runs yesterday (7) than they did in four losses to the Indians (6). It was the first series opening win for the Blue Jays this season, while cashing their biggest ticket at +230.

Nathan Eovaldi (0-0, 8.10 ERA) has picked up a pair of no-decisions in two starts this season, although the Red Sox are 2-0 in those games. Eovaldi lasted five innings against Seattle and Oakland, but the Red Sox hit the go-ahead home run in the ninth against the Mariners, while scoring three runs in the top of the ninth inning to break a 3-3 tie against the Athletics. The veteran right-hander did not start against Toronto last season, while the Red Sox were 3-2 in his five starts at Fenway Park.

Aaron Sanchez (1-1, 1.64 ERA) was masterful in his season debut against Detroit by tossing five scoreless innings in a 3-0 win, but suffered a 4-1 setback at Cleveland his last time out in spite yielding two runs in six innings of work as a +185 underdog. The Blue Jays lost three of Sanchez’s four starts against the Red Sox in 2018, but his best start came last September when he gave up three hits and one earned run in seven innings of a 1-0 defeat as a +250 underdog.

Mets at Braves – 7:20 PM EST

Three teams sit atop the NL East at 7-4 heading into Thursday’s action. One of those clubs is Philadelphia, who is off following back-to-back losses to Washington. New York and Atlanta each own 7-4 records heading into the start of a four-game series at SunTrust Park as the Braves picked up an extra off day following inclement weather wiping out Wednesday’s contest at Colorado.

The Braves slumped to an 0-3 start after getting swept at Philadelphia, but Atlanta has roared back by winning seven of its past eight games. Atlanta took all three games from Chicago in its opening home series, followed by capturing two of three from Miami. The Braves won both games at Colorado prior to Wednesday’s postponement as Atlanta plated 15 runs, including a pair of home runs from 2018 Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna, Jr.

The Mets have scored 26 runs the last three games, including holding off the Twins on Wednesday, 9-6. Minnesota outlasted New York in the interleague series opener on Tuesday, 14-8 to hand Jacob deGrom his first loss of the season, but the Mets crossed home plate six times in the fifth inning last night thanks to seven consecutive batters reaching on a walk (including a hit by pitch).

Kevin Gausman (1-0, 0.00 ERA) was pushed back after his scheduled start on Wednesday as the Braves’ right-hander posted a gem in his first outing against the Marlins last Friday. Gausman allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings of a 4-0 victory over Miami, as the former LSU standout lost to the Mets in his Atlanta debut in August 2018 by giving up three runs in five innings of a 3-0 road defeat.

The Mets counter with southpaw Steven Matz (0-0, 0.87 ERA), who didn’t allow a run in five innings against the Nationals his last time out. New York rallied for three late runs to beat Washington, 6-5, as Matz amazingly received his eighth consecutive no-decision dating back to last September. The Mets won seven starts by Matz last season in the road underdog role, but New York fell at Atlanta, 7-6 last May with the southpaw on the hill as a +125 ‘dog.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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