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Game Preview: Cards at Padres (7/29/14)

If you like pitching, tonight could be the perfect night as the two teams with the lowest-scoring offenses in baseball square off at PETCO Park in San Diego at 9:10 CST. The Cards (56-48) arrive in San Diego after winning two of three against the Cubs, while the Padres (46-59) just lost three of four games in Atlanta. Without a doubt, the Padres are the worst offensive team in baseball as they are dead last in every major offensive category, and they score just 3.1 runs per game. The Cards haven’t fared much better, only 3.7 runs per game, so both teams’ pitchers should have marquee performances in this three-game series.

The Pitching Matchup: Lance Lynn (11-7, 3.05 ERA) faces off against the Padres in a game that figures to be a pitchers’ duel. Lynn was the tough luck loser in his last start, giving up just one earned run in 6.1 innings pitched against the Rays. This month, Lynn has been pitching as well as he ever has by posting a 3-1 record with a 1.75 ERA, so it’s safe to assume that Lynn will stay hot against the offensively challenged Padres. Yet, Lynn is 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA in two career starts against the Padres, though none were this season.

On the other side, Tyson Ross (9-10, 2.65 ERA), not Clayton Kershaw or Adam Wainwright, comes in as the hottest pitcher in the National League. Ross has an NL-best 1.03 ERA this month with an outstanding 0.83 WHIP, and he has pitched at least six innings and allowed two or fewer runs in seven straight starts. To make matters even worse for the Cards, Ross is even better at home, as he has recorded a 1.89 ERA this season. In his last start, Ross bested the Cubs by recording 11 strikeouts and conceding just one run in six innings of work. Ross has never started against the Cards, though he has pitched in three relief appearances against them.

The Skinny: It’s pretty fair to expect a low-scoring contest tonight, so don’t be surprised if the final score ends up being 1-0. While the pitching matchup favors the Padres, this one is up for grabs since the Cards offense has made some strides lately.

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