Find out how they match up with Arizona’s offense after the jump.
Arizona is a dead-red team, as they fare well against fastballs and cutters while struggling against anything offspeed.
Garland’s offspeed stuff good enough for him to rely on it, even against a fastball-hitting team. That means he’ll need to be extremely precise with his location and pitch sequencing to succeed. He absolutely can’t get the ball up in the zone against the Arizona hitters, who have more than enough power to take him deep, even at Petco.
Garland slotting against Dan Haren will be tough for the Padres.
Unfortunately, Richard fits the same bill as a pitcher who doesn’t have a weapon to go with his combination of two-and-four-seam fastballs. Like Garland, he lacks the velocity to throw the ball by good fastball hitters, and doesn’t have another knockout pitch.
The good news is that Richard’s fastball is better than Garland’s, and that most of the good Arizona hitters (Montero, Drew, Johnson, Adam LaRoche, Gerardo Parra) are lefties. Richard dominates against lefties, and his slider and curve give him pitches that are effective to same-side hitters. It’s righthanders who have no trouble with his breaking stuff, and his changeup and cutter aren’t effective to righties either.
That makes Upton and Reynolds a problem, but those two have the potential to crush just about anyone.
With Rodrigo Lopez slotting against the Padres on Richard’s start, the Padres have a good shot at evening the series even if they do lose that tough first game.
Finally, Correia slots in for the series finale. He also uses his fastball and cutter a good amount, which is bad news, because they aren’t very good. Thankfully, Correia has two solid breaking pitches he can deploy to the Diamondbacks, particularly his slider–Arizona is one of the worst teams in baseball against sliders.
Correia must rely heavily on the slider against Arizona, because his fastball and cutter simply won’t cut it against this lineup, particularly with Correia’s questionable command. He’s facing sort of the opposite situation Edwin Jackson will be against the Padres, in that he needs to rely on his plus slider and not his mediocre fastball to succeed.
The first game seems to tilt in Arizona’s favor. The second one should go to San Diego. The final one looks about even in terms of the starting pitchers, but the Padres’ bullpen is much, much better than Arizona’s, so that likely tips the scales in the final game.