Jake Arrieta is making his Padres debut at Coors Field; the over/under is the highest of 2021 MLB season

The San Diego Padres, a consensus preseason World Series contender, are currently in a freefall. They’ve lost back-to-back games to the lowly Rockies and are 1-6 in their last seven games. The Padres are 18-22 since July 1, and during that time they’ve been worse than Colorado (20-19) and only slightly better than the Diamondbacks (17-21). Ouch.

The Padres and Rockies will wrap up their three-game series Wednesday afternoon at Coors Field (GameTracker), and San Diego is sending new addition Jake Arrieta to the mound. The Cubs released Arrieta last week and the Padres quickly pounced because their staff has been decimated by injuries. They have 13 pitchers on the injured list, including Yu Darvish and Chris Paddack.

“I take responsibility for how I’ve performed,” Arrieta told reporters, including’s AJ Cassavell, after signing with San Diego. “I expect to be better, and I expect to be better on a team like this that is looking forward to winning a World Series. In order to do that, I need to be good for them.”  

In his final 15 starts with the Cubs, Arrieta pitched to a 8.95 ERA and allowed 19 home runs in only 58 1/3 innings. Hitters tagging him for a .355/.421/.645 batting line. Between that, the opposing starter (Chi Chi González and his 6.06 ERA), and the Coors Field factor, Wednesday’s game has the highest over/under total of the MLB season at 14 runs, according to SportsLine. Here’s more:

Two other Rockies home games saw a total as high as 13 this year: Monday it finished Under as Colorado beat San Diego 6-5; and July 2 it also finished Under as Colorado lost to St. Louis 9-3. The Under is 15-5 in the Rockies’ past 20 at home overall. The winds are blowing right to left today at maybe 5 mph so shouldn’t be a factor.

The Padres turned to Arrieta because they’re short on options. Darvish and Paddack are hurt, Dinelson Lamet recently suffered a setback, Ryan Weathers will soon set a new career high in innings, and top prospect MacKenzie Gore has been a mechanical mess since last year. The team’s rotation is currently Arrieta, Weathers, Joe Musgrove, Blake Snell, and TBA.

San Diego’s recent fade has allowed the Reds to climb to within 1 1/2 games of the second wild card spot. That lead was 4 1/2 games as recently as eight days ago. The Padres are now in a spot where they don’t just need Arrieta to chew up some innings. They need him to be effective to remain in postseason position. Given his season to date, that’s a dubious proposition.

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