Sunday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Astros vs. Padres: Back Visiting Houston to Down San Diego (Sept. 5)

Sunday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Astros vs. Padres: Back Visiting Houston to Down San Diego (Sept. 5) article feature image
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Denis Poroy/Getty Images. Pictured: Houston’s Carlos Correa, left, tags out San Diego’s Austin Nola.

  • The Houston Astros take on the San Diego Padres in Sunday's Major League Baseball action on the West coast.
  • Houston sends talented pitcher Luis Garcia to the mound, with the hope he can deliver another solid performance.
  • Kenny Ducey breaks down the matchup below and explains why he's backing Houston to secure the crucial win.

Astros vs. Padres Odds

Astros Odds -110
Padres Odds -110
Over/Under 8.5 (-115 / -105)
Time 4:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here

Two playoff hopefuls trying to regain their form will meet in the rubber match of a three-game set in San Diego when the Astros visit the Padres on Sunday afternoon.

Two exciting young arms will get the ball against two talented lineups, so a pick ’em only seems fair here. With that being said, is there an edge to be found on either team? Let’s take a look at the matchup and find out.

Houston Feeling Heat From Seattle, Oakland

It’s hard to say the Houston Astros — the team that’s perhaps sustained a high level longer than any team in the American League this season — are in trouble. With that said, a slump has hit at the absolute worst time, and the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics are hot on their tails, trying to make a late push for the AL West.

Houston desperately needs a win or two to right the ship, having lost four of five entering Sunday’s exciting rubber match in San Diego. It ranks all the way down in 25th in baseball over the last week with a .608 OPS, offering few redeeming qualities.

Though this team has still only struck out in 20.1% plate appearances over the last week, it’s countered with a low 6.4% walk rate. This team isn’t quite having the same caliber of at-bats it was just a few weeks ago, lacking in the contact and discipline departments.

Luckily for the Astros, they might not need many runs in this one with Luis Garcia on the hill. The rookie has been fantastic this year with a 28.8% strikeout rate in 25 appearances, and a sparkling 3.23 ERA to go along with it. His whiff rate ranks in the top 14% of all qualified pitchers and his xwOBA is a tasty .293. Nothing about this kid is a fluke, and he should feast on some undisciplined bats.

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San Diego Pitcher Paddack Getting Nod in Big Spot

Speaking of said bats, the Padres just might be waking up a little bit. It’s hard to do do worst than the worst wRC+ in baseball, which San Diego was rocking for a good two or three weeks there, but this team has excelled in a lot of areas in the small sample size of a week.

San Diego is making contact on an impressive 81.5% of swings, which ranks second in baseball in the last seven days, and have posted a 123 wRC+ to rank firmly above average in that time frame. Its strikeout rate is a very, very low 17.7%, and the walk rate is near 11%. The Padres are having great at-bats at the moment, but they will really be put to the test against a hurler like Garcia.

The Padres’ hurler will also be put to the test. Chris Paddack has had some nice outings over bad and struggling offenses lately, and despite not walking many hitters is still allowing hard-hit balls at a 42.2% clip.

While we know the Astros to be a contact-happy team all season, making this an intriguing matchup, Paddack may be able to find some success considering the lack of bats on balls lately. His ERA has finally come back under five runs, thanks to a poor performance at the plate by the Diamondbacks last time out, and now we will see just how good he is.

Astros-Padres Pick

In a vacuum, I’d favor the Astros here by a fair bit. I have a general distrust of Paddack, and that’s become especially true this year with his strikeout rate continuing to crash down to Earth for a second straight year. He’s still giving up too many rockets to trust as a pitch-to-contact guy, and as bad as the Astros have been over the last week we know them to be a very talented offense this season.

Furthermore, Garcia has been lights-out all year, and it’s hard to see that changing with the season-long tendencies of the Padres. I’m willing to wager on the Padres’ numbers being so great lately because of bad pitching, not because of a renewed approach.

Pick: Astros ML (-110)

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