MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions (Wednesday, July 29): San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants

Credit:

Hunter Martin/Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Paddack.

  • Michael Arinze previews Wednesday's San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants game, complete with odds and a pick.
  • Find out why he's see's value on the first inning total tonight.

San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants

Padres Odds -175 [BET NOW]
Giants Odds +145 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 8 (-105/-117) [BET NOW]
First Pitch 9:45 p.m. ET

Odds as of Wednesday morning and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


“You tell people I’m nothing compared to the people that used to run things.” That was what Tony said to Alex Mahaffey during an impromptu meeting in the Sopranos pilot episode, and that was how I felt after the two teams I backed yesterday hung me out to dry. Nevertheless, today is a new day with a different matchup to dissect. So, we will begin there, with the Padres visiting the Giants.

Padres Projected Starter

In just his second year, Chris Paddack is already the ace of the San Diego Padres. It’s a marvel to think that the Padres got their ace in a trade that only saw them have to part with Fernando Rodney. Paddack finished the 2019 season with a 9-7 record along with a 3.33 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 153 strikeouts in just 140 innings. Not a bad return for a 23-year-old rookie. Paddack has picked up right where he left off by throwing six shutout innings and getting the win in his first of likely many Opening Day starts.

Giants Projected Starter

Johnny Cueto looks to be back to his old self after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018. He returned in September of last year, but this season was healthy enough to get the ball on Opening Day. Cueto went four innings in the opener against the Dodgers, but was likely given an early hook due to a pitch count in the low 60s. This early in the season the Giants will err on the side of caution as they look to slowly work their ace back into the mix.

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Betting Analysis

I’ve watched both Cueto and Paddack to a certain degree over the last two years, with Cueto as recently as Opening Day. Cueto can still get it done with a fastball he moves in and around the plate. He can also pitch using different arm slots and windups where he slows down or completely halts his motion prior to delivering the ball to the catcher. Cueto usually likes to unveil these tricks right from the start when he knows the entire opposing team is paying close attention to his first inning of work.

The Giants have scored the fewest number of runs (13) in the National League to start the season. I’m sure the last thing their hitters would want to see is Chris Paddack and his flowing locks on the mound. There are many ways one can approach this game and perhaps different types of under bets on the total. One wager I’m trying to explore more often is whether either team will score a run in the first inning. This type of wager doesn’t require any advanced analytics to decipher. You simply want to look for certain characteristics like good pitchers, poor hitting teams, pitchers with a low home run/fly ball ratio, or in Cueto’s case, a pitcher with deception who makes it difficult for hitters to see the ball early on. After that, it’s a simple check of their previous outings to see how each pitcher fared in their first inning of work. You don’t really need to go any further than their last 10 starts at most (for Cueto, we’ll focus solely on his last five starts because before that he was dealing with inflammation in his elbow which resulted in poor performances).

Since his return from Tommy John surgery, Cueto has yet to surrender a run in the first inning. His deception makes him a great candidate for a first-inning under, particularly if he’s using his full arsenal of tricks. Expect Padres hitters to be passive at the plate as they try to read Cueto’s arm slot and familiarize themselves with any quick pitch sequences he might use.

As for Paddack, I don’t expect the light-hitting Giants to even get a sniff of a base in the first inning. In his last 10 starts, Paddack has only allowed a first-inning run once. In fact, just to confirm his value, I looked at all of Paddack’s 21 starts and he’s only given up a first-inning run three times.

The Pick

DraftKings is offering almost even money (-104) that there won’t be a first inning run scored. This number is seriously underpriced but it’s the right price for a value bettor like myself. Take the under 0.5 runs scored in the first inning for a quick cash and easy sweat.

1st Inning Under 0.5 (-104), play up to (-135)

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

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