Giants vs. Padres Odds & Prediction: How To Back Subpar Pitching Matchup (Wednesday, Sept. 22)
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Scott Kazmir.
- The Padres (-116) are slightly favored over the Giants on Wednesday night.
- Scott Kazmir will start for San Francisco opposite Vince Velasquez in San Diego.
- Kenny Ducey breaks down the matchup and delivers his pick below.
Giants vs. Padres Odds
|Over/Under||9.5 (-102 / -120)|
|Time||10:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Make that three wins in four tries for the San Francisco Giants, who continue to somehow, some way hold off the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the National League West.
Carrying a one-game lead into Wednesday’s matchup with division-rival San Diego, the Giants should once again come out hungry to stay on top and avoid the wild card game.
A wonky pitching matchup between Scott Kazmir and Vince Velasquez makes this one a bit of a tougher call, but we will sift through the ugly numbers and see if there’s an edge on either side of this matchup.
San Francisco Giants
Simply put, the Giants are the tops right now. They rank third in the league with a 133 wRC+ over the last two weeks, hitting a commanding 21 homers (4th), walking in 11.5% of plate appearances (1st) and carrying forth a solid .222 ISO. Weirdly enough, the Giants have just a 38.5% hard-hit rate over that span, which puts them in the bottom half of the league, but a 10% barrel rate which ranks among the elite.
While the attack on baseballs hasn’t exactly been consistent, the Giants are still producing plenty of batted ball events that should lead to home runs or extra-base hits.
Now, let’s talk about 37-year-old Scott Kazmir, who will be making his first big-league appearance since June 4, and who pitched for Team USA in the Olympics this summer.
Kazmir knows his leash should be short, considering his lack of major-league track record this season, but the question becomes how much damage can be done against him early on, and whether or not it will put the Giants in a bad spot. He’s allowed three home runs in seven innings in 2021, allowing a 57.1% hard-hit rate in his short time in the big leagues. We do have to remember five of those frames were against the Dodgers.
Behind Kazmir, the Giants’ bullpen should be pretty gassed. They got just four innings out of Kevin Gausman on Wednesday, using Camilo Doval, Jose Alvarez, Zack Littell, Dom Leone, Tony Watson and Tyler Rogers. That means San Francsisco expended every high-leverage arm it has, and is ill-prepared for another close game.
San Diego Padres
If you were thinking perhaps the Padres had the edge against Scott Kazmir, well, they will be throwing Vince Velasquez. The right-hander has been poor once again in 2021, pitching to a 6.09 ERA and a gaudy 11.9% walk rate.
Command has long been one of Velasquez’s biggest issues, and this season is no different. The underlying numbers would indicate he’s deserving of his bad ERA, and his lack of strikeouts this year is putting more of an emphasis on the quality contact he’s allowing.
On top of that, the Padres have been horrible offensively of late. Aside from some sporadic homers from their stars, there are few redeeming qualities. San Diego owns the 23rd-ranked wRC+ in baseball over the last two weeks, hitting just eight home runs over that period of time and walking at just a 6.1% clip.
This has been a very impatient approach, casting doubt on the offense even against a weak pitcher, and a .242 average against lefties doesn’t do much to make you feel better.
In this matchup between two titans, Kazmir and Velasquez, it’s hard to call a winner, and the odds are indeed somewhat fair. I would still, however, favor the Giants given how poorly San Diego has hit. A team as strong as the Giants should put the hurt on Velasquez early, and leave the pressure on the shoulders of the Padres to hit against Kazmir.
While San Francisco’s arms might be a bit tired, this bullpen is still ironclad, and the task ahead of it shouldn’t be too tall.
I’m also slightly encouraged by Kazmir’s five scoreless innings at the Olympics against the Dominican Republic and some subsequent quality starts in Triple-A. While it probably means nothing, it does leave you with a good taste in your mouth, seeing as he technically comes in with better form than Velasquez.
I wouldn’t pay much more for the Giants, but I’d bet them here to -115.
Pick: Giants ML (-102)