Giants vs. Padres MLB Odds & Picks: Plenty of Value on Underdog San Francisco (Tuesday, April 6)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Yastrzemski of the San Francisco Giants.
- Aaron Sanchez makes his return to the mound when he takes the ball for the Giants in Tuesday's game against the Padres.
- San Francisco will not have to face star Fernando Tatis Jr., who left Monday's game with an injury.
- Michael Arinze details below why he likes the Giants as live underdogs.
Giants vs. Padres Odds
|Time||10:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday afternoon via DraftKings.|
A win on Tuesday against the San Diego Padres will guarantee the first series win for the San Francisco Giants. San Francisco earned a 3-2 victory in opener, courtesy of a seventh-inning, go-ahead pinch-hit homer by Mike Yastrzemski.
The Giants’ bullpen then did the rest, shutting the door on the Padres in the final three innings. San Francisco’s scoring consisted of three solo home runs, with Evan Longoria and Darin Ruf getting in on the action.
Defensively, San Francisco has held opponents to an average of three runs in its last three games, and starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez hopes that continues when he makes his debut on the mound.
The 28-year old pitcher was signed as a free agent in February after missing last season due to a shoulder injury. He’ll be opposed by Padres ace Yu Darvish, who will look to rebound from an Opening Day start where he allowed four runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.
San Diego is a team that will often have an inflated line this season, and this game is a perfect example of that, with it listed as high as a -200 favorite. That said, let’s dig into the stats to see why they’re overvalued yet again.
San Francisco Giants
It’s been a long road back for Sanchez after surgery to repair a torn capsule in his right shoulder. He’ll finally play in a major-league game after being sidelined for almost a year and a half. In 2019, Sanchez began the season with the Toronto Blue Jays, but was traded to the Houston Astros after struggling mightily in their rotation.
Per FanGraphs, the right-hander finished the year at 5-14 with a 5.89 ERA and 1.62 WHIP. He struggled with his command throughout the season, as evidenced by a 4.66 BB/9 ratio. His HR/FB percentage was also on the high side at 16.1 percent.
However, when you have a seventh-place finish for the 2016 Cy Young award on your resumé’ like Sanchez does, teams are more willing to roll the dice after a shaky season followed by a year-long absence from the game.
Earlier this year, during a workout for prospective teams, he hit 98 mph on the radar gun. You can’t teach that type of arm strength, and that’s a big reason why he’s on the San Francisco roster.
After working with him, the Giants have already identified a pitch in his arsenal they feel could be a game-changer for the young right-hander.
In talking to the media, Sanchez shared a conversation he had with the Giants in which a member of the organization described his curveball as a stock-market pitch. The member said, “The more money you put into it, the more, the more times you use it, the better off you’re going to be. It’s that good.”
In 2016, Sanchez’s curveball had a pitch value of 3.2 runs above average, which paired nicely with his plus fastball. Yet after that season, the pitch value was below average.
If he’s been able to rediscover that pitch with the Giants’ help, he could be one of the best low-risk pickups during the offseason. His curveball could feature as a put-away pitch for him against a Padres team ranked 27th in the league against the pitch.
San Diego Padres
Darvish had a tremendous season last year. He went 8-3, boasting a 2.01 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. That was good enough for a second-place finish in the NL Cy Young voting.
Darvish had everything cooking during the year. His 0.59 HR/9 and 1.66 BB/9 ratios were the best of his career. The ability to limit the long ball was paramount to his success. His HR/FB ratio of 8.8% was a massive improvement from the 22.8% he had in the previous year.
In fact, from 2016 to 2019 his HR/FB ratio was on a steady increase from 12% to 15.1% to 17.5% to 22.8 percent.
His propensity to allow home runs might have resurfaced again, as he has an HR /FB ratio of 25% following his opening day start, in which he allowed two home runs in 4 2/3 innings. That could prove problematic against a Giants’ team that’s already tied for the league lead with nine home runs.
While many reveled at the power in San Diego’s lineup, it’s the Giants that are the team in the division with the highest ISO at .227, while the Padres are below average at .167.
When you can swing for power the way the Giants are doing, you’re never really out of a game. And if Darvish has another shaky start and can’t induce more ground balls, San Francisco could have another field day at the plate.
In 52 at-bats against Sanchez, San Diego’s hitters have a .243 wOBA and a .058 ISO when facing him. Whereas in 56 at-bats, San Francisco’s hitters have a .339 wOBA and .250 ISO against Darvish.
The Giants are being downgraded in this game, because no one has seen Sanchez pitch since 2019. And when they did see him pitch, he wasn’t all that convincing.
However, what we do know is that Sanchez had one of the best seasons a young pitcher could have in 2016, going 15-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 192 innings. Perhaps his performance in 2019 and eventual surgery suggest he was actually pitching with pain throughout the year.
Based on reports from the Giants’ camp, he still has quite a live arm that can test the radar gun.
San Diego just seems a bit rich as a 2-1 favorite in this spot. Keep in mind they will also be without Fernando Tatis Jr., who had to come out of the game after he felt some pain in the shoulder he previously dislocated. That’s one less big bat Sanchez won’t have to worry about here.
That said, I will back San Francisco as a +170 underdog via DraftKings in this spot. And that’s exactly how I’ll look to play this matchup.
Pick: Giants ML (+170)