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Giants vs. Padres MLB Odds & Picks: The Betting Market Is Overrating Blake Snell (Saturday, May 1)

Giants vs. Padres MLB Odds & Picks: The Betting Market Is Overrating Blake Snell (Saturday, May 1) article feature image

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony DeScalfani

  • The San Diego Padres are decent favorites over the surprising San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.
  • The Padres will turn to Blake Snell to take on the Giants and Kenny Ducey makes the case for fading the San Diego ace at a good price.

Giants vs. Padres Odds

Giants Odds +162
Padres Odds -177
Over/Under 7 (-120 / +100)
Time 8:40 p.m. ET
Odds as of 8 a.m. ET Saturday and via William Hill.

After falling at the hands of Yu Darvish on Friday, the San Francisco Giants will try to get back to their winning ways in the second of three games against their in-state rivals. The Padres, meanwhile, are putting together a little run of their own with five wins in seven games, charging up the NL West standings and coming for San Francisco’s spot at the top.

With both teams looking strong offensively, is there any value in taking the underdog here? Let’s look into the numbers and find out.

San Francisco Giants

If you look at numbers from the season as a whole, nothing about the Giants lineup jumps out at you at first. They’re 16th in wRC+, and 10th in strikeout rate. Looking into some other areas though, namely the power department, they’ve been strong with a .170 ISO, which ranks ninth in the league. They’re also all the way up in sixth when it comes to barrels per batted ball and seventh in contact rate.

So, what does this all mean? Well, the Giants have shown signs of breaking out all season long despite ranking just 16th in wRC+, making plenty of quality contact and hitting for power. So it should come as no surprise that the Giants rank in seventh over the past two weeks in wRC+, and have scored the third-most runs in baseball.

Their division-leading 16-10 record is no fluke, though admittedly it probably won’t be long until they’re overtaken by the Dodgers and Padres, considering the strength of the opponents in the NL West, and the fact that L.A. is sitting just a half-game out of first. This team has absolutely hit like a playoff team, though, and has impressed mightily.

It seems impossible I spent this whole time talking about the Giants and didn’t bring up pitching, because their starters have been their calling card in the early going.

Anthony DeSclafani has been one of those bright spots, pitching to a 1.50 ERA in five starts, including spinning five innings of one-run ball against San Diego in his first start of the season. His 25% strikeout rate would be a career-high, which is particularly impressive when you consider he’s ranked in the bottom 37% of the league in whiff rate. That points to some regression, as does an alarming 48.2% hard-hit rate.

San Diego Padres

Speaking of pitching, let’s talk about Blake Snell, who will get the ball for San Diego on Saturday night. Just how good is he? It’s easy to write off his 3.92 ERA and 4.72 xERA this year as just a few bad starts in a small sample, but when you consider he had a 4.13 xERA in 2020, there’s slight cause for concern.

Snell is still striking out 33% of hitters, but it’s possible the book is out on him and his opposition isn’t quite as easily fooled by his plus arsenal. His walk rate has ballooned to 12.8%, which would be a career-worst, and for a second year in a row he’s giving up hard contact at a rate of 36% or more.

The last time Snell took the ball against the Giants, back on April 7 at Petco Park, the Padres lost, 3-2. He walked four hitters over five innings, giving up two runs on two hits and striking out eight. San Francisco has only seemed to grow since that point, and Snell’s ERA has boarded a rocketship to the moon since then.

San Diego has done a lot of winning over the past week, but it’s come without a real offensive explosion. Over the past seven days, the Fathers rank 12th in the league with a 97 wRC+, which indicates a roughly league-average performance at the plate. With that said, they’ve had two offensive explosions — eight runs in that comeback against L.A. on Sunday, and 12 against Arizona on Wednesday — mixed in with some tough nights at the plate.

Giants-Padres Pick

San Francisco is 12th in the bigs with a 109 wRC+ against lefties, and should be well-equipped to deal with Snell here. It also doesn’t hurt it’s already eked out a win against the southpaw this year, and walked four times in that game.

As the eighth-best team at walking so far in 2021, the Giants will be patient enough to get baserunners against Snell, and that is where their power bats should be able to capitalize at least once.

The Giants have the hotter offense at the moment, and have a pitcher in DeSclafani who’s putting together a pretty solid season with respectable strikeout numbers. I certainly feel the Padres are severely overpriced on account of Snell, and should be a lot closer to -150.

Pick: Giants +162

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