Cardinals vs. Padres Odds, Prediction, Preview: San Diego Goes for Series Win Over St. Louis (May 15)

Cardinals vs. Padres Odds, Prediction, Preview: San Diego Goes for Series Win Over St. Louis (May 15) article feature image
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Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Adam Wainwright.

  • After the Padres took Friday night's series opener, the Cardinals look to bounce back with a reliable arm on the mound on Saturday.
  • Adam Wainwright has been very good this season for St. Louis and will start opposite of Chris Paddack, whose control has led him to struggle early in the season.
  • Kenny Ducey breaks down which side bettors should look to back with his preview below.

Cardinals vs. Padres Odds

Cardinals Odds +120
Padres Odds -139
Over/Under 7
Time Saturday, 8:40 p.m. ET
TV FS1
Odds as of Saturday and via DraftKings

The Cardinals’ roll slowed ever so slightly on Friday in a close 5-4 loss to the Padres to open a three-game set, and St. Louis will be back with a vengeance on Saturday with veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright on the hill.

Is it time to believe in Waino, who has been on fire in 2021, and fade the once-promising Chris Paddack? Let’s take a look at this matchup and find some value.

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Old Reliable Starts for St. Louis

The Cardinals entered Friday the winners of five games in their last six, and even in defeat they found ways to leave us inspired. The Redbirds charged back after falling behind 3-0, scoring three runs in the final two innings on a couple huge homers from Tyler O’Neill and Nolan Arenado to make this one a real sweat for the Padres.

That’s been the story for the Cardinals, who have posted a 104 wRC+ over the past two weeks and clubbed 16 homers to rank inside the top 10 in that span. A lineup that has had to deal with a slow start and numerous injuries has returned Harrison Bader and Yadier Molina and is now firing on all cylinders. Even still, there are obstacles present for St. Louis. Dylan Carlson, still hitting second for this team, has fallen into a slump, and shortstop Paul DeJong was just placed on the injured list on Friday, forcing veteran Matt Carpenter into everyday action.

The good news here is while the Cardinals have been able to find some runs lately, they’ve rarely needed them with Wainwright on the hill. The grizzled right-hander has bumped up his strikeout rate up to 23.5%, and he has coupled his surprisingly-good numbers in that department with a tidy 3.43 expected ERA. He’s allowed a .297 xwOBA on contact, which is the second-best mark for Wainwright ever tracked by Statcast.

Simply put, he’s been reliable.

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Friars Bats Have Gone Missing

If Wainwright has been reliable, Paddack has been the absolute opposite. The 25-year-old right-hander seems lost at the moment, posting a gaudy 4.79 ERA through six starts. He had given up at least three runs in every start up until his abbreviated three shutout innings against the Giants in his last outing.

So, what has done Paddack in? Well, he’s walking one more batter per nine innings than he did a season ago, though homers haven’t done him in nearly as much this season. His spin rates are hurting, as are his strikeout numbers. It’s been death by base hits and walks, which is of particular concern due to his issues with the gopher ball, historically.

In stark contrast to the Cardinals, the Padres’ bats have been ice cold of late, ranking 25th in baseball with an 84 wRC+ over the past two weeks.

Things were already getting tricky for this offense, then it lost Fernando Tatis, Jr., Wil Myers, Jurickson Profar and Jorge Mateo to the COVID-19 list, forcing some of this team’s weak depth into action and moving some poor bats like Tommy Pham and Ha-Seong Kim up in the order. This is not an imposing order to face.

Cardinals-Padres Pick

The Cardinals aren’t getting too much love here from the books as the road team, though they’re 11-8 away from St. Louis so far this season and 12-8 at home.

I see a clear edge for the Cards with Wainwright going better than Paddack, and facing a considerably weaker lineup. I do think Paddack’s due for a bit of slight positive regression due to his low strand rate, but there’s also the issue of the home run, which has yet to plague him. His demons could come back in this one against a team that’s hitting them in bunches.

I love the value here on St. Louis and would bet it to a pick ’em.

Pick: Cardinals +120

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