MLB Playoff Odds, Picks and Predictions: Cardinals vs. Padres Game 2 (Thursday, Oct. 1)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images. Pictured: Adam Wainwright.
Looking for Friday’s Game 3? Click here.
|Cardinals Odds||+140 [Bet Now]|
|Padres Odds||-165 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||8.5 (-125/+105) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||7:08 p.m. ET|
After taking Game 1 of the series, the Cardinals now have a major advantage versus a shorthanded San Diego squad. The Padres were dealt a huge blow yesterday, as their main starting pitchers, Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger, were left off the postseason roster with arm troubles. They will now turn to Zach Davies to try to keep their season alive.
The Cardinals have lucked out, not having to face Lamet or Clevinger, and took advantage of it in Game 1 plating seven runs on 13 hits. They will turn to their 39-year-old veteran Adam Wainwright to try and close out the Padres.
Advanced Stats Glossary
FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.
wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.
wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.
BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual batter per game is 0.50 BaseRuns and a for a pitcher its 0.52 BaseRuns per inning.
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis’ offense has been right around average all season, with a .306 wOBA and 93 wRC+. Paul Goldschmidt has led St. Louis’ offense this season with a .392 wOBA, but outside of him it’s been bleak. The rest of the Cardinals bats haven’t lived up to expectations this year, but they should have a good opportunity against Zach Davies, who is due for some negative regression.
San Diego Padres
San Diego has been a top-five offense all season long. It has the fourth-best wOBA (.341) and the fifth-best wRC+ (115) in baseball and most of its success has come against right-handed pitching. San Diego has the fifth-best output against righties this year with a .347 wOBA.
Fernando Tatis, Manny Machado and Wil Myers have carried the Padres offense all season long, combining for 48 homers and 132 RBIs. But outside of those three guys, the Padres haven’t seen much production. So if Wainwright can get through the top of the order, he could be very effective on Thursday afternoon.
Starting Pitching Matchup
Adam Wainwright vs. Zach Davies
2020 Stats (via Fangraphs)
Adam Wainwright, RHP
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Even at age 39, Wainwright’s curveball continues to baffle hitters. He throws it more often than any other pitch, and it’s allowed only a .191 average to opponents this season. Wainwright also has a decent sinker and cutter to keep hitters off balance.
So far this season his sinker has been on point, allowing only a .200 average to opposing hitters. His cutter, on the other hand, has been his Achilles heel, allowing a .300 average. The good news is the Padres rank in the bottom half of MLB against cutters this year.
With a trip to the NLDS on the line, I think Wainwright should be able do enough to get the Cardinals onto the next round.
Zach Davies, RHP
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Zach Davies is a “fill up the zone” type of pitcher. He’s not going to overpower you with velocity; he’s going to throw a ton of strikes and keep the ball down in the zone to try to produce ground balls. His ground-ball rate, however, has been fairly low this year at 41.3%. Davies is also due for some negative regression, as his xFIP (4.14) is almost a full run-and-a-half higher than his ERA (2.73).
Davies mainly utilizes a sinker and changeup. Both can be effective if he’s on point with his location, but if he’s off even a little bit he can give up a lot of runs since his velocity is so low.
St. Louis’ bullpen has been a bit fortunate this season, as it has a 4.00 ERA, but its xFIP is all the way up at 4.66, which ranks 23rd in MLB. However, it really improved over the past two weeks of season, posting a 3.60 ERA and a 4.15 xFIP.
San Diego counters with a pen that ranked fifth in xFIP this season. The Padres made a number of acquisitions at the deadline to try and improve their bullpen. Those acquisitions have done wonders, as over the second half of the season the Padres posted the third-best ERA and the best xFIP in MLB.
The two bullpens combined to use 12 relievers on Monday, so they could be a little tired going into Game 2.
It’s going to be another hot one in Southern California on Thursday, which should aid both offenses.
Projections and Pick
Based on the current line, I don’t see any value on this game. If I could find the Cardinals at +155 or better I would bet them. Conversely, I would take the Padres at -125 or better.