Padres vs. Giants Odds, Pick & Preview: Why Underdog San Diego Will Finish the Sweep (Sunday, May 22)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Manny Machado
- The Giants are home favorites on Sunday against the Padres as they look to avoid a sweep.
- Can Alex Wood stop their losing streak in this spot?
- Michael Arinze breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Padres vs. Giants Odds
|Time||4:05 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
After a 2-1 victory over the Giants on Saturday, the Padres improved to 26-14 on the year, 1.5 games behind the first-place Dodgers in the NL West. On the other hand, the Giants (22-17) dropped their third straight game and now are five games behind in the division.
San Diego will try for the sweep with rookie left-hander MacKenzie Gore set to make his sixth start. San Francisco will also counter with a lefty as Alex Wood gets the nod.
While Wood has been a quality pitcher throughout his career, I wouldn’t exactly describe him as a streak stopper. I’ll expand on that and explain why the Padres have more than a puncher’s chance in this contest.
Machado Leads the Surging Padres
The Padres are determined to return to the playoffs after a disappointing season last year. I’m not sure anyone foresaw this hot start, especially with their All-Star shortstop, Fernando Tatis Jr., starting the season on the 60-day IL.
However, the Padres still have Manny Machado, and he’s reminding everyone why he’s a five-time All-Star. Machado is batting .358 and leads all of baseball with a 3.0 WAR. That’s remarkable considering that the Padres are tied for 16th with a wRC++ value of 96. Thus, we should also credit the other part of the Padres team—their pitching staff.
San Diego ranks 10th in pitching with a 3.53 team ERA. The organization has managed to push all the right buttons, including calling up Gore when Blake Snell went down with a groin injury. But Gore isn’t just some pitcher whom they’ll shuffle back and forth from the minors. He was the third overall pick in the 2017 draft, and MLB.com lists him as the fourth-ranked prospect in the Padres organization.
Gore is 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP through six appearances. His advanced numbers are also promising, given his 2.37 FIP and 3.07 xFIP. He’s pitched at least five innings in each of his starts, which tells me he can command his pitches. His 2.79 BB/9 ratio certainly supports that assertion, as that’s pretty good for any pitcher, let alone a rookie.
Gore also has plenty of quality with a plus-fastball that averages 95.3 mph. He can also reach back and hit 99 mph on the gun when needed. According to Baseball Savant, he throws his fastball 65% of the time, and opposing batters are hitting .228 against the pitch. However, his slider might be his best weapon as it has a 34.2% Whiff Rate and a .179 xBA. That could bode well against a Giants lineup that’s 22nd and 9.6 runs below average when facing a changeup.
Can Wood Avoid Barrels for the Giants?
At times, it can be all-or-nothing for the Giants offense as they’ve scored at least five runs in 17 of their 39 games this season. However, San Francisco has also scored two or fewer runs in 12 games. A few weeks ago, there was a stretch where the Giants scored just one run in three straight games. Yet, San Francisco still ranks seventh with a wRC+ value of 111.
If anything, we can conclude that the Giants offense can be a bit streaky. And while this team is probably good enough to get over the line, can they get enough pitching to make a deep run?
San Francisco ranks 19th with a 3.92 ERA. Wood is right around that mark with his 3.93 ERA. Through seven starts, he’s also 3-2 with a 1.40 WHIP.
While his advanced numbers (3.62 FIP and 2.95 xFIP) point to some positive regression, I can’t overlook that batters are putting some good swings on his pitches. Opposing hitters have a 7.8% Barrel Rate against Wood, the second-highest in his career. They’re also hitting .277 against him, which is more than 30 points higher than the league average.
I took a look at the expected batting average when facing all three of his pitches, and each is at least .281 or higher. Moreover, Wood has struggled in high-leverage spots where hitters have posted a .375/.500/.500 line. He’ll need to be at his best against a Padres lineup with a .285/.316/.375 split in 51 at-bats against him.
In 11 seasons, Wood has compiled a 66-50 record with a 3.51 ERA. Despite those encouraging numbers, I’m not sure he’s ever been regarded as an ace throughout his career. Perhaps even Woods doesn’t see himself as an ace. He certainly hasn’t performed like one when his teams desperately need a win. With the Giants facing a possible sweep and four-game losing streak, I took a look at how Woods has performed in this spot.
Historically, when his team is a favorite and on a losing streak of three or more games, they’re just 4-10 for -7.18 units. The Giants are also 82-90 for a loss of 7.95 units when facing a four-game losing streak.
My model has this game much closer to a pick’em, so I’ll risk a half-unit of my bankroll on the underdog Padres at +125 on the moneyline.
Pick: Half-unit on Padres ML (+125)