Padres vs. Nationals MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: How To Bet San Diego In Juan Soto’s Return To Washington (Friday, August 12)

Padres vs. Nationals MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: How To Bet San Diego In Juan Soto’s Return To Washington (Friday, August 12) article feature image

Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images. Pictured: Juan Soto

  • The Padres are huge road favorites in Juan Soto's return to Washington tonight.
  • San Diego has Mike Clevinger on the mound, while the depleted Nationals will turn to Cory Abbott.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Padres vs. Nationals Odds

Padres Odds-250
Nationals Odds+200
Time7:05 p.m. ET
TVApple TV+
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Just 11 days since his final contest with Washington, Juan Soto will return to Nationals Park for a date with his former club on Friday night.

The Padres will send Mike Clevinger to the mound for the start and he has managed an ERA of 3.60 throughout 65 innings to start his 2022 campaign.

Washington will hand the ball to Cory Abbott, who has been more solid than his 5.68 ERA suggests throughout a tiny sample size of 12 innings this season.

Surely the Nationals will likely put a little more attention on this series with little else to play for this season, but will that be enough for it's depleted roster to pull off the upset in Soto's return?

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Where Is The Padres' Offense?

Since making significant deadline acquisitions in Soto, Josh Bell, Josh Hader and Brandon Drury, the Padres have gotten off to a slow start, managing just a 3-5 record with more modest offensive numbers than you might expect.

The Padres have struck out 23.4% of the time over that span, with a wRC+ of just 96 and a wOBA of .301.

However this comes through a small sample size, and it's easy to project why this new-look Padres offense should eventually wear out opposition staffs, and I believe we will see that narrative play out in this three-game set.

The Padres were more effective against right-handed pitching prior to the deadline additions, with a 101 wRC+ and a .309 wOBA, and it's easy to see why they should improve on those marks moving forward, as Soto has slugged .552 against righties this season with a .976 OPS, while Bell has slugged .490 with a .890 OPS.

Clevinger has managed an ERA of 3.43 over his last eight starts, with a WHIP of 1.08.

During that span, Clevinger has taken advantage when facing spots in easier ballparks and facing softer competition, and although that trend may not last forever, it could certainly be taken as a positive note entering a matchup against a lowly Nationals lineup.

What Will Nats Get Out of Abbott?

While the Padres have managed surprisingly poor offensive numbers to start the Soto era, Washington has been surprisingly productive throughout it's nine games without Soto and Bell.

However, to count on that continuing over a longer sample may be foolish, and Clevinger is certainly drawing a soft matchup against a Nats side which has hit to a wRC+ of just 92 versus righties on the season altogether, and has just lost two very potent bats.

The Nationals' 629 runs against are most in the league, and Washington also holds the worst run differential in the league by a significant margin at -200.

When the softer arms in Washington's bullpen enter the game it has often meant things get ugly, and the Nationals will surely hope Abbott can prevent that situation from happening and keep this game close throughout the opening frames.

Abbott has pitched to an xERA of 3.89 throughout his 12 1/3 innings this season with Washington, and may have been somewhat sharper in the MLB than his inflated overall numbers after a disastrous start last time out versus Philadelphia.

Padres-Nationals Pick

San Diego's high powered, new-look offense clicked back into gear with some significant outputs over the last two games of its series versus San Francisco, and I think we will see the Padres offence wear down the Nationals poor pitching staff heavily this week.

It would not surprise me at all to see San Diego manage 2-3 notable offensive performances throughout this three-game set against the lowly Nationals, and Friday's contest could offer a perfect spot for an important opening win.

Clevinger has managed elite numbers in softer spots of late, and I certainly believe we could see that trend continuing entering this contest against the Nationals post-deadline lineup without Soto or Bell.

San Diego should likely manage an early lead in this contest, before building on that as it gets into a soft Nationals bullpen.

I think there's a strong chance we see a big Padres win in this spot, and I would play the Padres to cover -2.5 down to -115.

Pick: San Diego -2.5 -105 (Play to -115)

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