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Friday MLB Odds, Predictions, Betting Preview for Padres vs. Nationals: Fade San Diego in D.C. (July 16)

Friday MLB Odds, Predictions, Betting Preview for Padres vs. Nationals: Fade San Diego in D.C. (July 16) article feature image

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Paddack.

  • The Padres get their second half underway on Friday night against the Nationals in D.C.
  • Chris Paddack is set to toe the rubber for the Friars opposite fellow right-hander Erick Fedde.
  • Michael Arinze breaks down where he sees betting value in this matchup, delivering his analysis and best bet below.

Padres vs. Nationals Odds

Padres Odds -140
Nationals Odds +115
Over/Under 9.5
Time Friday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Odds updated Friday afternoon and via BetMGM.

The San Diego Padres will get the second half of their season underway when they begin a three-game series with the Washington Nationals on Friday night. Both teams come into this matchup on a losing streak, as San Diego lost its last two games before the All-Star break while Washington has dropped four straight.

A little more than a week ago, these teams split a four-game series in San Diego. The Nationals actually outscored the Padres 34-26 in the series, so they should carry some belief into this series at home.

Recently, the Nationals have done well to stave off a potential five-game losing streak. And facing Chris Paddack for the second time in nine days could be just what Washington needs to get back in the win column.

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Paddack Out To Bounce Back vs. Washington

Paddack will probably like to forget his last outing against the Nationals as he surrendered nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits in just two innings. Normally, this would be a good spot to back a pitcher to make the adjustments and bounce back. However, Paddack is precisely the kind of pitcher that the Nationals have success against. In addition, you could also make the argument that the right-hander has actually regressed since he made his debut in 2019.

This season, Paddack is 4-6 with a 5.38 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. In his rookie year, he finished 9-7 with a 3.33 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP, and he followed that up in 2020 by going 4-5 with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.

Paddack has mainly been a fastball (61.1%)/changeup (27.7%) pitcher. He does mix in a curveball now and then, but he’s only thrown it somewhere between 7-11% of the time in his career. In 2020, he experimented with a cutter but quickly abandoned it after opposing batters hit .500 against the pitch.

For a pitcher who has shown the kind of promise Paddack showed in his first season, you’d like to see him offer a bit more in terms of his pitch arsenal. At first glance, it would seem that hitters can sit on his pitches more so because of his lack of variety.

Paddack has been even more predictable this year because his first-pitch strike rate has declined. This season, it’s down three percent from 66.9% in 2020 and down 7.4% in 2019. It doesn’t help that according to FanGraphs’ pitch values, Paddack is roughly 3.5 runs below average when throwing both his fastball and changeup.

Conversely, as a team, the Nationals are 12.5 runs above average when facing a fastball and 4.9 runs above average against the changeup. Neither scenario is favorable for a pitcher who throws those pitches almost 89% of the time.

Washington Nationals

While Paddack has faced the Nationals only once, Erick Fedde is still searching for his first win against the Padres after three starts. He last faced them 10 days ago, and it looked like he was in good shape through the first three innings until he allowed three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.

However, Fedde has pitched better against the Padres in his other starts. Before his last start, he had a quality outing against them and pitched six innings while allowing three runs in a 5-4 loss. And in the first time he faced them, he went 5 2/3 innings and allowed three runs in a 3-1 loss.

Unlike Paddack, Fedde has shown some improvement since his rookie season. His 4.54 FIP is actually the lowest of his career. What’s interesting about Fedde is that while he’s often struggled with his command (career 3.97 BB/9), he hasn’t had that problem when facing the Padres.

In 16 innings against San Diego, he’s only allowed two walks. I suspect that the Padres are more aggressive in swinging the bat against Fedde because they know he won’t be throwing any four-seam fastballs, a pitch that FanGraphs ranks them as 11.5 runs above average. In fact, the only pitches that the Padres are above average against are the four-seamer and the curveball. Interestingly enough, Fedde has neither of those pitches in his arsenal. Thus, San Diego is more likely to be reactive at the plate if he makes a mistake instead of sitting on their preferred pitch.

However, because Fedde has a bit more variety with his pitches compared to Paddack, I think he stands a better chance to make the necessary adjustment after facing them just 10 days ago. Fedde has thrown his sinker 47.5% of the time this season, cutter 24.1%, slider 15.5%, and changeup 12.9%.

It could be something as simple as tweaking the percentage mix of his pitches on Friday night. Though I’ll leave the game planning to him, his pitching coach, and the catcher.

But it wouldn’t surprise me if the Padres come out a bit flat in this game. I’ll expand on that when I share an angle of how I’d look to play this game.

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Padres-Nationals Pick

The Padres might as well have sleep walked to the All-Star break. They scored just one run in their last two games against a Colorado Rockies team with the worst road record in baseball (9-34). They could experience a bit of an All-Star hangover in this game. After all, historically, after at least three days of rest during the All-Star break, the Padres are just 4-12 for a loss of 8.01 units. Furthermore, they’re 0-6 in their last six games after the All-Star break when facing an opponent outside of their division. As for the Nationals, since 2013, they’re 13-6 for 8.34 units coming off a four-game losing streak and facing an opponent outside the division.

While I’m very pleased with those trends, I’m actually going to limit my action to the first five innings on the run line. You see, although the Padres are 53-40 this season, they’ve really benefited from a bullpen that is the only group with an ERA below three in the majors.

San Diego’s relievers are also tied for the major league lead with 31 wins on the season.

But the first five innings are where the Padres have proven to be the most vulnerable, particularly on the run line. San Diego (39-54) is actually the worst team in the majors in terms of units lost (-20.5) in this spot.

BetMGM is offering the Nationals on the run line at +0.5/-125. I like those odds, and I don’t have any issues swallowing the .25 cent juice.

Pick: Nationals F5 RL +0.5 (-125)

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