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Odds presented by: DraftKings Sportsbook
|Team||Run Spread||Money Line||Total|
|San Diego Padres||+1.5 (-150)
|San Francisco Giants||-1.5 (+130)
The Padres are desperate — a few more losses and they could fall out of the playoff race for good. San Francisco isn’t rolling over either — the Giants are clamoring to hold onto the NL East lead and avoid a Wild Card matchup with San Diego. In the end the Giants have the known commodity pitching, they’re the hotter team and they’re at home –we like the Giants to cover the spread.
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Well, what do you know, the Giants are once again arguably the hottest team in baseball.
That changed for about three seconds.
San Francisco, the first team to clinch a spot in the 2021 postseason, has won nine of 10 to continue to still somehow stay ahead of what is unquestionably the most talented team in baseball in the Los Angeles Dodgers.
They’ve won these games by mashing the ball; scoring at least six runs in each win and scoring 10 or more in three of them.
Meanwhile, San Diego has been ice-cold for more than a month. The Padres are 9-21 in their past 30 contests but are trying to salvage a series split on Thursday after a desperately needed win, 9-6 over San Francisco on Wednesday to keep them in the thick of the postseason race.
One large reason for that plummet in the standings? The offense has gone silent. Prior to Wednesday, the team had a .199 batting average over the prior 29 games — the worst in all of baseball. Also before yesterday, they’d managed just five runs in 62 innings.
That’s not to mention they fall behind fast. In nearly half of their recent games (14 of 29 prior to Wednesday), San Diego was already trailing after the first inning.
That’s not good.
But somehow, despite losing five in a row and having been out of a comfortable playoff position since the end of August, San Diego has remained within two games of the Wild Card spot the whole time — an incredibly reassuring feat to be sure.
There’s been no way to slice it and quite frankly there are darn few people who saw it coming: Kevin Gausman has been one of the 10 best pitchers in baseball this season.
His numbers are indisputable: his 14-5 record (T-4th), 2.65 ERA (5th), 1.01 WHIP (6th) and 201 strikeouts (8th) all rank in the top eight among major league pitchers.
Since April 13th he’s given up more than three runs in a start just once however in recent months. That said, he has not been as sharp in recent months as he was to open the season.
Gausman had an ERA of 5.11 in July, 3.16 in August and it’s currently at 4.00 in September. In the three months prior to that, his ERA was never higher than 2.32.
As for the Padres, it’s still not known who’s starting, but it is known they’re going to have to mix and match, especially now that Blake Snell is on the injured list.
For San Francisco, we’re watching a guy who hasn’t been healthy much this year and doesn’t have the best bat, but he’s riding a hot streak and we’re going with him.
Second baseman Tommy La Stella is hitting .273 this week (6-of-22) with two home runs and seven RBIs. Not to mention, the Giants have been dominant with La Stella in the lineup, going 27-7 in games he’s played since returning from injury at the beginning of August.
For San Diego we’re watching Trent Grisham, a speedy, normally reliable outfielder who is stuck in an offensive slump. Grisham is 1-of-25 in the last week entering the game Wednesday night and is struggling this month, hitting just .154 (6-of-39) with a .431 OPS.
Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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