The Padres have won six straight and look to stake a claim to the National League West lead as they host the Seattle Mariners in an weekend interleague series.
Seattle Mariners vs. San Diego Padres
Friday, 21 May 2021, 10:10 PM ET at Petco Park
Don’t look now, but the San Diego Padres have the second-best record in the National League and the third-best in Major League Baseball. All of that is good for second place in the NL West Division.
That was actually expected, heading into the season as the Padres, loaded with young talent, were expected to challenge the world champion Los Angeles Dodgers for supremacy in the division and atop the sport.
The Dodgers had a late April, early May swoon, however, dropping into third place in the West. Instead, the Padres find themselves chasing another division rival—the surprising San Francisco Giants, who became the first team in MLB to move to 12 games over .500 on Thursday.
The Padres are 10 games above break even and just a game back in the standings. With the Giants and Dodgers throwing haymakers in a weekend showdown in San Francisco, the Padres stand ready to jump in front in the West, as they host the struggling Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners have lost three straight and seven of ten to drop to third place in the American League West. Seattle is hitting below .200 as a team and has already been no hit twice this season. They’ve hit .166 in the last 10 games, which includes another no hit loss. Their leading hitter, Mitch Haniger, is sporting a .256 average, although he also has a team-high 12 home runs on the year.
Seattle tried to spark the team, and fan interest in its play, by calling up its top pitching and hitting prospects to make their debuts in the same game. Pitcher Logan Gilbert and center fielder Jarred Kelenic haven’t exploded out of the gate, but they show plenty of promise.
The team continues to look for a chance and it shows on the MLB betting lines. It spent Thursday’s off day making a flurry of waiver-wire moves, bringing in catcher Jacob Nottingham, who was waived by Milwaukee, and calling up Jose Godoy, who impressed in spring training and will make his MLB debut in the next few days. The team designated Brady Lail and Jose Marmolejos for assignment.
It’s unlikely any of the moves will turn the Mariners into an offensive juggernaut, but the team deserves credit for pushing any buttons that are available. Seattle will start righty Chris Flexen to open the series in San Diego. He is 4-1, 2.46 and had 5.2 one-run innings in his last start.
Padres Are Burning Up
The NL West has been every bit as wild as we expected. Heading into weekend action, all three leaders are riding hot streaks. The Giants have won five straight, which is the only reason they remain ahead of the Padres, who have won six in a row and nine of 10. Meanwhile, a game behind San Diego is the Dodgers, who have suddenly put together a four-game win streak and eight of their last 10.
The Padres are hitting .272 over the last 10 and have an ERA of 1.75. The bats have picked up, and San Diego is third in the National League with a .320 on base percentage. Fernando Tatis has returned from a shoulder problem and COVID scare to lead the team with 10 home runs.
They’ll start righthander Chris Paddack against the Mariners. Paddack is 1-3, 4.45. He seems to have regain the touch on his fastball recently and allowed just one run in short outings his last two times on the mound.
It’s expensive to pick the Padres, but the reasons the line is so steep are also the reasons why it’s impossible to go against them. San Diego has a prime opportunity to take control in the West with its two biggest rivals knocking each other off this weekend. Look for the Padres to focus on blowing out an inferior opponent and pulling in front in the division.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.