If the Giants are going to make the playoffs, they'll need to sweep the Padres in San Francisco this weekend. Join us for a preview and free MLB pick in the series opener.
Tick-tock, goes the clock. And with each passing day, time is slowly running out on the San Francisco Giants and their hopes of repeating as World Champions.
The amount of ground the Giants need to make up in both the NL West race and Wild Card standings suggests time may have already run out. If so, San Francisco will at least try and delay the inevitable by taking down the San Diego Padres this weekend. Game 1 of the set gets underway Friday at 10:15 PM (ET), Andrew Cashner and Jake Peavy the initial mound duel at AT&T Park. Pinnacle has the Giants at -130 on the moneyline, SBR's live baseball odds showing 7's across the board for the total and generally favoring the 'under.'
It's the final series between the two this year in San Francisco where the Giants have won each of the previous two encounters, including taking two of three from the Padres in late-June. Four of the six played at AT&T Park in 2015 never made it to the totals, the MLB odds on this diamond pretty evenly split the last few years at 9-10 O/U. The Giants have also played very level on the totals overall this year (66-65-9) while the Padres have been solid winners for 'over' players (81-55-5)
Padres Begin Road Swing Through Division
San Diego (67-74, -10.7 units) just finished up a long and lackluster 4-7 homestand, dropping series to the Rangers and Dodgers while splitting with the Rockies. This stop in Golden Gate City precedes treks to Arizona and Colorado as the Padres embark on their next-to-last road trip of the season.
Though baseball bettors have made money playing the 'over' when San Diego takes the field, it's not because the Pads are necessarily tearing it up on offense. They sit right on the NL average in scoring (4.12) and own the 4th-lowest OPS in the Senior Circuit (.692) while posting the lowest on-base percentage (.302).
Pitching has been a bit of an issues, and Cashner has been a big part of that with an ERA above 4.00 and the Padres standing 10-17 (.8.0 units) when it's his turn to take the mound. San Diego has dropped each of his last three starts, the former TCU star allowing nine earned runs over 16+ innings in that span, and the club has managed to win just two of his 10 assignments vs. NL West foes.
One of those division losses came in his only appearance vs. the Giants this season, a May start in San Francisco where Cashner allowed six runs (4 earned) in a 6-0 setback. Brandon Belt (5-13, HR), Brandon Crawford (5-11, HR) and Buster Posey (10-20, 2 HR) have given Cashner a lot of trouble in the past.
Giants Need Minor Miracle To Make Playoffs
San Francisco (72-68, -1.2 units) took Thursday off before starting this 9-game homestand that finds the Reds and Diamondbacks following the Padres into town. The Giants begin the weekend 8½ games behind Los Angeles in the NL West, and even further back of the Chicago Cubs for the second NL Wild Card. They'll need to take care business in their own games to have any hope of catching the Dodgers who play sub-.500 clubs in five of their remaining seven series.
If Peavy's recent win one, lose one form holds true, the Giants are due a defeat on Friday. San Francisco split his six August decisions while the former Padre pitched to a 4.67 ERA, and though he won last Saturday in Colorado, Peavy allowed three runs before being relieved two outs into the sixth. He dropped his season-opener at San Diego back in April, allowing four runs in four frames, just the second time the 14-year veteran faced his old club. The Giants are 4-2 in Peavy's six home starts, the righthander's ERA almost a full run lower at AT&T Park than on the road.
Clear skies and temps in the upper-60s will greet the first pitch tonight. I'm riding the trend at AT&T Park this season with a free baseball pick on the final falling short of seven runs.
My pick: Padres-Giants Under 7 (-109) at Pinnacle
Season Record: 81-77-4 (+4.55)