MLB Picks: Padres Amped Up to Take the Home Opener vs. Giants

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, April 9, 2015 2:30 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 9, 2015 2:30 PM UTC

Thursday game features a matchup between the up-and-coming Padres & the defending champion San Francisco Giants in an NL West tilt. Read where the MLB betting value lies in this matchup below.

The locals finally have a reason to be really excited about the Padres for maybe the first time this decade. Featuring some splashy offseason moves to revamp the  lineup, and also the addition of a massive video board (good for a 13 game improvement for the Mariners last season), the Padres have their season opener against no other than the defending champion San Francisco Giants. The field is ready and the crowd should be electric. I mean, it's April so they shouldn't be at the beach just yet! Ian Kennedy will start for the Padres, with veteran Tim Hudson taking the mound for the visitors. The weather is expected to be sunny and in the low 60’s, so no park adjustments for weather is warranted. The home team Padres opened at -130 on the money line with the total listed at 7 runs on the MLB betting odds lines.

Ian Kennedy has pitched well against the Giants in his career, sporting a .2.52 ERA. As Kennedy has pitched in the NL West for most of his career, coming to the Padres from the Diamondbacks, we have a larger sample size of his batted against stats as well. I can't find a single current Giants batter that has gone yard off of Kennedy, save for Brandon Belt who will be out tonight because of injury. It certainly looks like this is setting up well for Ian to continue his success against the lineup of the Giants at his home park in the home opener.

39 year-old veteran Tim Hudson is coming off of a 9-13 campaing in 2014. Last year he wasn't able to rack up a win at Petco, going 0-2 with a no decision on the ledger as well. There are a few Padres batters that give Hudson a heap of trouble, notably Matt Kemp with a .364 batting average against. Given that the Padre bats have been lively against the Dodgers in their opening series, I like the idea of that trend continuing tonight.

But no matter how many stats you throw at a situation, sometimes the angle with the most relevance is simple motivation. The Padres just spent a heapload of money, invested $12 million on their ballpark, and are trotting out their new and improved ballclub. It will be in their best interest to put on a show and I expect their level of play to be just higher than that of the Giants.


The Veredict
I'm looking for the Padres to come out agressive in this situation and try to put up some runs early. I don't believe Hudson has the stuff to take advantage of this type of approach, at least not anymore.  I'd pair a bet on the home team with a bet on the Over of 7 runs, effectively narrowing down the variable to 'can the Padres score 3 runs on the Giants'. I feel the Padres can score 3 runs on Tim Hudson before the bullpen gets involved, so I like the value of this play. Take the Padres money line and go Over the total of 7 runs as part of your MLB picks Thursday night.

Free MLB Pick: Padres -130 at BetOnline 

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