MLB Picks: Shields & Padres Worth Backing On Run Line Against Giants

Mark Lathrop

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 3:00 PM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 26, 2016 3:00 PM UTC

Our MLB handicapper spots some serious value in this Giants vs. Padres game as he analyzes the pitching matchup. Read on as he makes his Tuesday MLB Pick and profit from his insight!

2016 MLB: 7-4-1, +2.80 Units

The struggling San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres meet on Tuesday night hoping to stay out of the cellar of the NL West. Coming into their series starting Monday night, the Giants were 3-7 in their last ten games and the Padres 4-6. There is a pretty wide availability on moneylines to open wagering on this contest, with the MLB odds favoring the Giants at home from -158 at Pinnacle to -170 at BookMaker. The O/U total has opened at 7, with most books shaded to the under by a dime. The run line pays out +145 at Heritage if you are willing to spot the Padres 1.5 runs.

Getting the start in this game for the San Francisco Giants is right-hander, Johnny Cueto. Cueto is 3-1 to start the season and is coming off of a tough loss where he pitched fairly well against the Arizona Diamondbacks, giving up 3 earned runs over 7.0 innings pitched. His only real stinker was against the Los Angeles Dodgers back on April 10th, as he gave up 6 earned runs, also in seven innings. That game against the Dodgers was at home, which helps the .310/.177 batting average against home/away split that Cueto is currently posting.  Cueto bounced back in his 3rd start to basically shut the Dodgers down for 7.1 innings on April 16th. Over the entire season so far, he’s posting a 3.49 ERA, .248 BAA, and 1.09 WHIP. The .302 BABIP he has right now is well above his career average though, suggesting that these results have been a bit lucky.

Johnny Cueto isn’t facing the Dodgers this time around, and the lineup of the Padres hardly compares with that of Los Angeles. While the Dodgers rank 5th in total offense, the Padres rank 25th. San Diego isn’t a home run threat, and their team slugging percentage of .351 is 28th in the league. However, the Padres do have a few players in their lineup that give Ceuto trouble, so a date with Johnny might just be what the doctor ordered. Here are some select batted against stats from current Padres players against Cueto:
Jon Jay: 12-29, .414 AVG, 3 HR, .500 OBP, .759 SLG
Matt Kemp: 7-16, .438 AVG, 2 HR, .500 OBP, .875 SLG
Alexei Ramirez: 7-11, .636 AVG, 1 HR, .636 OBP, 1.000 SLG

This is the meat of the lineup, and doesn’t include Wil Myers, who has started the season batting .316 and is the only Padre hitting over .300. Myers doesn’t have much of a history to speak of versus Cueto.

The Padres counter on the mound with their #1 option, James Shields. And while the Giants have a few batters that have seen limited success off of Shields by average in Gregor Blanco (5-12, .417 AVG) and Joe Panik (5-10, .500 AVG), there is not a single batter on the current roster that has taken Shields deep. Although Brandon Belt has gotten close, going 2-2 off of Shields with two triples.

This is where looking at just win-loss records could get you into trouble, as Shields is 0-3 this season, but has pitched in some solid efforts. He just hasn’t gotten any run support to date. That should change in this game with the batting history I’m looking at against Cueto. For that reason, I like the value prospect of taking the Padres +1.5 runs at -150 at Heritage, and am making that my Tuesday night MLB Pick.

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Free MLB Pick:  Padres +1.5 -130
Best Line Offered:  at Heritage

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