Padres Firemen's Poor Performance Give Edge to Wada & the Cubs for Tonight's MLB Picks

Jason Lake

Wednesday, May 20, 2015 2:21 PM UTC

Wednesday, May. 20, 2015 2:21 PM UTC

Both the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres are struggling to meet their high expectations for the 2015 season. The MLB odds will be in San Diego's favor Wednesday night.

Jason's 2015 record as of May 19: 21-14, plus-5.72 units ML; 0-2, minus-2.05 units Total


There are still well over 100 games left to be played in the 2015 regular season, but you can already sense the angst building over the slow starts by the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres. Not that they're stinking up the joint by any means; the Cubs aren't doing too badly at 21-17 (plus-1.75 units), while the Padres are playing .500 ball at 20-20 (minus-0.75 units). But more was expected going into the new year. Chicago (16-1) and San Diego (18-1) were both in the third tier of World Series contenders on the futures market at Bovada.

Maybe everyone should just relax and have a nice cup of tea. The Cubs have done well enough to shorten their baseball odds to 12-1, while the Padres are still in the picture at 22-1. We'll get to see these two teams go at it Wednesday night (10:10 p.m. ET) in Game 2 of a three-game set at Petco Park; Tyson Ross is scheduled to start for the home side, while Tsuyoshi Wada will be making his 2015 debut for the visitors. The Padres are –137 favorites on the MLB betting odds board as we go to press.


Be Like Wada
Your mileage on Wada (3.75 FIP last year) may vary depending on whether you were betting on the Cubs last year. Wada performed quite well in his 13 starts, as you might expect from a four-time All-Star in the Japanese leagues. But Chicago found a way to go 4-9 in those starts, dropping 4.94 units along the way. Part of the problem was that Wada rarely made it into the seventh inning, leaving things up to the Cubs bullpen – which lost all five games in which Wada recorded a no-decision.

Wada is coming off an encouraging rehab stint at AAA-Iowa, where he posted a 3.59 FIP in 34.2 innings over six starts. However, he's still not going deep into games, which means we're going to see plenty of the Cubs bullpen on Wednesday. A bullpen that just allowed the Padres (–118) to beat them 4-3 on Tuesday. A bullpen that ranked No. 16 in the majors at plus-0.8 WAR going into that contest, and converted just nine of 16 save opportunities. Kuyashii!


You Get to Drink from... the Fire Hose!
Ross (3.41 FIP) has been everything the Padres could have hoped for when they got him in a trade with the Oakland A's back in 2012, in exchange for Andy Parrino and Andrew Werner. Parrino is in the minors, Werner is pitching in the Can-Am League for the Ottawa Champions, and Ross made the All-Star team last year. But the Padres couldn't make a profit off him, going 15-16 for minus-1.15 units. This year? Minus-0.24 units on a team record of 4-4.

So much for that offseason makeover. San Diego has some more pop in the lineup this year with LF Justin Upton (.923 OPS) and catcher Derek Norris (.793 OPS), but RF Matt Kemp (.682 OPS) has been a disappointment thus far. However, it's once again the relievers who are more at fault. Ross, like Wada, rarely goes past six innings, and San Diego's bullpen ranks dead-last in the majors at minus-0.5 WAR.


Fantasy Corner
Given how poorly San Diego's firemen have performed, this might be a good time to grab Wada after all and see if he can add to your win total. He's only 4% owned in Yahoo leagues at press time. If you'd rather take your chances elsewhere with your MLB picks, you might be able to get a hold out of Justin Grimm (3.89 career FIP), who is 100% available after coming off the DL earlier this month. We'll roll with Wada instead.

Free MLB Pick: Take the Cubs at BetOnline

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