The San Diego Padres have had big series after big series this year, but now, for the first time, they play for the NL West lead when they head to San Francisco.
San Diego Padres vs San Francisco Giants
Friday, May 07, 2021 – 09:45 PM EDT at Oracle Park
One way or another, either the San Diego Padres or San Francisco Giants will see their streak on Friday’s MLB odds board. The San Diego Padres are used to having their name on the marquee this season as the main event. For the fourth weekend in a row, San Diego will play a National League West rival in what is undoubtedly the biggest series in the sport for the next three days. They’ve had two against the Dodgers and, for the second time, will be squaring off with the Giants. For the first time over that span, however, the Padres will be playing this weekend for first place in the division.
After a slow start, San Diego found itself in third place, behind the World Champion Dodgers and surprising San Francisco Giants, when their run of high-profile games began. At the start of play Friday, however, the Padres found themselves in second place, a half game behind the Giants. With three games looming, the winner of the series will emerge in the top spot in baseball’s best division. The Giants begin the series in first place for the tenth day in a row. They’re 4-5 over that span and will need to rediscover the magic that put them there to hold on to the lead.
The Padres have found success against a tough schedule full of contenders despite struggling on offense as a team. San Diego has the second worst OPS in the National League. Despite winning their last two series, including last weekend’s tilt with San Francisco, the Padres have scored four runs in a game just once over that span. They’ve hit .226 over the last 10 games.
Fernando Tatis is hitting, leading the team with .554 slugging, and Eric Hosmer has been solid, leading the team in RBIs and hits. Trent Grisham and Jake Cronenworth are already producing, but Tommy Pham has been far below average at the plate, and the team has struggled as a whole, on offense.
The Padres’ success has been thanks to strong pitching from the Padres staff. The team will turn to former Cy Young winner Blake Snell to keep that going on Friday. Snell has been solid this season, going 1-0 with a 3.51 ERA and 13 strikeouts per nine innings, but he hasn’t found the dominant form he showed in winning the award in Tampa a few years ago. “I’m doing okay, but there’s always better,” he said after his last start, when he allowed one run over five innings against the Giants.
The Giants have clung to the division lead despite being without a few injured contributors. Outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, who has been out nearly two weeks with left oblique tightness, is expected to be activated from the injured list and ready to go for the Padres series. Catcher Buster Posey, who left a game Wednesday with hamstring tightness, is also expected back, and the team is hoping Alex Dickerson, suffering from a sore shoulder after a diving catch last weekend, will be back. As one of the oldest teams in baseball, the Giants will likely have to battle nagging injuries and soreness all year long.
The Giants send Anthony DeSclafini to the mound on Friday. He is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA and a WHIP below 1.00 in his first six starts. He has a complete game shutout this year, although he struggled against San Diego the last time out, giving up three early runs before finishing with four hitless innings after falling behind in the first two.
The Giants may not have the biggest name in the pitching matchup on Friday, but they’ve got the most dependable arm of the two starters taking the mound. DeSclafini should have another good outing against a San Diego lineup that is still looking for a spark. Look for the Giants to shut down the Padres bats and put the game away against the San Diego bullpen. I like the Giants for my MLB picks.
*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.