The Padres start what should be a fun four-game series against the Brewers on Tuesday, but they won’t have their aces on the mound. Some rotation shuffling means it could be a bullpen day for Milwaukee, while Nick Martinez will give it a go for San Diego. The Padres are -140 favorites on the moneyline.
Let’s make predictions for Thursday’s game and dive into why the Brewers might offer real value in the series opener.
Padres vs. Brewers Prediction
The uncertainty of a bullpen day for the Brewers – who do have baseball’s best bullpen ERA – is offset here by the struggles of Martinez for the Padres. Facing a Milwaukee offense that has hit its share of home runs at home and seems to be more patient than in recent years, Martinez is in danger here if he can’t get his control issues settled.
The Padres’ talented offense showed some red flags in this week’s series against the Mets, scoring just six runs in three days. There isn’t a ton or production outside of the stars right now, and that might be the case until Fernando Tatis Jr. returns.
There’s often no safe bet when one team is rolling out its bullpen, and the safe bet is rarely the team that actually deploys the strategy, but Brewers +120 feels like the better value here. Milwaukee is 5-1 at home and has a lineup built to take advantage of one of the Padres’ weaker arms.
Padres vs. Brewers Prediction: Brewers +120
Padres vs. Brewers Odds
The Padres enter as road favorites at -140 on the moneyline. The over/under is 8.5 runs. You can get Padres -1.5 at +110.
As good as the Brewers’ bullpen has been, it’s understandable why oddsmakers don’t instantly believe a bullpen day against this Padres offense is trustworthy. When you dig into these teams a bit, does that mean there’s some hidden value in Milwaukee?
Padres vs. Brewers Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Padres vs. Brewers.
Bottom of the Padres’ Lineup vs. Brewers Bullpen
The Padres struggled offensively against the Mets in their last series, scoring just six runs in three games. Juan Soto and Xander Bogaerts did their part at times, both homering, but the supporting bats further down the lineup will need to step up sometime soon.
San Diego is getting no production out of the catcher spot, little out of right field, and not enough from Jake Cronenworth. Granted, Manny Machado hasn’t been at his best either, but the Padres won’t be able to beat a tough Brewers pitching staff this series without more than a couple hitters producing.
While it sounds great that the Padres don’t have to face Corbin Burnes in this one, the Brewers have the best bullpen ERA in baseball to this point. Nine innings isn’t as easy to cover as three or four, though.
Brewers Lineup vs. Nick Martinez’s Control Issues
The Brewers don’t have the most intimidating lineup by any means, but Milwaukee has been patient this season with 4.45 walks per game – the fourth-highest mark in baseball. That could be critical against Martinez on Thursday.
Martinez has walked a total of seven batters across his two starts this season, after averaging a very shaky 3.5 BB/9 last season. He’s generally kept hits on the low end, but the hits he has given up in San Diego have tended to be hard contact. The Brewers hit home runs and walk often – two areas Martinez has struggled. That’s a major reason for my Padres vs. Brewers prediction.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Rowdy Tellez or Willy Adames can take advantage of Martinez’s volatility and at least get on base a couple times.
Padres vs. Brewers Starting Lineups
Padres Starting Lineup
CF Trent Grisham L
3B Manny Machado R
LF Juan Soto L
SS Xander Bogaerts R
1B Jake Cronenworth L
DH Matt Carpenter L
2B Ha-Seong Kim R
RF Rougned Odor L
C Austin Nola R
Brewers Starting Lineup
LF Christian Yelich L
DH Jesse Winker L
SS Willy Adames R
1B Rowdy Tellez L
C William Contreras R
CF Garrett Mitchell L
3B Brian Anderson R
2B Brice Turang L
RF Joey Wiemer R