These two NL West rivals started the 2022 campaign strong. The Padres are 4-1 after taking down these Giants in the series-opening game. But the Giants won their opening series against the Marlins.
San Diego is looking to avenge a poor 2021 season, and the win on Monday night is a good start. But the Padres need to build sustained success.
I’m questioning if San Diego can do that against this San Francisco team and against this Giants pitcher.
San Diego Padres Vs. San Francisco Giants Betting Odds
It’s always enticing betting the Giants as home underdogs. Especially since these Giants went 55-29 at home in 2021.
But the books are likely pricing the Giants fairly in this spot. The Padres have looked dominant in the opening weekend while the Giants have looked somewhat shaky. And Monday night’s series opener proved that statement.
But that doesn’t mean the Padres are the right bet here. Let’s dig deeper.
San Diego Padres Starting Lineup
CF Trent Grisham L
2B Jake Cronenworth L
3B Manny Machado R
DH Luke Voit R
1B Eric Hosmer L
LF Jurickson Profar S
RF Wil Myers R
C Austin Nola R
SS CJ Abrams L
San Diego Padres Vs. Alex Cobb
Alex Cobb trotted out a career year in 2021, pitching to a sub-3.00 FIP for the first time in his career in Anaheim. He only managed 18 starts, but 18 high-quality starts that kept the Angels in games – The Halos won 12 of those games last year.
That’s exactly what the Giants need in the wake of Kevin Gausman’s departure. Cobb won’t just eat innings, he’ll likely accrue over 2.0 WAR in the process. And alongside fellow newcomer Carlos Rodon, the Giants rotation is looking as good as ever.
Cobb doesn’t have a truly elite pitch, but all four of his pitches are above-average and he mixes and matches well. But you will see his sinker more than 40% of the time.
Unfortunately, none of those four pitches is a slider. San Diego really struggled against that pitch last season, but the Padres were average or above-average against almost everything else.
The Padre bats heated up in the second half of the Arizona series, with San Diego posting a 10-spot in the finale. Highlights include Luke Voit walking seven times in 17 PAs, Jurickson Profar hitting two homers and knocking in six runs, and Eric Hosmer going 6-for-12 with two doubles.
San Francisco Giants Starting Lineup
RF Mike Yastrzemski L
1B Brandon Belt L
SS Brandon Crawford L
LF Joc Pederson L
DH Darin Ruf R
3B Wilmer Flores R
C Joey Bart R
2B Thairo Estrada R
CF Steve Duggar L
San Francisco Giants Vs. Yu Darvish
What if I told you that Yu Darvish is bad?
After he tossed six hitless innings against the Diamondbacks, you are probably yelling at your screen. But he walked four guys during that stretch and posted a 6.25 xFIP. And on batted balls, he allowed a 91.4mph avg. exit velocity – 3mph higher than his career average – but not one fell into a gap.
There are plenty of concerning variables for Darvish. His barrel rate and walk rate jumped over 3% last season, and his 3.75 xFIP was a career-high. His .274 BABIP was also low, and I’d expect that number to regress towards his .291 career average. And after two very promising years in 2019 and 2020, his ground-ball rate dipped six points in 2021.
I guess I’m not saying Darvish is bad. But there are plenty of reasons for Padre fans to worry.
But I’m not totally sold on the Giants lineup. These guys are old even without Buster Posey, and the addition of Joc Pederson might not be as impactful as one would think.
The key is Mike Yastrzemski – the grandson of Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski – who hasn’t been the same since his breakout 2020 season. He’s still a productive hitter, checking in with a 106 wRC+ over the full 2021. But he was on a Hall of Fame pace, and the Giants are expecting him to be the next Giant legend.
But the .370 BABIP from 2020 regressed, and he started to get very mixed up against breaking pitches. Yaz posted a combined -12 Run-Value against sliders and curveballs last season, and his xBA dropped below the 10th percentile in 2021.
It’s worth mentioning that Yaz is still an elite fielder, posting an Outfielder Jump and an Outs Above Average rate in the 95th percentile last season. But we’ll see if the Giants can train his batter’s eye.
San Diego Padres Vs. San Francisco Giants Picks & Prediction
My pick: San Francisco Giants ML (-104 at FanDuel)
This line is giving San Diego too much respect. Darvish is not worth the Padres being favorites on the road on Tuesday night.
Cobb is going to shove against a high-variance Padres lineup that is still missing Fernando Tatis Jr. Meanwhile, I’m questioning Darvish’s ability to post back-to-back quality starts.
In fact, Darvish might be overvalued after his faux no-hitter on Opening Day. He didn’t pitch all that well against a Marlins lineup that is infinitely less dangerous than this San Francisco one.
The Padres have the bullpen advantage – at least from the projections – but betting the Giants as home underdogs is always a good bet.
I’ve noticed that sharp money is coming in on the Giants, pushing this line San Fran’s way. And while the Giants are getting only about 60% of the bets, they’re also pulling in over 90% of the handle.
I’ll take the Giants on Tuesday night at anything better than -110.