San Diego Padres vs San Francisco Giants (5/21/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

The San Diego Padres are having an excellent start to the season. They’re 10 games over .500 and have built a small 1.5-game lead over San Francisco for second place in the NL West. The Dodgers are still 1.5-games up on San Diego right now.

The Padres will visit… The Giants for this weekend series. This should shape up to be an excellent series that could have potential playoff implications later in the season.

San Francisco stole the first four-game series between these two, winning two of three at home in mid-April.

The Giants will have their ace on the mound at home today, and he’ll be trying to rebound from the worst start of his season. He’ll go up against San Diego’s own Joe Musgrove, who is putting together a career season through seven starts.

Who’s got the edge?

Let’s dive into the starting lineups, betting odds, and my predictions for this Saturday matinee.

San Diego Padres vs San Francisco Giants Odds

San Diego probably shouldn’t be this big of an underdog. Rodon is amazing, but Musgrove has been just as good and the Padres’ lineup has been dominating.

But it’s tough to beat the Giants at home. Although they are only 11-7 at Oracle Park this season while the Padres are 14-7 on the road.

It’ll be a hard-fought game, but I am looking immediately towards San Diego’s way.

San Diego Padres Starting Lineup

2B J. Cronenworth L
LF J. Profar S
3B M. Machado R
1B E. Hosmer L
DH L. Voit R
RF W. Myers R
SS H.Kim R
C A. Nola R
CF J.Azocar R

San Diego Padres vs Carlos Rodon

Every conversation about the Padres needs to start with Manny Machado.

Machado’s 2.8 fWAR leads MLB this season. He’s posted a 183 wRC+ while slugging .560 and playing elite defense at third base. His .406 BABIP will regress, but his 52.2% hard-hit rate won’t. It’s also a huge plus that he’s hit seven home runs while stealing six bases.

Machado is probably the best five-tool player we have in the game right now. He’s probably not as good as Mike Trout, but he’s close.

And he’s done it all with Fernando Tatis Jr. out. The Padres have been unbelievably hot to start the season, and they have Machado to thank.

They’ll have to take on Rodon, who is probably searching for answers after a blowup start against St. Louis. He allowed a whopping eight runs on 10 hits over just 3 ⅔ innings.

However, the Cardinals are the best left-handed hitting team in MLB. They’re the only team to have posted a wRC+ north of 130 against southpaws this season, and if any team was going to get to Rodon, it was them.

It’s all about the four-seam with Rodon. He’s throwing it more than ever and he’s throwing it harder than ever. He’s picked up a whole five ticks on the pitch since 2019 and it’s now considered the best four-seam in the majors.

It’s also nice he doesn’t walk anybody.

The Padres could get to Rodon today. The team has posted the seventh-best wRC+ against southpaws this season (117), although there are a whopping four lefties in the lineup. But that includes the recently acquired Robinson Cano, who has made a ton of ABs but is just 3-for-13 since being acquired.

San Francisco Giants Starting Lineup

RF L. Gonzalez L
1B B. Belt L
2B T. La Stella L
LF J. Pederson L
CF M. Yastrzemski L
3B E. Longoria R
SS B. Crawford L
DH W. Flores R
C J. Bart R

San Francisco Giants vs Joe Musgrove

It’s really a joy to watch Musgrove pitch. Nobody pounds the strike zone quite like Musgrove, whose 23.3 K-BB% is comparable to Rodon’s. He also has a 32.1% CSW rate so far this season, which only trails his 2020 year with Pittsburgh.

Expect a lot of sliders, as it’s become Musgrove’s most used pitch over the last few seasons. It has some crazy movement to it, and he’s got a -7 Run Value on the pitch so far this season. The pitch has a ridiculous 43.3% whiff rate and has allowed just a .156 wOBA.

chart 2022 05 20T175703.304

Image credit: Baseball Savant

Otherwise, you’ll see a four-seam fastball. He only throws the thing about 92mph, but he ranks in the 97th percentile of qualified pitchers in fastball spin rate. The thing has some play, and it generally keeps hitters off balance.

The Giants have been the best four-seam hitting team in MLB this season (25.6 wFB), but they rank 18th in hitting sliders (-4.4 wSL). It’ll be a chess match between the Giants and Musgrove, and one I’m looking forward to.

The Giants lineup isn’t overwhelmingly daunting. I”m really happy with Mike Yastzemski’s production, especially after his quasi-sophomore slump last season. His .324 BABIP is slightly high, but I think his 141 wRC+ is somewhat sustainable because he’s walking more than 10% of the time again and his strikeout rate is down almost 8% year-over-year. If he can keep hitting the ball 92.9mph on average every time, the younger Yaz could lead the Giants to the playoffs.

San Diego Padres vs San Francisco Giants Pick & Prediction

My pick: San Diego Padres (+130 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

I really think that the Padres are undervalued here.

Musgrove has been unbelievable in the early going, and Rodon looked vulnerable against St. Louis and could be vulnerable again here.

Meanwhile, the Giants don’t have a hitter like Machado near the top of the lineup. Machado should continue to crush the ball, and he could do so again here.

Plus, it’s worth repeating that the Padres are 14-7 on the road this season. I believe there’s value on them again here against a potentially overvalued pitcher in a potentially undervalued spot.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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