The San Francisco Giants (98-53, 49-27) and the San Diego Padres (76-74, 44-32 home) battle each other in a National League West showdown Wednesday night on ESPN. San Francisco won the opener Tuesday night, 6-5.
The first pitch of the contest is at 10 p.m. EST inside Petco Park in San Diego, CA. According to the oddsmakers, the visiting Giants (-115) are the betting favorite, and the total over-under is at 9.5 runs.
What to Know – San Francisco Giants
San Francisco has the best record in baseball and is returning to the postseason for the first time since 2016. The Giants sit atop the NL West standings with a one-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers. San Francisco is 7-3 and over their last ten contests.
On the mound for the Giants is expected to be veteran southpaw Scott Kazmir (0-1, 6.43 ERA, 1.29 WHIP). Kazmir has appeared in only three major league games this season, making two starts. The 37-year old tossed two innings in his last start at the beginning of June, surrendering two earned runs on three hits with three strikeouts.
The Giants offense averages 4.9 runs per game and ranks sixth in the majors in on-base percentage (.328) and fourth in slugging percentage (.442). Shortstop Brandon Crawford is hitting .299 with 21 home runs and team-high 82 runs batted in. Third baseman Kris Bryant, who joined the Giants at the trade deadline, has seven home runs and 16 RBIs in 41 games with the ball club.
What to Know – San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres have almost exhausted their playoff hopes and would need many things to happen if they were to sneak in. According to the playoff predictor, the Friars have only a 1.4% chance to make it to the postseason. San Diego is five games back of the second wild-card spot in the NL.
The expected starter for Wednesday’s showdown is Vince Velasquez (3-7, 6.09 ERA, 1.46 WHIP). Velasquez was previously with the Philadelphia Phillies but was acquired by the Padres midseason. After a stint on the IR, the 29-year old righty made his first start as a Padre last Friday, throwing 4.0 innings, allowing four runs on four hits in a loss to the Cardinals.
Offensively, San Diego, the Padres score 4.5 runs per game behind an on-base percentage (.322) that ranks tenth in the MLB and a slugging percentage (.400) that ranks 22nd. Shortstop Frenando Tatis Jr. is hitting .286 with a team-high 29 home runs and 93 RBIs. Third baseman Manny Machado owns a team-high 95 RBIs and 26 home runs.
The Pick is In
Wednesday’s contest is a must-win for San Diego if they want to keep the slim hopes of a playoff birth alive. San Francisco has the upper hand with their offense and bullpen, but San Diego takes the contest tonight at home behind a strong pitching performance from Velasquez and clutch hitting by their young stars.
Betting Pick: San Diego Padres +105