Giants vs. Padres MLB Preview and Free Pick

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Blake Snell #4 of the San Diego Padres pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Denis Poroy/Getty Images/AFP

Blake Snell is pitching for the San Diego Padres this Friday. Does that make the San Francisco Giants the sharp MLB pick?

San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres

Friday, July 08, 2022 – 09:40 PM EDT at Petco Park

Snell Was Dominant in His Last Start

Here we go again: The San Diego Padres are sending Blake Snell to the mound this Friday night as they host the San Francisco Giants in a National League West battle. Yes, Blake Snell. Remember how we tried to take advantage of his struggles last week?

Sorry to bring up such painful memories if you do. We had Over 7.5 in our MLB picks when Snell and the Padres visited the Los Angeles Dodgers; Snell chose exactly the wrong time to start looking like a Cy Young pitcher again, and while the San Diego bullpen fell apart, it wasn’t enough – the Dodgers ended up winning 5-1.

Undeterred, we’re considering the Over again this week, but there’s a slight problem: The Giants haven’t announced their starting pitcher yet, and there aren’t any MLB odds available as we go to press late Thursday evening. Let’s see what we can do to help you navigate this matchup regardless.

Is Blake Snell Back?

Yes and no. Snell (4.04 xFIP) had some good stuff happening last week, striking out 12 Dodgers in five innings of work while allowing just one run. Then again, Snell also walked four batters, bringing his walks per nine innings up to 5.13 on the season.

It’s still the best we’ve seen from Snell in quite a while. His 2022 debut was put off until mid-May because of adductor tightness; Snell has started eight games now, and Baseball Reference gave him a positive WPA (Win Probability Added) in just three of those – with his last start the best of the bunch at plus-0.147.

Even those positive performances turned out lousy for San Diego. They’ve managed to lose every single one of Snell’s appearances this year, dropping eight betting units along the way. That includes three no-decisions that the Padres bullpen turned into losses.

Maybe the regression angels are due for a visit. San Diego relievers rank sixth overall on the FanGraphs WAR charts; meanwhile, Snell has a .317 BABIP allowed with only 64.3 percent of runners left stranded. But we’d like to see Snell put together at least two good starts in a row before we start throwing any real money at him.

Who’s Pitching for the Giants?

Good question. The Giants rotation has been thrown into chaos with the season-ending injury to Anthony DeSclafani (ankle), which came just two weeks after the strained hamstring suffered by Jakob Junis on June 10.

Everything’s gone downhill for San Francisco since then. They lost six of their next seven games after DeSclafani’s injury to slip perilously close to the .500 mark. Part of the problem is the added workload heaped on their bullpen, which will be without Jose Alvarez (elbow) after he was placed on the 15-day IL.

That bullpen will have to carry even more of the burden Friday night. At press time, the plan is to let the relievers pitch the entire game; which one gets the official start doesn’t seem to matter much, although it’s enough of a sticking point to keep the baseball odds off the board for now.

What we can tell you is that San Francisco’s firemen rank No. 15 overall on the WAR charts, and No. 18 over the past 30 days, with the Padres improving to No. 2 during that span. Despite those struggles, FiveThirtyEight rate a generic Giants placeholder one Elo point higher than Snell for this matchup, giving San Diego a 57-percent chance of victory.

Does It Ever Rain in San Diego?

Sometimes. But Friday night’s forecast looks typically beautiful for this time of year: clear skies and temperatures in the low 70s, with winds between 5-10 mph blowing from first to third. That’s nice if you’re going to be at Petco Park; not so nice if you’re betting the Over.

By the way, if you’re wondering about humidity and barometric pressure, you are a true baseball betting artiste – but conditions should be roughly average in both cases, so no help there.

So here we are with Snell yet to win a game for the Padres, and the Giants scrambling to stay relevant in the NL West. It’s hardly an ideal situation from a betting standpoint, but given our options, we’re statistically inclined to give Snell the benefit of the doubt – at least for a small sum. Bet accordingly, and may the sphere be with you.

MLB Pick: Padres (-146) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.