The San Francisco Giants have clinched a playoff spot. Will they ease up Wednesday and allow the San Diego Padres to beat the MLB odds?
San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 – 09:45 PM EDT at Oracle Park
Who’s the best team in baseball? It’s probably the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lead the majors in run differential (plus-238) as we go to press. But the San Francisco Giants have the best record, and they were the first team to clinch a playoff spot this year, getting the job done with Monday’s 9-1 beatdown of the San Diego Padres. There’s a non-zero chance we’ll see all three of these National League West teams in the postseason.
First, the Giants will play the third of their four-game set with the Padres this Wednesday at Oracle Park, and wouldn’t you know it, we have some issues here when it comes to our MLB picks. Not only are the Giants at the end of their starting rotation, but they also have some holes to fill with both No. 4 Alex Wood (COVID-19) and No. 5 Johnny Cueto (elbow) on the injured list. San Francisco has yet to announce who will get the nod for this matchup; meanwhile, the Padres are going with their ace, Joe Musgrove, as they scramble to earn a Wild Card spot in the NL. What to do, what to do.
Normally, we might be happy to roll with the Giants, who made it eight straight wins with Monday’s clincher. Not only do they have the best record in the majors at 94-50 heading into Tuesday’s action, but they’re also the most profitable team in baseball, raking in 33.02 betting units. And while their plus-182 run differential isn’t quite Los Angeles-level, it still works out to a 93-51 Pythagorean record. This isn’t all smoke and mirrors down by the Bay.
Here’s the thing: San Francisco might prefer to punt Wednesday’s contest – please forgive the cross-sport reference. They probably won’t, of course; the Giants are still trying to win the division, and thus avoid having to face single-game elimination in the Wild Card round. But at the same time, they don’t want to stretch themselves too thinly patching up these holes in their rotation. That includes rushing Wood back into action after he reportedly suffered some serious coronavirus symptoms. Wood threw a bullpen session on Monday but hasn’t pitched since August 26.
As good as Musgrove (3.52 FIP) has been for the 74-69 Padres (minus-19.37 units, plus-53 differential), the projections like San Francisco to win if they can put at least a replacement-level arm on the mound. FiveThirtyEight have the Giants’ chances at 55 percent using a generic placeholder for their starter, which is very interesting because San Fran is available at +100 on the overseas MLB odds board. It remains to be seen how things shake out with our preferred top sportsbooks; we hope you’ll have all the information you need to make a sharp bet by the time you read this, but for now, we’re leaning slightly towards the home side in this matchup.
*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.