With the opening weekend of MLB action officially behind us, we baseball fans and bettors are happily adjusting our daily schedules to revolve around our respective teams. Fortunately, we have 11 more games on the slate for Monday (Pirates at Cardinals has been postponed due to inclement weather).
There are many advantageous plays on the board today, but I have my eye on a National League West clash on the banks of McCovey Cove. Traveling from Arizona after taking three of four from the Diamondbacks, the San Diego Padres head to San Francisco to open a three-game-series in the City by the Bay on Monday night.
For the opening bid between the two division rivals, I am heavy on the UNDER. Get to WynnBET before first pitch and make your play! 9:45pm EST/6:45pm PST – San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants u8.5 runs
1. Know the lineups
Despite coming off a season where they scored the second-most runs in the N.L. (also leading the league in homers), this current-Giants lineup looks quite a bit different compared to a year ago. Gone are stars Buster Posey and Kris Bryant, as San Francisco will attempt to replace their production with youthful players like Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos.
So far, the Giants have done well to win their opening series against Miami, but their offense has not exactly got off to a scorching start; in three games, they’ve scored 10 runs (which leaves S.F. in the bottom third of MLB after one weekend). On the other hand, Giants’ pitching has allowed only nine runs on the season. San Francisco has a solid starting rotation and one of the better bullpens in baseball. LHP Alex Wood gets the ball Monday for the Giants. The majority of Padre hitters he’ll face tonight have never seen him. For San Diego, Wil Myers has had the most success against Wood, collecting three hits in 10 meetings (0 RBI).
The San Diego Padres are coming from the elevated-Chase Field where they hung 20 runs on the Diamondbacks over their opening four-game-series, however, half of those runs came in a 10-run-effort on Sunday (utility-man Jurickson Profar’s second inning grand slam lead the way). If you omit yesterday’s game, the Padres’ run outputs have been 2, 3 and 5. Additionally, they had the luxury of playing against Arizona for the last four days, a squad that had the National League’s highest team-ERA last season at 5.11. For comparison in 2021, the Giants pitching staff had the second lowest ERA in the majors: 3.24.
Basically, the Friars lineup will see a more formidable challenge in San Francisco than they did in Phoenix. Sure, right-handed sluggers like Manny Machado love left-handed pitchers like Alex Wood, but with no prior meetings, the advantage is with the thrower. That can also work in San Diego’s favor tonight, as they’ll send out RHP Nick Martinez; just coming over from the A.L., no one in the Giants starting lineup has ever faced Martinez.
2. Know the recent history
Being division rivals, the Giants and Padres get together for roughly 18 games every season. Last year, the Giants would get the better of the head-to-head series, going 11-8. But it is not winning sides that we are necessarily interested in here, but the run totals. In those 19 meetings last season, the average combined run total was 8.8, which is quite close to our oddsmaker’s number of 8.5.
However, scoring is typically slower to start the season. In the first three series between the Giants and Padres last year, that average combined run total was further down at 7.1. This was also when the series still featured Buster Posey and Fernando Tatis, Jr. Of course, Posey has since retired and Tatis, Jr. is on the shelf for a couple more months with a broken left wrist. So yes, I feel good about playing under 8.5 runs in the first meeting of the season for these two sides.
3. Know the venue – Oracle Park, San Francisco, CA
Playing baseball totals requires moderate research into game venues and weather forecast. Since most stadiums in MLB are completely outdoors, weather absolutely has a factor on body movement and ball carry. Notably, the baseball flies further at stadiums in cities with higher elevations, such as the ballpark the Padres just came from in Arizona (Chase Field – elev. 1,082 ft, second highest in the majors). On the other hand, Oracle Park sits on the banks of the San Francisco Bay, essentially sitting right at sea-level.
Another thing to consider, this will be the first nightcap played at Oracle Park this season. Although it may be just a smidge warmer than San Francisco’s previous stadium at Candlestick Point, that is not saying much. In the opening series against the Marlins, the Giants were fortunate to play three day games amidst a rare “heatwave” in the Bay Area, something that typically improves hitting conditions. In a flash, that heatwave is gone, as conditions in San Francisco will be a very gusty 50 degrees at game time. So, on top of favorable pitching matchups inside of a known “pitcher’s park,” the less-than-ideal weather will also assist the Under play.
That’s it. I’ve locked it in. Give me Padres-Giants u8.5 runs on Monday night. PLAY BALL!