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BettorIQ’s MLB Betting Preview: San Diego Padres

MLB

BettorIQ continues with its 2020 MLB betting previews. Over the course of the next few months, we will be breaking down all 30 teams from a betting perspective.

San Diego Padres 
2019 Record: 70-92 
2019 Profits: -20.8 units 
2020 Win Total: 82.5 (based on 162-game season)
2020 Odds to Win NL West: +1425
2020 Odds to Win NL Pennant: +2650
2020 Odds to Win World Series: +6500

Betting Positives: After years of rebuilding and last season’s youth movement, the expectation in San Diego is to win. The Padres offer a talented young core, headlined by Fernando Tatis Jr., who had a sensational start to his season cut short last year (84 games and 372 ABs) due to injury. When healthy, Tatis lived up to the hype: 317/.379/.590, .398 wOBA, and 150 wRC+. Joining Tatis is third baseman Manny Machado who is still only 27 years old. Machado struggled the second half of last season but is still in the prime of his career. The Padres also went out and signed veteran outfielder Tommy Pham who will serve as a major upgrade in the outfield and clubhouse. First-year manager Jayce Tingler is only 39 years old and on the surface fits the organization’s mantra of developing young talent and relying on analytics to do so. He’ll have have one of the best bullpens in MLB to lean on with Kirby Yates, Emilio Pagan, Drew Pomeranz and Craig Stammen projected to anchor the league’s fourth-best unit, per FanGraphs. And with the likelihood of an abbreviated season, San Diego won’t have to worry about watching ace-in-waiting Chris Paddack’s innings. 

Betting Negatives: Despite plenty of talented young players, it’s the veteran that could define San Diego’s season. San Diego’s lineup was weighed down first baseman Eric Hosmer (.309 wOBA and 91 wRC+) and Wil Myers (0.4 WAR) who are both coming off of their worst seasons as full-time pros. Overall only Tatis Jr., Machado, Pham and Trent Grisham are projected as plus bats in a lineup that finished 24th in wRC+ last year. Another negative to factor in is a youth-heavy roster and a first-year manager missing out on a full spring training. The spring was supposed to sort out their catching and second base competitions, as well as the back end of their rotation. And projected starter Garrett Richards hasn’t pitched a full season since 2015. Pushing the pause button on the oft-injured right-hander only adds to the uncertainty he’ll be able to stick as a full-time arm. 

Handicapper’s Take: With the uncertainty of the format of the MLB season, the Padres bullpen is likely to serve as an advantage when things get underway. A shortened season could potentially condense games and include doubleheaders, something the Padres’ potentially elite bullpen is well equipped to deal with. And despite some holes, the overall roster is talented enough to play at a .500 level. The lingering issue however remains are expectations too high? For a third straight season, oddsmakers are projecting improvement. The last two unfortunately saw San Diego fall short of expectations. Only Kansas City (-22 units) lost more money for its backers in 2019 and unlike the Royals, the Padres are pegged to be an above .500 team. Moneyline prices should remain modest (+102 last season) and considering the youthful nature of the roster, a shorter season may stave off any second half regression and keep this squad in “win now” mode.