Game: San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres
Time: 10:10 PM ET
Starting Pitchers: Scott Kazmir vs. Vince Velasquez
Odds: Giants -105, Padres -103
The Padres are probably wishing they didn’t have to play the NL West leading Giants so many times over the course of the end of the season. The two teams split a four-game series last week. The Giants won the first game of the current three-game series and the teams play another three-game set to end the season in the first week of October.
San Diego (76-74) is third in the NL wild-card race behind the Dodgers (97-54) and St. Louis (81-69). The Cardinals have been red hot winning their last ten games in a row. The Padres? Not so hot. San Diego has won just twice in its last eight games.
It doesn’t look all that great heading into tonight either. The Padres will start Vince Velasquez who is just 3-7 with a 6.09 ERA this season. Put simply, those numbers are awful. What’s even more awful is that San Diego has lost each of Velasquez’s last three starts. In two of those starts, he didn’t last through the third inning. In a collective 8.1 innings, Velasquez managed to give up 15 earned runs. The Padres lost to Atlanta 15-3, St. Louis 8-2, and Pittsburgh (yes, Pittsburgh!) 7-0.
The only saving grace for the Padres is that the Giants are starting 37-year-old Scott Kazmir. The left-hander won a silver medal in this summer’s Olympics pitching for Team USA. It will be just his third appearance in MLB this season. His last was in a win over the Cubs on June 4. For the season, Kazmir is 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA having given up a total of three earned runs in six innings of work during the 2021 season.
The hope for both teams is for their starter to give them a few good innings before turning the game over to two of the best bullpens in baseball. The Giants have the best set of relievers in baseball. San Francisco’s bullpen ERA is the best in the majors at 3.05. San Diego is not far behind with the fourth-best bullpen ERA (3.46).
Both pitching staffs will have to deal with lineups that can hit. The Giants and Padres have been among the top 10 in several offensive statistical categories this season. San Francisco is seventh in runs per game (4.91). The Padres dropped out of the top ten as a result of their extended second-half slump. They are currently 14th (4.53).
Despite their recent offensive woes, the Padres have seen the Over cash in five of their last six games. It’s a similar story for the Giants where the Over is 7-3 in the team’s last ten games. In nine of the last ten games played between the Giants and Padres, the total has gone Over. Last night’s game – a 6-5 Giants win – went over in the sixth inning when Brandon Crawford’s double scored former NL MVP Kris Bryant.