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Padres Look to Run the NL West

The San Francisco Giants take on San Diego Padres on Friday night in the latest starting game of the evening. They will compete in game one of their three-game series from Petco Park. The Giants continue to be the team that no one is talking about in the NL West. They are tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West lead, and match the Red Sox for the best record in baseball. The Padres have started to gain some momentum, now that they have Fernando Tatis Jr. back in the fray.

The current MLB Betting line in the sportsbook for the series’ opener is the Padres -200 and the total is 7½ and shaded slightly to the Under. Both teams are coming off of wins and both teams are 4-2 in their last six games. This hasn’t been much of a rivalry in year’s past, but this season is looking like the rivalry is renewed.

Giants Padres MLB Pick
. Denis Poroy/Getty Images/AFP

Slam Diego

The Padres took the first series, in San Diego, splitting the first two games and then winning the third and final game in dramatic fashion. The Padres come into this game in third place in the NL West, with eyes on the Giants’ first place position. Tatis’ return has the Padres feeling motivated and his seven home runs lead the team. First baseman Eric Hosmer has been a surprise, leading the team with 16 RBIs and with a batting average of .299 on the season. In his fourth year with the Padres, Hosmer is swinging freely and creating more opportunities for the young San Diego team.

The Padres are taking their cuts. They are currently 6th in the league in hits with 206 and their team batting average of .236 is good for 11th in the major leagues. The good news for San Diego is those cuts are making contact, as they are in the middle of the pack when it comes to strikeouts. The Giants will need to be at their best if they plan on keeping the Padres off the scoreboard.

First Place to Lose

The Giants have heard it all before. They have heard how the NL West will be changing, how these young teams are the ones to watch out for and how the Southern California teams are the teams to beat. They have heard it, and continue to hear it. Meanwhile, the Giants keep doing what they do. That is winning. In fact, San Francisco has only lost one series since losing the opener against the Seattle Mariners.

On Friday, the Giants will send out Logan Webb to take on the Padres. Webb has four starts to his name this year, but only has a record of 1-1 with an ERA of 4.03. In 22.1 innings on the year, he has allowed three home runs on 25 hits while giving up 10 walks. His 24 strikeouts give him an average of just over one per inning.

Thank Yu

Yu Darvish will take the mound for San Diego on Friday, opening a series that the Padres want to desperately win at home. Darvish is 2-1 on the year and his 2.27 ERA is good for 20th in the league. The young hurler has racked up 37 strikeouts so far this year and, in his last start at Dodger Stadium he shut down the world champion Dodgers, pitching seven strong innings and striking out nine, while only giving up one earned run.

Balanced Attack

The Giants have one of the more balanced lineups in baseball, with three different players leading the three major offensive categories. Buster Posey is not only hitting  .351, the San Francisco catcher also has five home runs on the year. Due to recent injuries neither he, nor Evan Longoria who is hitting .311 have enough at bats to qualify for the batting average lead. Longoria is leading his team in RBIs, however, with 12.

One player to keep an eye on in this series is the shortstop, Donovan Solano. Solano hitis ting .316, even though he is just starting to make his way back into the lineup. The way this Giants team is playing, and with so many players hitting their stride at the same time, this lineup is packed with power and potential.

Giant Killers

The Giants have been the surprise for baseball so far, but the Padres have been more fun to watch. The excitement that this young team is bringing to their games, and their fans, is taking San Diego to the next level. This team is not only hitting, but their pitchers are getting the job done as well. The Padres pitchers lead the league with 288 strikeouts, 23 more than the second place Dodgers. They have given up the fourth lowest amount of earned runs and sport the league’s best ERA at 2.9 runs per game. Although the Giants have the better record, our MLB betting pick is going to be the Padres for the series at -220.

Pick: San Diego Padres to win Series -220

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