Giants vs. Padres MLB Pick For July 16th

by Kevin Roberts
on July 16, 2017

The San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres continue the battle for the cellar in the NL West on Sunday, as the two rivals meet once again at Petco Park.

San Francisco took the first meeting in a tight 5-4 contest, while the Padres answered back on Saturday with a similar 5-3 win of their own. The rubber match goes down tonight, as Trevor Cahill (3-3, 3.38 ERA) takes the mound for the Padres and Jeff “Shark” Samardzija (4-10, 4.58 ERA) looks for his fifth win of the year on the road.

Getting that win has been easier said than done for Shark all year, but that’s been the case in both games in this series for Giants aces in general, too. Johnny Cueto barely held on for a win on Friday here at Petco Park, while Madison Bumgarner had his return to the majors spoiled in a loss last night.

These two rivals often keep us guessing, but they give us an interesting MLB betting opportunity in a game with a number of outs. Let’s dive in and see which betting angle we should take tonight:

San Francisco Giants (-120)
San Diego Padres (EVEN)
Total: 7.5

The Giants enter as solid favorites tonight, even though they’re last in their division with a paltry 35-57 record, are just 18-33 on the road and are a sluggish 4-6 over their last 10 games. This is not a reliable team in any sense, but this is clearly how highly Vegas thinks of the Padres.

San Diego isn’t a whole lot better, after all. The Padres own a similarly pathetic 39-51 mark on the year, are a ridiculously pedestrian 23-23 at their own park and boast one of the worst offenses in the league.

That’s music to the ears of Jeff Samardzija, who has struggled to rack up wins and eliminate hard contact, but has made bats miss at a fine rate all year. Record and contact aside, a strong argument could be made that Shark is enjoying one of his best seasons in the majors and could have his numbers looking a lot better if his teammates helped him out a bit more.

Shark is still dealing up plenty of contact, but he hasn’t had a true blow up outing since June 16th, when he got obliterated (8 runs) by the Rockies at Coors Field. He’s been fairly stable since then, as he’s kept things together with just 11 runs given up over his last four starts.

Things could get a whole lot better for Samardzija tonight, as he’s in a great park that suppresses home runs and he’s facing an offense that isn’t typically potent and also strikes out a ton. The Padres specifically ranks just 20th in home runs against right-handed pitching, while their efficiency (30th in batting average) and strikeouts (3rd) make them a dream matchup for any pitcher.

This doesn’t mean Shark is guaranteed a win, though. The Giants still are tough to trust on the road and it’s not like Trevor Cahill has been garbage. San Diego’s 29-year old hurler has been enjoying a solid 2017 campaign of his own, as he’s sported a very strong K rate and has kept the damage minimal in the majority of his starts.

Cahill understandably gets a big break here, as he’s been very clean at home (0.49 ERA) and gets a Giants offense that is equally depressing. San Francisco ranks dead last in power against righties in 2017, while they’re not much more efficient than the Padres, ranking 27th in MLB versus right-handed pitching when it comes to batting average.

There is no doubt that the Giants offer more upside here, as their -1.5 Run Line (+135) carries some upside we’ll want to consider. However, Cahill has been virtually untouchable at home and the Padres carry heavier bats. Shark has proven to be much more vulnerable to the hard contact, putting the Padres (who actually give us solid value at home – EVEN) in play.

Pick: San Diego Padres (EVEN)
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