Some may have wondered how the Padres offense would do coming of the All-Star Break. The group finished on a pretty high note in the first half after squandering a lot of hard-hit contact in April and May. If Friday’s game is any indication of future performance, then San Diego fans and bettors are going to be very excited.
The Padres banged out 24 runs and Jake Cronenworth hit for the cycle as San Diego scored 10 runs in the first two innings and coasted to a 24-8 win. The Nationals held their own with eight runs, as Nationals Park played like a tee ball field and DFS stackers enjoyed the Chris Paddack vs. Erick Fedde matchup.
Let’s see what we get from Blake Snell and Patrick Corbin with the Padres a road favorite of -130 and a total of 9.5 from BetOnline Sportsbook.
San Diego Padres
Blake Snell returns from the IL after a bout with some pretty gnarly food poisoning. Snell missed time with the illness and then got placed on the IL right before the All-Star Break because he wasn’t regaining his strength well. He’s got a 4.99 ERA and a 4.34 FIP, so the Padres will hope that his strength and his effective pitching are on display in this one.
We haven’t seen a lot of effective pitching from Snell, who has struck out 29.2% of opposing batters, but has also walked nearly 14% of them. Maybe we saw signs of life from him in his two most recent appearances, throwing nine shutout innings against the Dodgers and then Phillies, but prior to that, he allowed 22 runs over five starts.
It would appear that the bats need to be humming once again for the Padres to have the best chance at success here. With their recent offensive surge, they are up to a .321 wOBA and a 103 wRC+. Those numbers were decidedly lower about a month ago, but the Padres have the best offense in baseball over the last 30 days with a .372 wOBA and a 136 wRC+.
Just about everybody has gotten into the act in that span, as four players have hit at least six home runs and five regulars have double-digit walk rates. The Padres are definitely showcasing all of their talent and potential at once on the offensive side, but have struggled to gain ground in the NL West race. They are six games back as play begins today.
Well, that wasn’t the second half start that the Nationals wanted, though it probably wasn’t a big surprise to see Erick Fedde rocked. The Padres had 23 at bats with a runner in scoring position to just seven for the Nationals. It was a thorough, all-around beating.
On the plus side, Juan Soto, who participated in the Home Run Derby in hopes of fixing his swing, thrilled the home crowd with a game-tying three-run homer in the first inning and added another one in the sixth. Soto was 4-for-5 with four RBI in the blowout, but he talked about hitting too many ground balls going into the Derby. Maybe it did actually fix his swing, which would be fascinating given how a lot of guys don’t want to perform in the power contest because they believe it will negatively impact their swings.
The Nationals offense ranks in the top five over the last 30 days, so they’ve been swinging the sticks well overall. A lot of that does have to do with Kyle Schwarber, though, who is currently on the IL. This is the better side of the platoon split for the Nats, who rank fourth in wOBA against left-handed pitchers, so that could provide a spark tonight.
A better start would help as well. The Nationals turn to Patrick Corbin for that possibility. The southpaw has a 5.40 ERA with a 5.21 FIP and has not had a particularly good season. Over his 17 starts, he’s allowed at least four runs in at least seven of them, including a 10-run blow-up against Arizona back on April 15 when the Diamondbacks were actually a decent team.
Corbin only has 73 strikeouts in 93.1 innings of work. The stuff doesn’t look nearly as explosive as it did in the past, with the World Series run of 2019 the last time that Corbin really looked like an effective pitcher.
Padres vs. Nationals Free Pick
There’s an old dad joke about saving some runs for the next day. Let’s hope that these two teams were able to do that because these two lefties have some ugly numbers and ugly trend lines. Snell draws a lineup that hits lefties well in a good hitter’s park in the summer months. Corbin draws a Padres lineup that stayed white hot through the All-Star Break. Runs have to be in the forecast for tonight.
Pick: Over 9.5