The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to clinch the NL West Division somewhat soon, but there’s still a big series in the division this weekend between the second-place San Diego Padres and third-place San Francisco Giants. Here’s a look at Friday’s Game 2.

How to Bet Giants at Padres MLB Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on San Francisco?

Entering Thursday’s series opener, the Giants had scored at least four runs in 11 straight games. Since 1958, the Giants have scored 4+ runs in 10-or-more consecutive games just 11 times. SF has posted a 21211 record when they score four-or-more runs in a game, compared to a 1-10 record when they score three-or-fewer runs.

The Giants have designated former star third baseman Pablo Sandoval for assignment, but the “Kung Fun Panda” is way past his prime and probably done. Sandoval returned to the Giants in January on a minor league contract but went on to bat .220/.278/.268 with one home run over 33 games. The 34-year-old probably won’t draw much interest on waivers and will likely have to settle for another non-guaranteed minor league deal in the offseason.

The team also has activated pitcher Drew Smyly from the 10-day injured list. Smyly will return to the Giants in a relief role on Thursday after missing five weeks of action with a strained left index finger. He had a 3.24 ERA and 11/4 K/BB ratio in 8 1/3 innings before the injury.

Mike Yastrzemski recorded 69 extra base hits through his first 150 career games. Dating to 1901, those 69 extra-base hits were the second-most by a Giant through the first 150 games behind Orlando Cepeda’s 70.

It’s Johnny Cueto (2-0) on the mound. Cueto pitched well in a no-decision against the Diamondbacks on Sunday, striking out seven over 5⅔ innings. The right-hander scattered seven hits and three walks. He allowed a solo homer to Tim Locastro to lead off the game, then a second run in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Josh Rojas, but that was the extent of the damage against him. It was the fourth straight start in which Cueto has struck out six or more hitters. He has a 4.56 ERA and 1.27 WHIP this season.

Cueto is 8-4 with a 3.53 ERA in 16 career starts against the Padres.

Why Bet on San Diego?

The Padres got some terrible news early this week when first baseman Eric Hosmer fractured his left index finger trying to bunt and was placed on the injured list. There is some optimism that he will be able to return before the end of the regular season. Hosmer was hitting .288 with eight homers and 32 RBIs.

“We’re going to need a handful of guys to step up,” manager Jayce Tingler said. “We knew coming into this year, things were going to happen. This one hurts. But at the same time, we’re going to have some guys step up, and we’re going to keep this offense, defense, the whole thing … we’re going to keep it moving. We’re going to hold ground, and we’re going to get him back.”

Mitch Moreland has taken over as the primary first baseman. Meanwhile, outfielder Tommy Pham be activated from the injured list next week. Making his way back from surgery to remove a fractured right hamate bone, Pham took batting practice on Wednesday for the first time since the operation. The next step is for him to see live at-bats at the team’s alternate training site, which could happen as soon as this weekend.

It’s Garrett Richards (2-2) on the bump. Richards struck out nine and allowed three runs over seven innings to pick up a win against the Athletics on Sunday. Richards scattered seven hits, and he didn’t issue a walk. Only two of the seven hits he allowed went for extra bases, including Sean Murphy’s seventh-inning solo shot. Richards generated nine swing-and-misses on his slider. He needed an efficient 83 pitches to get through the day, with 73 percent of his pitches coming in the form of his slider and four-seam fastball.

The nine strikeouts were a season high for the 32-year-old, and it was his second straight start without giving up a free pass. Richards lowered his ERA to 4.50 while improving his K/BB ratio to 38/14 over 42 innings. The veteran has a 2.53 ERA in his last two starts, and he’s making a case for a spot in the Padres’ playoff rotation.

Richards hasn’t faced the Giants this year.

Expert Prediction

Padres 5, Giants 4

 


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