Athletics vs Padres Prediction
The Oakland Athletics will travel down to Petco Park for a pair of games against the San Diego Padres this week. Both teams will look to avenge a rough weekend and remain in their division races.
HISTORY: This will be the first time these two teams meet in 2021. The Padres took two of three meetings last year in San Diego.
Oakland (56-45) opened their four-game set at Safeco Field with a win, before dropping the last three contests (all by one run) to Seattle. The A’s now only sit one game above the Mariners in both the AL West and the Wild Card picture, and with a four-game road set with the Angels approaching, they’ll want to avoid falling any further.
Bob Melvin will send rookie standout James Kaprielian to the mound this Tuesday. Through twelve starts, the UCLA product has posted a 5-3 record and he leads Oakland and all rookies with a 2.65 ERA. Kaprielian threw six shutout innings and seven strikeouts in his last start, a win over the Los Angeles Angels.
Sixth-year pitcher Sean Manaea will take the mound Wednesday afternoon. Aside from Chris Bassitt, he’s been the A’s best arm this season. He threw a career-high 13 strikeouts in his last start, a win over Seattle, and he’s thrown seven or more in four of his past six starts. Manaea has been a victim of run support, and he’s posted a 7-6 record with a 3.16 ERA.
The A’s have struggled a bit at the plate this season. They rank 23rd in batting average (.233), and they’ve struggled to score with runners in scoring position. Matt Olson is their most consistent threat at the plate. The sixth-year first baseman leads the team in hitting (.287), home runs (27) and RBIs (66). Ramon Laureano is carrying a six-game hit streak. Mark Canha has been decent in the leadoff role, while veterans Jed Lowrie and Elvis Andrus have come through with timely hits over the past month.
San Diego (58-44) has the unfortunate luxury of playing in the toughest division in baseball. Their 58 wins would have them leading most of the divisions in the league, but they sit at third in the NL West. The Padres have a firm six-game lead in the NL Wild Card picture, but they enter this set after dropping two games to the Miami Marlins.
Chad Paddack will get the call Tuesday night, and he’s been hounded by inconsistency all season. He’s given up four or more runs in three of his past six starts, but he’s coming off a six-inning shutout showing in Atlanta against the Braves. Through 19 appearances, Paddack has posted a 6-6 record with a 5.17 ERA.
Jayce Tingler will turn to former Rays standout Blake Snell. The 6’4 lefty has tailed off a bit since his Cy Young-winning 2018 season, but he’s remained steady in his first season at Petco Park. He threw eight strikeouts over six innings in his last start and earned his first win since mid-June. Snell is 4-3 with a 4.93 ERA and 104 strikeouts.
Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. lead the charge offensively. Machado has hit 17 home runs and a team-leading 68 RBIs. He’s also recorded a hit in ten of his last eleven games. Tatis leads the team in batting average (.288) and he leads the NL in homers (30). Second-year stud Jake Cronenworth is among the league leaders in hits (104). Veterans Eric Hosmer and Will Myers have also remained consistent at the plate, giving San Diego one of the more balanced lineups in the league.
Athletics vs Padres Prediction
There is a lot more pressure on the A’s to win entering this set. Dropping three games to Seattle not only affected the AL West standings, but it opened the AL Wild Card picture even wider. San Diego is sitting comfortably, and their one of the best teams in the league at home. Although Chad Paddack has been inconsistent, rookie James Kaprielian may have his hands full in the first game. Take San Diego to win the first meeting on Tuesday.
Sean Manaea’s record speaks otherwise, but he’s one of the hottest pitchers in baseball right now. Blake Snell appears to be a shell of himself, but he’ll have the luxury of home-field advantage and run support. With a four-game road set with the Angels looming, look for Oakland to feel the pressure, and win the second game on Wednesday.