The San Diego Padres won the first game of this two-game set yesterday, shutting out the Seattle Mariners 2-0. San Diego is .500 in its last 10 games and holds a two-game lead for the final wild-card spot in the National League. Seattle is now tied with the Toronto Blue Jays for the second wild card in the American League. They are comfortably in the playoffs with a five-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles.
Who will close this series with a win? Find out in our free MLB picks and predictions for Mariners vs. Padres.
Padres vs Mariners best odds
Padres vs Mariners picks and predictions
We have quite a pitching edge between these two today, and that's why the price on the two teams is what it is. But is it too much in favor of the Mariners?
What sticks out the most is Padres right-hander Mike Clevinger and his issues with hard-hit balls. Clevinger's hard-hit rate is in the worst 35% of baseball, and his barrel rate has been atrocious, sitting in the bottom 15% of qualified pitchers. These have been the key reasons he's struggled this year.
However, that's not something the Mariners are built to capitalize against. They rank near the bottom of the lead in hard hit rate and are 14th in barrel rate. They have a few impressive bats — most notably Julio Rodriguez — but, collectively, they haven't smashed the baseball consistently this season.
My projections give the Padres about a 55% shot at being tied or in the lead after the first five innings. That's not exactly a value against the current number, but I think there are some unique parts of this game that give the Padres an advantage.
San Diego is legitimately fighting for its playoff life. We mentioned it in the onset, but they hold just a two-game lead for the final wild-card spot. The Mariners are in a different situation. The magic number for them to clinch the playoffs is 17, and given some of the quality of the teams fighting for that spot, they seem pretty safe. It's not precisely like Seattle can slack off and still make the playoffs, but its circumstances are quite different from the San Diego's.
Opposing Clevinger is Luis Castillo. Can the Padres hit him? Well, on paper, their lineup should be able to beat any pitcher a fair amount, which brings in the dilemma we've had with the Padres since the trade deadline. Call it expecting positive regression, but there is too much talent on this lineup to finish with some of the slash numbers they've had. In this matchup, they'll see a ton of fastballs. Guys like Juan Soto, Josh Bell, and Manny Machado have historically been some of the best fastball hitters in the league, even if they haven't hit like it lately.
This is pretty straightforward. Some circumstantial elements of this game make backing the Padres to start strong a substantial side. My projections don't see "value" on the number, but they still see us cashing the bet more often than not. Additionally, the Mariners don't possess a lineup that can attack Clevinger's issues as others can. All of this combines for a play on the Padres. This is one of the strongest lineups in baseball, and maybe — just maybe — they are starting to put it all together.
My best bet: Padres +0.5 first five innings (-114 at DraftKings)
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Padres vs Mariners betting preview
We've talked a great deal about why I'll be backing the Padres early in this game. However, I don't think I'll have a pregame side for various reasons.
My projections need a little more than the current numbers to back the Padres outright. I have them priced around +130, and the best number I could find as of publication was +115. Along with my handicap thinking the Padres match up well today, some of the trends suggest the Padres could be the right side:
- The Padres are 5-2 in the last seven meetings with the Mariners.
- The Padres are 6-2 in their last eight games in Seattle.
- The Padres are 5-1 in their last six games against a right-handed starter.
There's not enough value on betting the Padres at their current number, but my handicap on the game is virtually identical to what it was for the best bet. The Padres are set up well to be in this game throughout and I expect them to get through the first five meetings tied or in the lead. Because of that, if I were backing a side, it would have to be the team getting plus money. However, I think there are better ways to back the Padres, and my best example is my best bet.
I like the Under here today and likely will end up on it by the time the first pitch is thrown.
I highlighted in the onset why Clevinger has struggled and why I didn't think the Mariners were well-suited to attack his inefficiencies. To reiterate, his biggest issue has been centered around the hard-hit ball, which isn't the Mariners' strength.
I wrote that I still like the Padres to do enough damage to Castillo to cash our best bet, but the likelihood they do enough to get this one over is small.
My projections would need almost +125 odds to play the Over here. I'm not sure that would even be high enough for me. So back the Under this afternoon.
Padres vs Mariners game info
• Location: T-Mobile Park, Seattle, WA
• Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2022
• First pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET
• TV: MLB Network
Mike Clevinger (7-8, 5.23 ERA): Clevinger's hard-hit rate hovers in the bottom 40% of qualified pitchers, and consequently, he has a pretty awful barrel rate. Clevinger's fastball has been effective, producing a -8 run value this season, which is on the elite end of the spectrum. However, his secondary pitches have not. September has been rough for Clevinger. This month he had a 9.72 ERA. However, both of his starts have come against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Luis Castillo (6-5, 2.81 ERA): It's been another strong year for Castillo. He'd probably have a better win record if he were on a better team to start the season. Yet still, the metrics have been pretty elite once again. Like any fastball pitcher, he can give up some hard-hit balls from time to time. The most significant indicator is his average exit velocity rating, which is just below league average.
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Betting trend to know
The Padres are 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these two teams. Find more MLB betting trends for Padres vs. Mariners