Padres vs Nationals Picks and Predictions: Soto Returns to Haunt Washington

All eyes will be on one man when San Diego and Washington start their series at Nationals Park, as Juan Soto returns to DC. With the Padres heating up and the Nationals absolutely lifeless, our MLB betting picks are looking only one direction.

Last Updated: Aug 11, 2022 6:08 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Juan Soto San Diego Padres MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Friday is the season's first meeting between the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres, and there’s plenty of excitement when Padres outfielder Juan Soto returns to Nationals Park for the first time since being traded just two weeks ago. 

San Diego has scored 20 runs over its past two contests. Can the Padres keep it going as they open a three-game series with the Nationals on Friday? Find out in our free MLB picks and predictions for August 12, 2022.

Padres vs Nationals odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

San Diego opened as -305 favorites, but the line has moved down to -210 in some shops.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Padres vs Nationals predictions

Picks made on 8/11/2022 at 6:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Padres vs Nationals game info

Location: Nationals Park, Washington, DC
Date: Friday, August 12, 2022
First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
TV: Apple TV+

Padres vs Nationals betting preview

Starting pitchers

Mike Clevinger (3-4, 3.60 ERA): Clevinger seems to be progressing nicely after Tommy John surgery cost him the entire 2021 season. The Dodgers roughed him up in his last start, but this season the Padres are 3-1 when Clevinger is the away favorite. His strikeout rate is just a tick under his career 9.55 per nine frames, but his xERA (3.80) is solid and his 4.00 xFIP suggests his prior top form hasn’t returned just yet. 

Cory Abbott (0-1, 5.68 ERA): Abbot makes his third start of the season Friday, and the sample size for the young righty is awfully small. The Phillies jacked four bombs off Abbott and chased him after 3.2 innings in his last start (away) but Abbott threw shutout ball over five frames in the previous home start against the Mets. The young righty does have a good xERA (3.88) but the 6.58 xFIP suggests it could be a long night for Abbott and Washington. 

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 3-0-1 in the Padres' last 4 road games vs. a right-handed starter. Find more MLB betting trends for Padres vs. Nationals

Padres vs Nationals picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

That’s too much juice to lay on the moneyline, and San Diego isn’t exactly the most trustworthy side out there. I believe the Padres will win this game, but there’s a better option I’ll get to in a minute.

San Diego went all in at the trade deadline, and the results have been mixed. Juan Soto has been ripping, but the Padres are 3-5 since acquiring the young slugger and enter Friday riding a two-game winning streak.

Clevinger hasn’t pitched much since San Diego acquired him in 2020. Tommy John struck, and while it's been a struggle finding his command, the Padres win behind him, and teams are slashing .226/.285/.375/.660 against the veteran right-hander. 

Washington is struggling to score runs, but it’s a high contact, extremely low walk-rate type of offense without much power. It’s the type of offense a veteran pitcher like Clevinger doesn’t like facing without his good stuff, and his good stuff just isn’t always there yet. 

The sample size for Abbott is minuscule, but the Padres offense is loaded from top to bottom and just hung 20 runs over their last two games against a decent San Francisco Giants staff. 

Soto has a bit of dog in him, and who knows how the Nationals Park faithful will receive him? He might look to jack a couple of bombs, and Abbott’s long-ball woes could make a pair of dongs entirely possible.

Furthermore, Washington is riding the struggle bus. The Nats have lost eight of their past 10 with a losing home record this season. 

San Diego is heating up and coming off a strong series win over a division rival, with momentum clearly on its side. Take the Padres on Friday.

Prediction: Padres moneyline (-222 at Coolbet)

Over/Under analysis

The number is too low for this matchup. 

Let’s face it: We don’t have the best pitching matchup on Friday, and these two sides are likely to score a number of runs.

Clevinger hasn’t returned to the pre-Tommy John surgery form, and his command can be sketchy. Sometimes he has it, and sometimes he doesn’t. As a result, the Over is 2-2 when Clevinger pitches as the away favorite. 

The Nationals’ offense is scrappy, and their wRC+ of 104 during the month of August suggests they know how to manufacture runs. Washington doesn’t strikeout much, and that could mean some runs on the board for it.

Abbott allows too many home runs, and he and his 10 percent barrel rate may wind up in a neck brace watching balls leave the yard against the stacked Padres lineup. San Diego scored 20 runs over its last two games against the Giants and will carry its form into this series.

Prediction: Over 8.5 (-143 at 888sport)

Best bet

Everything we discussed thus far points to a high-scoring affair Friday night. 

We’ve talked about the starting pitching, the Padres loaded lineup, as well as a Washington side that plates runs. But, there’s one more thing in our favor.

The Nationals’ bullpen has served up a whopping 59 home runs and has blown 10 of their 38 save opportunities, with the seventh-highest team ERA and tenth in walks allowed in baseball. 

The Washington bullpen is like the gift that keeps on giving, and the Padres are going to light up the Nationals Park scoreboard on Friday night.

PickOver 8.5 (-143 at 888sport)

MLB parlays

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