Padres vs Yankees Predictions, Picks, Odds: Musgrove Finds His Groove

Joe Musgrove's had a brutal start to the season, but his metrics don't paint as grim a picture, and against an aggressive Yankees lineup, our MLB picks see the Padres starter beating projections.

Last Updated: May 26, 2023 8:44 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Joe Musgrove MLB
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The San Diego Padres (23-27) head to the Big Apple for a three-game interleague series with the New York Yankees (30-22). 

The Padres finally got off the schneid by taking two of three games from the Washington Nationals in order to narrowly avoid losing a sixth consecutive series. 

They’ll have their work cut out for them, as slim MLB odds favorites against a cruising Yankees team that has won seven of its last 10 games. 

Here are my best bet and full MLB picks and predictions for Game 1 of the Padres vs. Yankees on Friday, May 26.

Padres vs Yankees odds

Padres vs Yankees predictions

Joe Musgrove has had a rough start to the year — there’s no way around it. This certainly isn’t what San Diego anticipated when it signed him to a $100-million deal. Let’s not sound the alarms quite yet, however, as there are reasons for optimism after all.

His 4.35 xERA is much lower than his 6.75 actual ERA. He was set back in his ramp-up to the season after dropping a weight on his toe and it may be natural that it’s taking him a few starts to round into form. Plus, let’s cut the man a break considering his numbers are mightily skewed by the seven runs he allowed across 3 ? innings in the hitters’ heaven that is Mexico City. 

That isn’t the only anomaly in his profile — his .329 BABIP is the highest of his career. With more batted ball luck and more time on the mound to shake out the cobwebs, there’s reason to expect regression to the mean.

There are some encouraging signs in his profile, especially his fastball spin rate which sits in the 98th percentile. His curve spin rate is also strong (83rd percentile) while his chase rate (80th percentile) should lead to plenty more punchouts. 

His swinging strike rate of 11.2% is a tick below his career number of 11.8% but is narrowly above his 11.0% figure from a season ago. For a player with his profile, one would expect his 22.3% strikeout rate this season to creep back up toward his career average of 23.8%. 

Musgrove faces a Yankees lineup that is far from immune to the strikeout. Across the last 10 days, they’ve posted a 25.9% K-rate (sixth) against right-handed pitching. 

He appears fully ramped up and back to speed after throwing exactly 97 pitches in each of his last two starts after throwing no more than 81 in his first three appearances. One can expect a full workload for this matchup in his sixth start of the year. 

He’s averaged just over a strikeout per inning in each of the last three seasons, so one would not need him to pitch too deep into this game to expect him to go Over his strikeout prop of 5.5. I’ll be targeting him to do just that with my best bet and I’d play it up to -130.

My best bet: Joe Musgrove Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-104)

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Padres vs Yankees moneyline analysis

The Padres are the slight favorite in this matchup, sitting between -120 and -130 depending on the book. The best comeback available on the Yankees is +110. 

It might seem odd that the struggling road team is favored over the surging home team. After all, the Bronx Bombers are 7-3 across their last 10 games overall and are 10-1 in their last 11 against a right-handed starter. The Padres are just 4-10 in their last 14 games overall and are 1-7 in their last eight against a team with a winning record.

A closer inspection, however, provides more light on the odds. 

Neither lineup has been exactly lighting the world on fire but has rather been performing around a league-average pace. Across the last 10 days, San Diego ranks 14th in wRC+ (106) and 12th in wOBA (.323) while New York checks in at 17th in wRC+ (97) and 22nd in wOBA (.309). 

One glancing at the superficial statistics might think it’s crazy to say this, but the Padres should have the starting pitching advantage in this matchup. Musgrove had a 3.18 ERA in 2021 and a 2.93 ERA in 2022 — across a huge sample size with at least 30 starts in both seasons — whereas the Yankees are sending a rookie to the mound who has an ERA near 5.00 at the AAA level this season. 

Padres vs Yankees Over/Under analysis

Most books are offering 9 as the total currently. Although 8.5 is available, the movement all appears to be headed upward.

Randy Vasquez offers up a mixed bag as a prospect. On one hand, he’s struggled at AAA this season with a 4.85 ERA across 42 ? innings and is only making a start because Domingo German is suspended. On the other hand, he’s his organization’s No. 3 ranked pitching prospect according to Baseball America, and has found his form lately with a 2.14 ERA in his last four starts. 

The most favorable 2023 season projection is ATC DC, which puts him at a 4.31 ERA, while the harshest is THE BAT (4.85 ERA). He has a healthy 25.5% K-rate at AAA but really needs to cut down on his 11.7% BB-rate.

The Padres have been extremely profitable to the Under this season with a 16-33-1 O/U record. They’re on an incredible 5-21 O/U run in their last 26 games overall and have typically played in low-scoring interleague games, going 4-16-1 O/U in their last 21 games against the American League.

The Yankees offer a different tale, going 9-1 O/U in their last 10 home games and 13-5 O/U in their last 18 overall.

Weather is not expected to play much of a factor as the current forecast calls for a temperature of 71 degrees at the time of first pitch with soft winds of 2.2 mph blowing in toward third base. 

Padres vs Yankees game info

Location: Yankee Stadium, New York, NY
Date: Friday, May 26, 2023
First pitch: 19:05 p.m. ET
TV: Apple TV+

Starting pitchers

Joe Musgrove (1-2, 6.75 ERA): Musgrove has had a rough go of things since making his season debut on April 22, allowing three or more earned runs in four of his five starts. The Padres were certainly hoping for more during the first year of his new five-year, $100 million contract. His 4.35 xERA is nearly two-and-a-half runs below his actual ERA, which is a good sign that he may be able to turn things around. 

Randy Vasquez (0-0, 0.00 ERA): Vasquez will be making his MLB debut in a spot start due to Domingo German serving a 10-game suspension for using a foreign substance. The 24-year-old right-hander has been at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, posting a 4.85 ERA across nine starts. Originally an amateur out of the Dominican Republic, Vasquez is his ballclub’s No. 9 overall prospect according to Baseball America. 

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Six of the last nine starting pitchers to face the Yankees have thrown for more than 5.5 strikeouts. Find more MLB betting trends for Padres vs. Yankees


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