Juan Soto and the San Diego Padres will welcome his old teammates to town as they begin a Thursday series against the Washington Nationals. The Padres are massive favorites at home with a moneyline of -370 compared to Washington’s moneyline of +295. The game also has an over/under of 7.5 runs.
Despite their big moves at the trade deadline, the Padres aren’t exactly playing at an elite level right now. Thanks to a five-game losing streak, the Padres are just 5-8 over their last 13 games. The only silver lining is they still have a two-game cushion for the second Wild Card spot in the National League.
Meanwhile, the Nationals are by far the worst team in the majors this season. They have more than double the number of losses than wins and have been outscored by 212 runs. Things aren’t getting any better with Washington going 4-12 thus far in August.
The Old Man
The Nationals will give the ball to 38-year-old Anibal Sanchez on Thursday night. The veteran has made six starts for Washington this year, going 0-5 with a 7.20 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP. Fortunately, his last start came against the Padres with Sanchez giving up three runs over five innings in a game that the Nationals actually won.
Offensively, Washington has scored two runs or less in five of the team’s last 12 games. Losing Soto and Josh Bell from the lineup has surely weakened the Nationals, leaving them without impact offensive players. That being said, Cesar Hernandez, Joey Meneses, and Yadiel Hernandez have heated up lately, although the likes of Lane Thomas and Luke Voit have struggled.
The Padres will have Yu Darvish make Thursday’s start to help the team get on track. In his 22 starts this season, Darvish is 10-6 with a 3.40 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. However, Darvish has cooled off a little, posting a 4.50 ERA over his three starts in August and taking a loss in his last two starts, with the Padres losing three of his last four starts.
Meanwhile, San Diego’s lineup has been wildly inconsistent since the Padres traded for Soto and others at the trade deadline. In their last 12 games, they’ve scored at least six runs on five occasions, but they’ve also scored one run or less in four of those 12 games. As has been the case all season, Manny Machado is carrying the lineup with Ha-Seong Kim helping out while Josh Bell, Jurickson Profar, and Jake Cronenworth are all in a deep slump.
Is It Worth It?
There’s no doubt that the Padres are a safe bet to win this game, although they don’t provide much value unless bettors explore alternative run lines that would require San Diego to win by multiple runs. On the other hand, the Nationals have a lot of value on the off chance that they pull off an upset, which they did against San Diego in a game last week. However, picking the Padres to win straight up remains the safest bet in this game.
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