Padres vs. Athletics: The Floundering Fathers

Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres dodges a pitch. Denis Poroy/Getty Images/AFP
Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres dodges a pitch. Denis Poroy/Getty Images/AFP


The San Diego Padres are vulnerable without Fernando Tatis – but they’re the value MLB pick Tuesday night versus the Oakland Athletics.


San Diego Padres vs. Oakland Athletics

Tuesday, August 3, 2021 – 9:40 p.m. EDT at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 

These are trying times for the San Diego Padres. They’ve been stuck in third place in the National League West for a while now; the Padres (61-47, minus-5.57 betting units) wrapped up the weekend 6.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants for first, and 3.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for second. FanGraphs gives San Diego a 77.2-percent chance of reaching the postseason, but only a 4.4-percent chance of winning the division. If that weren’t bad enough, San Diego’s top star, Fernando Tatis Jr (1.024 OPS), is on the shelf once again with recurring issues in his left shoulder. But that might make the Padres the right choice for your Tuesday MLB picks when they visit the Oakland Athletics (60-47, plus-4.45 units). As usual, DraftKings are the first of our online sportsbooks to post a line for this matchup, and they’ve got San Diego listed at +160 as we go to press. That looks like a bargain price if you can still get it.

Tatis Squad

Old-school handicappers will recognize the game plan here: Follow the team with the injured superstar. The plan usually works better in basketball, where each individual player has more impact on the odds, but in this case, Tatis is about as close to LeBron James as it gets. He’s one of the most celebrated players in baseball; however, the betting public is prone to over-estimating his value to the Padres, so now that he’s out of the mix, San Diego are more likely to be the sharper side in Tuesday’s matchup. Let’s not overlook the important acquisition the Padres made ahead of the trade deadline, either. They sent three prospects to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for 2B/OF Adam Frazier (.812 OPS), who’s coming off his first All-Star appearance. It’s not the big splash for a high-end starting pitcher that San Diego fans had hoped for, but Frazier does help the team on both sides of the ball – and in Tuesday’s contest, the Padres already have a brand-name starter due up in former American League Cy Young winner Blake Snell (4.58 FIP), even if Snell’s been going through some difficulties of his own.

They Call The Wind Manaea The Athletics aren’t chopped liver, of course. Oakland improved at the deadline with the addition of OF Starling Marte (.851 OPS) and others, as they try to chase down the Houston Astros in the AL West. And it’s not official yet at press time, but it looks like Sean Manaea (3.19 FIP) is going to get the nod Tuesday night. The A’s are 14-7 behind Manaea this year for 4.36 units in profit, while San Diego are 9-10 and down 3.38 units with Snell on the mound.

Again, this is a question of betting value. The A’s should have the advantage in this matchup, but Manaea has benefitted somewhat from a high 81.6-percent of runners left on base, while Snell should eventually see some regression to the mean with his unfortunate .329 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play). I can’t guarantee Snell will enjoy better luck in this specific contest, but at +160 on Tuesday’s MLB lines, I’m happy to recommend San Diego for a small bet.


MLB Pick: Padres +160 at DraftKings 

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