The San Francisco Giants (69-64) look to hold on to the third and final NL Wild Card spot as they head south to kick off a weekend series against the fading San Diego Padres (62-72). Sean Manaea (4-5, 5.05 ERA) will serve in a bulk role for San Francisco, while the Padres give the ball to righty Pedro Avila (0-1, 2.63).
San Diego enters as -130 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Giants at +110. The run total is set at 8.5.
Giants-Padres picks: Thursday, August 31
Out: SS Brandon Crawford (forearm), DH/OF AJ Pollock (oblique), OF Michael Conforto (hamstring), SP Ross Stripling (back), RP John Brebbia (lat)
Out: RP Steven Wilson (hip), SP Yu Darvish (elbow), SP Joe Musgrove (shoulder), DH/1B Ji-Man Choi (ribs), INF Jake Cronenworth (wrist), RP Tim Hill (finger)
Sean Manaea vs. Pedro Avila
After a hot start to August, Manaea has struggled a bit over his last two appearances, allowing five runs on six hits and four walks in just 6.1 innings of work in a pair of losses against the Phillies and Braves. The lefty has shown renewed velocity this season after bottoming out toward the end of his lone season in San Diego last year (82nd-percentile K rate), but command has been a consistent issue, as has a 1.45 WHIP against righty batters — compared to just a 1.02 mark against lefties.
Thrust into the rotation amid injuries to Darvish, Musgrove and seemingly just about every other Padres starter not named Blake Snell, Avila has performed pretty well overall, allowing just two combined runs over 17.1 innings across his first four appearances of the month. His most recent start did not go nearly as well though, as the righty gave up five runs on five hits and two walks in just 4.1 innings in a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. Avila’s unlikely to give San Diego more than four or five frames at best tonight, but his curveball and changeup carry elite numbers this season and could help him keep the Padres in this game into the late innings.
The Giants have struggled on offense for the entire second half, but Avila is far from a lock — we simply don’t have a ton of evidence for him turning over a Major League lineup multiple times, especially now that teams have more video on him. Combine that with the Padres’ success against left-handed pitching (top 10 in OPS this month vs. southpaws) and Manaea’s recent shakiness, and I think the over hits tonight.
Pick: Over 8.5
Avila isn’t setting the world on fire, but he’s been at least as reliable as Manaea lately, and I trust San Diego’s performance against left-handed pitching — Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Co. all hit lefties very well, which just so happens to be Manaea’s weakness. I think the Padres back their starter with more than enough run support to pick up a win.
Pick: Padres -130