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Preview, predictions for San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres series

SAN DIEGO, CA - MARCH 31: Jeff Samardzija #29 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park March 31, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - MARCH 31: Jeff Samardzija #29 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park March 31, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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The San Francisco Giants are set to take on the San Diego Padres in a crucial three-game series at Petco Park with the MLB trade deadline rapidly approaching.

With a 52-51 record and a 3.5-game deficit in the National League wild-card standings, the San Francisco Giants find themselves in a precarious situation just days away from the MLB trade deadline.

On Friday night, the Giants will start a critical three-game series in San Diego against the Padres. With another series win, the Giants could look to do a mix of adding and selling at the deadline, while a bad showing at Petco Park could put the “for sale” sign back up.

Fortunately, the Giants are coming to town at a good time. The Padres have gone 3-7 in their last 10 games, and the last time the two teams squared off, the Giants swept the Padres in convincing fashion. They outscored them 30-11 in that three-game sweep and that proved to be the series that jump-started the team’s recent surge.

The Giants probable starters for the series are Jeff Samardzija, Shaun Anderson and Madison Bumgarner. The Padres will counter with southpaw Joey Lucchesi in the opener, while the starters for the Padres the rest of the weekend have yet to be announced.

In Samardzija’s last start against the Padres, he pitched eight innings while giving up just five hits and two earned runs with six strikeouts. He owns a 2.42 career ERA at Petco Park and he’s gone 2-0 with a 2.59 ERA in his last five starts against the Padres.

When these two teams met at the beginning of the month, Giants third baseman Evan Longoria had a vintage Longoria series. He went 7-for-13 with four home runs, two doubles and nine RBI. The Giants will have to find their offense from some other source this time around with Longoria on the injured list with a foot injury.

That source could be Alex Dickerson, who was acquired from the Padres back in June. So far in the month of July, he’s hitting .426 with four home runs, five doubles, two triples and 10 RBI.

Prediction: San Francisco Giants take two of three

Jeff Samardzija has had the Padres number of late and he can be expected to work six or seven strong innings on Friday before the bullpen puts the clamps down on what will be a low-scoring affair.

There is a lot to like about the long-term potential of Shaun Anderson, but over his last seven starts, he has a 5.80 ERA. One of those starts came against the Padres earlier this month when he lasted just four innings and allowed eight hits and four earned runs.

If they split those first two games, Madison Bumgarner will have a chance to deliver a series win on Sunday. The veteran left-hander has been lights out of late with a 1.96 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in four July starts. Expect the finale to be another low-scoring affair, with the Giants coming out on top.

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That would move the San Francisco Giants to two games over .500 and keep them in the NL wild-card hunt, which could be enough to justify some trade deadline additions.

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