Giants vs. Padres prediction and odds for Thursday, August 31 (How to handle San Fran's bullpen)

The Giants and Padres are tied at 3-3 in the season series. The Giants lead Arizona by 0.5 game for the final National League Wild Card spot.
San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sean Manaea (52)
San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sean Manaea (52) / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Last night in their series finale with the Reds the San Francisco Giants dropped a big one. They couldn’t complete the sweep and fell to 69-64, still holding onto the final Wild Card spot, but not by much. The San Diego Padres would love to have that problem, instead they’re 7.5 games back of the Giants at 62-72. 

Tonight is the first of four games in San Diego and the Giants will go with a bullpen game against Pedro Avila who will make his ninth appearance and third start for the Padres. 

The Wild Card Giants are underdogs on the road in Game 1 against the Padres. We’ll get into the odds and my pick, but first I have to tell you about this promo in the DraftKings Sportsbook that you can’t pass up. 

Simply hit the link below, sign up, deposit $5, bet it on either side of this NL West matchup, and receive $200 in bonus bets win or lose. 

Giants vs. Padres odds, run line and total

Giants vs. Padres prediction and pick

The Giants are no stranger to a bullpen game. They do it two or three times a week, sometimes more, and they do it because it works quite a bit. The Giants have put a ton of innings on their pen this season, in fact the most in baseball, by a wide margin. That unit has held up under the pressure of a massive workload with a 3.82 ERA and a 3.81 FIP. 

I trust the Giants to put together a great bullpen game. I don’t trust the Padres quite as much. It’s not a pure bullpen game because Avila has been going about four innings in most of his outings this year, but that’s still a lot of game to cover after him. The San Diego bullpen has thrown 111.2 less innings than San Francisco and still has a worse ERA at 3.95 with a 4.31 FIP. 

Avila himself allowed five runs over 4.1 to Milwaukee last time out and I’m not sure how much to trust with his xERA at 3.68, over a full run higher than his ERA. 

The season series is tied 3-3, but the Giants are a clearly better team and getting them at plus odds in this one sounds great to me. 

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change