That the San Diego Padres are above .500 and in second place in the NL West entering their series with the San Francisco Giants is not a surprise to most. But the fact the Padres were trailing the Giants for the top spot in the division heading into Friday’s action most certainly is a surprise.
The Giants turn to their ace, Kevin Gausman, on Saturday. He has had a career rebirth in San Francisco, going 5-3 with a 2.99 ERA coupled with 10.8 strikeouts and 6.8 hits allowed per nine innings since joining the Giants in 2020.
After posting a 1-5 record with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, the Padres’ Joe Musgrove has also had success moving to the West Coast. He pitched a no-hitter in April, and despite a 2-3 record, he has been solid with a 2.38 ERA and 12.4 strikeouts to 1.9 walks per nine innings.
The Padres have relied heavily upon their pitching this season. Their offense ranked 26th in MLB in runs per game with 3.8 entering the series and their bullpen was used for a league-high 141.1 innings. Despite the high usage, the bullpen went into Friday with a 2.74 ERA — which led the National League.
The Giants had the best record in the MLB at home (10-3), entering Friday, and their offense plated at least four runs in nine of their previous 13 games. Add in a team 2.36 ERA at home, which ranked second in MLB, and the Giants will defend their home field on Saturday.
The play: Giants, +135.