Cease Can Cruise To Victory Over Athletics

Cease Can Cruise To Victory Over Athletics

Athletics vs. Padres, 9:40 ET

Athletics vs. Padres, 9:40 ET

I use a lot of data off of ESPN to get my plays and to start looking at the schedule. Say what you will about their programming or talking heads, but their website is easy to view the schedule and games. They do this thing on their site through ESPN Analytics, where it has a matchup predictor. I’d love to see the stats on how correct it is at predicting the winner of a game, but for example, the Royals vs. Yankees prediction was Royals with a 58% chance to win the game. The Mariners have a 69% chance of beating the White Sox. The Brewers have a 58.8% chance to take down the Blue Jays. You get the picture. Sometimes this aligns with the books moneyline prices, and sometimes it doesn’t seem close. Today the Analytics give the Padres a 76% chance of winning the game over the Athletics. 

Honestly, if you’ve watched the Padres at all over the past couple of years, you’ll know that they should never be given a 76% chance to win any game. They seemingly invent new ways to lose games despite having all the talent in the world. Then again, they play an Athletics team that seems like they are straight out of Major League. The owner wants to move, some of the city wants them to stay, and others don’t seem to care. When they do have fans in the stands there is more action going on out there than on the field. The franchise is just… strange. They actually started the year decently and were somewhat surprising. They didn’t win 25 games last year until July 5th. So, they are a month ahead of last year’s pace. On May 4th, they were a .500 team. Since that point though they are just 9-23. Being almost 15 games under .500 is probably a lot more in line with what the expectations of this team were for the year. Today they send out Joey Estes to try and get some production against the Padres lineup. Estes has but together a decent enough year with a 2-1 record and 4.67 ERA. What stands out to me right now is his WHIP at 0.96. He has allowed 20 hits and just six walks over his 27 innings pitched this year. Most of the damage done against him was in a 3.2 inning start against the Astros where he allowed eight earned runs. There isn’t much experience to talk about with him against the Padres, so he should have a bit of an edge going through the lineup the first time. 

A buddy of mine asked a question on Twitter recently about the most disappointing franchise in baseball. The question was essentially has any team done less with more resources than the Padres. I’ve been harping about this for a while now that the results do not align with the investment the team has put into the players. The only other team that I could say is in the running for this dubious award is the Yankees. The Padres have spent money consistently to try and field a winning team, the results have been mediocre at best. Even this season, they tried to tinker with the roster to improve the club, but they are a .500 team. It isn’t that they have to face the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, they don’t have a great record against anyone. What is even more wild is their team stats are actually really good. They lead the Majors in batting average, they are 8th in runs, and have the fourth fewest strikeouts as a team. Heck, they are even 10th in stolen bases. So is it their pitching that is an issue? Their team ERA is 3.87 and is 14th in the league. They have the 10th most saves, their WHIP is 8th best in the league, and their opponent batting average is 9th best. They do allow a lot of home runs, but how is it possible the club can be this average when all stats are showing they are actually really good? Tonight they have Dylan Cease taking the mound for them. While he isn’t quite as sharp as his Cy Young finalist campaign, he is throwing rather well with a 5-5 record and a 3.51 ERA. His WHIP is a stellar 0.96 and he is 4th in the MLB with 93 strikeouts. At one point in his career he was unhittable, but that isn’t the case with him any longer as he has allowed at least three earned runs in five consecutive starts. He has been worse at home with a 4.34 ERA this season compared to 3.00 on the road. He has dominated the A’s in the past through, holding them to just six hits in 40 at-bats.

I don’t think this is a really hard choice here, and I do align with the ESPN Analytics thing here: the Padres should win this baseball game. I think Cease and Estes could actually keep this game close, but I expect the Padres offense to play well enough to have their team leading by at least a run after five innings so I’ll back the early run line. I’d consider the full game too, but as I mentioned, they seem to find ways to lose. Back Padres first five -0.5.

For more sports betting information and plays, follow David on X/Twitter: @futureprez2024

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