2021 San Diego Padres Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
The San Diego Padres have been the brunt of all Major League Baseball jokes since I can remember. They have finished above .500 twice since 2008 and have reached the 90-loss plateau six times. However, things seem to be looking up for the Padres, who have one of the best young rosters in baseball and have sky-high expectations coming into this season.
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Last season, the Padres finished with the shortened year with a 37-23 record, which was good enough for second in the NL West, six games back of the Dodgers. That record secured them a playoff spot for the first time since 2006, and they went on to beat the Cardinals 2-1 in the Wild-Card series before losing to the eventual champion Dodgers in the NLDS.
The San Diego Padres kick off their 2021 campaign on April 1 with a seven-game homestand that will see the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants roll through Petco Park for a four and three-game set, respectively. From there, the Padres will hit the road for six, with stops in Texas for three and Pittsburgh for four. Coming into this season, the Padres sit at +700 to win the World Series, behind only the Dodgers and Yankees, +425 to win the NL Pennant (behind the Dodgers) and +200 to win the NL West. Their season win total sits at 93.5, which means they are expected to be really good this season.
Padres 2021 Projected Lineup
The Padres have gone from afterthoughts to legitimate contenders with the signings of a few big-name players in 2018 and 2019. Now, they have one of the best up-and-coming stars in the game in Fernando Tatis, who just signed a mega-deal worth $340 million. As of writing this, the Padres’ batting lineup looks something like this:
- Trent Grisham
- Fernando Tatis Jr.
- Manny Machado
- Eric Hosmer
- Tommy Pham
- Will Myers
- Jake Cronenworth
- Austin Nola
- Pitchers Spot
After being the most sought-after free agent in a very long time, Manny Machado has lived up to expectations for the Padres. He’s hit 48 home runs over the last two seasons, including 16 in last year’s shortened campaign. He’s a defensive stud at third base, and his projections for this season have him hitting close to .300 with 35 home runs and 10 stolen bases. That’s not to shabby for the No. 3 hitter, but it’s the guy in front of him who everyone is clamoring to see.
Tatis Jr. has quickly become a bit of a folk hero as he hits massive home runs and pimps them out like nobody’s business. In last year’s shortened season, Tatis connected for 17 home runs, 50 runs, 45 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. The year prior, he knocked out 22, scored 61, drove in 52 and stole 16 bases. The Padres are putting $340 million eggs in his basket as they signed the young phenom to a 14-year deal. It’s the longest deal in MLB history, and it could go one of two ways. A massive bargain for a 22-year-old that’s coming into his own, or a complete bust after about four or five years of mediocrity.
So, what do the Padres have to work with around Machado and Tatis? Well, they have a bunch of players that are going to need to step up their game in a big way if the Padres are going to contend for real this year. Eric Hosmer is perhaps the most important guy as he’ll bat clean up for the Padres. He had a down year by his standards last campaign, hitting just nine home runs and stealing four bases. Further down the lineup, the likes of Pham, Myers, Cronenworth and Nola will need to hit their projections and then some.
Padres 2021 Projected Rotation & Closer
The Padres pitching staff has taken a major step forward this offseason with the acquisition of Yu Darvish and Blake Snell. Snell comes into this campaign on the heels of a World Series appearance where he dominated in every outing he started. Snell will now be the undoubted “ace” of the staff, and he brings in a 4-2 record from 11 regular-season starts last year and a 4.23 ERA. In a pitcher’s park like Petco Park, Snell figures to have a Cy Young worthy season.
Behind him, Darvish, Dinelson Lamet, Joe Musgrove, and Chris Paddack complete the rotation, and all are projected to have solid seasons with ERA’s in the mid-threes.
In terms of the bullpen, the Padres will rely on Drew Pomeranz to do the closing. Last season, Pomeranz was able to convert on 21 save opportunities while keeping his ERA below 3.50.
Padres 2021 Predictions
FanGraphs projects San Diego to finish the season with a record of 95-67, which would be the third-best record in the Major Leagues. If you look at this team on paper, the offense is built appropriately for playing in a pitcher-friendly park and the pitching staff has enough talent on it to contain the opposition. The only concern I have is the bottom of the batting order and if the injury bug rears its ugly head the season could be derailed in a hurry. The win total is high and I’m from the school of belief that you need to show me you can do something before I trust you to do it. I’d have to bet the under on the win total as I think they get to around 91 or so.
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