2020 San Diego Padres Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
The San Diego Padres were one of the big winners of the offseason heading into the 2019 campaign because they won the bidding war for Manny Machado. A big step forward was expected for this franchise - now the lone professional game in town with the Chargers having moved to Los Angeles - but the Friars only improved by four wins to 70.
It was the 13th year in a row that San Diego missed the playoffs and ninth straight losing season. With about a week left in the season, manager Andy Green was fired after four years. The Padres went 274-366 and never finished higher than fourth place in the NL West under Green, who, believe it or not, was the 10th longest-tenured manger in the majors.
This was a fairly coveted managerial job with some stellar young talent, a great farm system, terrific ballpark/city, and, allegedly, ownership ready to spend some money. Some big names were tied to the opening (Bruce Bochy, Joe Maddon), but the team went with relative unknown Jayce Tingler as the 21st manager in team history. Not the sexiest hire as Tingler spent last year as the Rangers' Major League Player Development Field Coordinator and then managed in the Dominican winter league. Padres GM AJ Preller and Tingler previously worked together in the Rangers' organization.
San Diego opens the season March 26 at home against Colorado.
Padres 2020 Projected Lineup
The big fish did get away this offseason as the Padres and Dodgers essentially were the finalists to land former AL MVP Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox in trade, but to no surprise the Dodgers won out because that cash-flush organization also took David Price and his monster contract in the deal. That's too bad in a way if one likes competition because if Betts had gone to the Padres, there might - might - have been a race in the NL West.
San Diego also was interested in trading for Pirates outfielder Starling Marte but lost out on him to the division-rival Arizona Diamondbacks. The team did make a few lesser trades, sending infielder Luis Urias (a former touted prospect) and pitcher Eric Lauer to Milwaukee for outfielder Trent Grisham and pitcher Zach Davies; getting infielder Jurickson Profar (another former touted prospect) from Oakland; and sending outfielder Hunter Renfroe and a prospect to the Rays for outfielder Tommy Pham.
Pham is hugely underrated and has been statistically one of the Top 30 hitters in baseball the past three years combined. Last year, he hit .273 with 21 homers and 68 RBIs in 145 games; the guy also gets on base and will steal some bags (25 in 2019). He's about the only lock in the outfield, though, with six other guys fighting for two starting jobs and four roster spots this spring.
Machado had a solid first season with the Padres, batting .256 with 32 homers and 85 RBIs for a WAR of 3.1. Shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. might have won NL Rookie of the Year had he stayed healthy as he was spectacular in 84 games, batting .317 with 22 homers, 53 RBIs and 16 steals. He's a future MVP candidate.
Here's what the projected lineup could look like:
SS Fernando Tatis Jr.
OF Tommy Pham
3B Manny Machado
1B Eric Hosmer
OF Trent Grisham
OF Wil Myers
C Francisco Mejia/Austin Hedges
2B Jurickson Profar
That first three is spectacular; Hosmer is hugely overpaid and has disappointed in his first two seasons with the team, and he has six years left on his deal. Myers is also overpaid and the Padres were trying to force the Red Sox to take him in any Betts deal. If I'm an opposing team, I'm using an opener often against this team just to get through the Top 3 once and then insert your starting pitcher.
Padres 2020 Projected Rotation & Closer
Chris Paddack is a future Cy Young candidate after he was 9-7 with a 3.33 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 153 strikeouts in 140.2 innings as a rookie in 2019. After him? Not great, although San Diego has two highly-touted pitching prospects who could be up this year in MacKenzie Gore (Red Sox were demanding him) and Luis Patiño.
Dinelson Lamet and Garrett Richards both returned from Tommy John surgery last season. Lamet was OK in his 14 starts, while Richards was terrible in his three. Davies (10-7, 3.55) should be an upgrade on Lauer (8-10, 4.45). Lefty Joey Lucchesi (10-10, 4.18) likely will have to hold off former first-round pick Cal Quantrill (6-8, 5.16) for the No. 5 spot.
Here's the projected rotation:
Not the best group but obviously will be helped when playing at pitcher-friendly Petco Park. The Friars signed a terrific set-up man this offseason in lefty Drew Pomeranz, who has rejuvenated his career after failing as a starter. He'll work in front of closer Kirby Yates. He was nothing short of fantastic last year, leading the majors with 41 saves to go with a 1.19 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and a whopping 101 strikeouts in 60.2 innings. Not sure he's that good.
San Diego annually seems to have one of the best bullpens in the majors and should again.
Padres Futures Odds
San Diego is given a win total of 84.5 (under a slight -115) favorite. The Padres are +800 to win the NL West, +2000 for the pennant and +5000 to win the first World Series in franchise history. Machado is +10000 to lead the majors in homers and Tatis Jr. +20000.
Padres 2020 Predictions
No question this franchise is coming, but unfortunately is stuck behind the star-studded Dodgers in the NL West, so forget a division title. Arizona also got better this offseason in the division. Colorado and San Francisco aren't very good.
Can the Padres improve by nearly 15 wins from last season to go "over" that listed total? Not quite. Let's call it around a .500 record, so go "under." Then look out in 2021.
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