2018 San Diego Padres Expert 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 just one time since 2008 and have reached the 90-loss plateau three times. They have had a very big turnaround not only with the roster but also with the managerial situation as well. Another miserable season is on the horizon, and I can't wait to see the new ways they find to lose ball games.
Last season, the Padres finished with a record of 71-91, which put them in the basement of the NL West, 37 games back of the division-winning Dodgers. The Padres were one of the lowest-scoring teams in the league and had one of the highest team ERAs. Their run differential was -212, which is mind blowing as the next closest team to that was the Detroit Tigers at -159.
The Padres kick off their 2018 campaign on March 29 with a seven-game
homestand that will see the Milwaukee Brewers and Colorado Rockies roll
through Petco Park for a three and four-game set, respectively. From there,
the Padres will hit the road for six, with stops in Houston and Colorado.
Coming into this season, the Padres sit at +15000 to win the World Series,
+6600 to win the NL Pennant and +4000 to win the NL West. Their season win
total sits at 69.5 ("over" -180), which means they have the potential to be
really bad this season.
All odds are courtesy of Bovada.
Padres 2018 Projected Lineup
The Padres were very busy this offseason as they were able to land the
biggest fish in the free-agent market, Eric Hosmer. Hosmer signed an
enormous eight-year, $144-million deal with the Padres that will keep him
in San Diego until he turns 36. He should be extremely helpful in producing
runs for a team that struggled mightily last season. As of writing this,
the Padres' batting lineup looks something like this:
1. Manuel Margot
2. Carlos Asuaje
3. Wil Myers
4. Eric Hosmer
5. Hunter Renfroe
6. Chase Headley
7. Austin Hedges
8. Freddy Galvis
9. Pitchers Spot
The biggest name in this line up is without a doubt Hosmer. He comes to San Diego after spending his first seven years in the Majors with the Kansas City Royals. Hosmer will definitely add some much-needed pop to the lineup and will figure to lead the team in most major offensive categories. Hosmer is coming off a 2017 campaign where he posted 25 home runs and 94 RBIs while hitting .318. Having him in the clean-up role should help the top half of the rotation get better pitches to hit and get on base more frequently.
Behind Hosmer, Renfroe and Headley will occupy the five and six spots. Renfroe had a solid season last year, turning in 26 home runs and 58 RBIs in his first full Major League season. The 26-year-old will be relied upon to protect Hosmer and force pitchers to pitch to him. Headley returns to the Padres after spending the last four seasons with the New York Yankees. He has hit double-digit home runs and he drove in more than 51 runs in each of the last three seasons.
Further down the lineup, you'll find Hedges batting seventh and doing the catching and Galvis batting eighth and playing shortstop. Galvis is another offseason acquisition, and he has shown some pop in his last two seasons. He has hit 32 dingers and drove in 128 over the last two seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Padres 2018 Projected Rotation & Closer
The "ace" of the Padres staff is going to be Clayton Richard. Richard has played for three teams in his 11-year career and is back with the Padres after spending two seasons with the Cubs from 2015-2016. Richard had a poor season last year where he pitched to an 8-15 record with a 4.79 ERA. The 32 games started was the most he's started since 2012, so the Padres will be hopeful that he can stay injury free and carry a similar workload once again.
Behind Richard, the Padres will rely on a foursome of pitchers that includes Dinelson Lamet, Luis Perdomo, Robbie Erlin, and Bryan Mitchell. Colin Rea will figure into the rotation at some point, but he is currently out until mid-April with a shoulder injury. None of these four pitchers are household names, but Perdomo and Lamet have the most talent out of the bunch. Perdomo pitched to an 8-11 record last season, while Lamet went 7-8 in just 21 games. They will be the two guys the Padres need to perform well to finish with a respectable record.
In terms of the bullpen, the Padres will rely on Brad Hand to do the closing. Last season, Hand was able to convert on 21 save opportunities while keeping his ERA relatively low at 2.16. His setup men will be Craig Stammen, and Kirby Yates, Jordan Lyles, and Phil Maton, and Buddy Baumann will be tasked with shoring up the relief corps.
Padres 2018 Predictions
FanGraphs projects San Diego to improve by two games this year to a record of 73-89. That would keep them firmly in the basement of the NL West and contribute to the pain and suffering of Padres fans. I really like what the Padres did in the offseason to bolster their lineup. Unfortunately, the pitching rotation will be the downfall, and the Padres will suffer another miserable season. The season win total of 69.5 is relatively low, even for a Major League team, but the Padres might be the one team in the league that can stay "under" that number. Take a shot with the "under" and enjoy the circus in San Diego.
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