Game time: 9:38 p.m. ET
Venue: Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA
Where to watch: Bally Sports San Diego, Bally Sports West
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Padres -160, Angels +140
Season record (entering Thursday)
Padres: 68-60 (3rd place, NL West)
Angels: 63-66 (4th place, AL West)
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Padres - Angels preview and analysis
Recent form (entering Thursday)
Angels: 4-6 in last 10
Padres: 2-8 in last 10, lost 3 straight
I’m not sure if this is still a thing, but NBA TV used to carry this show called Open Court. It would be a roundtable of sorts featuring some of the NBA’s biggest legends.
One of the topics was about facing a team that had one of those really long losing streaks. I can’t remember which player said it, but he said you never want to be the team facing the one with the long losing streak because the pressure is on you to not be the team to lose to that bad team.
I say this because the Los Angeles Angels chose to be that team not once, but twice this week. Wednesday’s 10-6 loss to the Baltimore Orioles ended Baltimore’s historic 19-game losing streak, and then the Angels answered by losing 13-1 to the “now-red-hot” Orioles on Thursday.
So, you can look at this from two different angles: Either Friday will be a very angry Angels team returning home for a two-game series against the San Diego Padres, or the Padres have the Angels right where they want them.
We’ll get to the bottom of that Friday when the two begin a three-game set at Angel Stadium following the Angels’ disappointing stop in Baltimore.
Shohei Ohtani got the start in L.A.’s loss on Wednesday and gave up two solo home runs in the first inning. His power returned Thursday by hitting a leadoff homer for his 41st of the season, but it went downhill from there. Pedro Severino hit a grand slam in the fifth to cap off a six-run bottom half for the Orioles. Jaime Barria lasted only 3.1 innings and gave up one earned run, and then the bullpen imploded.
Elvis Peguero, fresh out of Triple-A Salt Lake, gave up the grand slam and one more run in just two-thirds of an inning. In just a span of a half-hour, the Angels made the Orioles look like the slugging gods of baseball.
It’s yet to be decided who the Angels will start on Friday.
The Padres are running out of time as the days go by. Despite playing in a 16-inning classic on Wednesday, San Diego lost 5-3 to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first two games of an all-important three-game set at Petco Park.
It’s a hot-and-cold problem with the Padres right now. All that talent in the middle of the order, and only three runs to show for it. Had it not been for Fernando Tatis Jr. keeping the game alive in the bottom of the 15th with a two-run home run, it would’ve been a wasted pitchers night for San Diego.
Tatis went 1-for-7 (yes, the homer was the lone hit), and Manny Machado went 0-for-5 from the plate. The Padres had only four hits in that game; they could not solve Walker Buehler on Wednesday while wasting a shiny gem from Blake Snell (7.2 IP, 10 K). So what makes anyone believe they can get to Max Scherzer on Thursday? Help them Yu Darvish. You’re their only hope.
If the season ended today, the Padres would be out of the playoff picture. Thanks to the Cincinnati Reds taking the finale of their series against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Reds lead the Padres by 1.5 games in the National League Wild Card race.
A loss would put the Padres two games back, and even further out of the National League West picture. The Padres enter Thursday 15 games back of the San Francisco Giants for first place, and now 12.5 back of the Dodgers for second place. Once upon a time, the NL West was the best division in baseball. How much can change in the course of a couple months.
Joe Musgrove is expected to take the mound for the Padres in the series opener at Disneyland. The right-hander is 8-8 with a team-best 3.04 ERA and a WHIP of 1.02, which is 8th best in the league.
The question you have to ask yourself: Are the Angels stable enough as an underdog to take a chance on that moneyline? It almost seems like it is. But there’s no way we can say the Padres can’t hit off that bullpen, right? Padres win 7-5.
The over is 11-2 in Padres interleague games this season.
The Padres are 29-21 (-2) when a favorite of -125 to -175.
The Angels are 19-38 in Friday games over the last three seasons.
Players to watch
Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr. has got to get going. He’s batting .216 in August and while he has four homers, one has to think if he’s too busy trying to make the big play. He’s got to start getting on base and helping his team.
Angels: Prior to going 0-for-5 on Wednesday, third baseman David Fletcher had a seven-game hitting streak. He’s been the most consistent hitter for the Angels.
Trent Grisham (L) CF
Fernando Tatis Jr. (R) RF
Manny Machado (R) 3B
Jake Cronenworth (L) SS
Austin Nola (R) C
Eric Hosmer (L) 1B
Wil Myers (R) DH
Tommy Pham (R) LF
Adam Frazier (L) 2B
Shohei Ohtani (L) DH
David Fletcher (R) 2B
Phil Gosselin (R) 3B
Jared Walsh (L) 1B
Kurt Suzuki (R) C
Jo Adell (R) LF
Brandon Marsh (L) CF
Jack Mayfield (R) SS
Juan Lagares (R) RF
Batting average: Fernando Tatis Jr. (.284)
Hits: Jake Cronenworth (128)
Home runs: Fernando Tatis Jr. (35)
RBI: Manny Machado (84)
Stolen bases: Fernando Tatis Jr. (24)
Wins: Joe Musgrove (8)
Saves: Mark Melancon (34)
ERA: Joe Musgrove (3.04)
Batting average: David Fletcher (.293)
Hits: David Fletcher (147)
Home runs: Shohei Ohtani (41)
RBI: Shohei Ohtani (89)
Stolen bases: Shohei Ohtani (19)
Wins: Shohei Ohtani (8)
Saves: Raisel Iglesias (27)
ERA: Shohei Ohtani (3.00)
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