An interesting NL Wild Card series gets underway Wednesday, September 30, 2020, when the St. Louis Cardinals (30-28) visit the San Diego Padres (37-23). St. Louis did well to deal with odd circumstances this season, self-induced, to get into the playoffs and could be dangerous. San Diego looked to run out of steam a bit in September, but their offense could easily carry them far into October. This game will air live on ESPN2 at 5:00 p.m. EST.
The San Diego Padres are comfortable -200 favorites to advance to the NL Wild Card series. You can get the St. Louis Cardinals at +170 to advance.
St. Louis enters the playoffs with alternating wins and losses for the final nine games of the regular season. The Cardinals finished the season by losing two of three to the Kansas City Royals and winning three of five against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals did not play all 60 games this season due to the coronavirus impact that caused them to postpone 18 games early in the season. The only series the Cardinals did not make up was a two-game away series at the Detroit Tigers.
San Diego enters the playoffs in some form, but still finished the regular season with a 5-6 record. The Padres finished the regular season by winning two of three against the Mariners, losing both games against the Angels, and winning three of four, the final three games, against the San Francisco Giants.
Below is my pick for the St. Louis Cardinals at San Diego Padres. All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
St. Louis Cardinals (+148) at San Diego Padres (-170)
Pitching Matchup: Kwang-Hyun Kim (3-0, 1.62 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) vs Chris Paddack (4-5, 4.73 ERA, 1.22 WHIP)
Kwang-Hyun Kim gets the playoff opening start in his first career season in MLB. Kim was great this season as he made seven starts, eight appearances, and allowed more than one earned run just one time in 2020. For the season, Kim allowed just 28 hits and nine runs (seven earned) in 39.0 innings pitcher. Kim made four starts in September and allowed 17 hits and five earned runs in 22.1 innings.
Chris Paddack had big expectations heading into this season and he did not live up them. Paddack has made 12 starts this season and he has given up three earned runs of more in six of those appearances. September was a hit or miss month for the righty as he had two starts where he gave up one earned run or less, and two starts allowing four or more earned runs. For all of September, Paddack allowed 17 hits and 10 earned runs in 16.1 innings pitched.
Paul Goldschmidt was the offensive leader for St. Louis this season as he finished in the top 12, of the National League, in batting average and on base percentage. No either Cardinals player appeared on the offensive leaderboards.
Third baseman Manny Machado finished top 15 in the National League in batting average, on base percentage, slugging, OPS, home runs, and RBIs. Shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. finished in the top 15 in home runs, RBI’s, slugging, and OPS. Right fielder Wil Myers popped into the top 10 in slugging, OPS, and home runs.
MLB Predictions: I like the St. Louis Cardinals to get the game one win.
2020 Picks Record: 57-41