Cardinals vs Padres Preview: Musgrove Looks to Stop Struggles As Shorthanded Padres Meet NL Central Leaders
This weekend brings the first Cardinals vs Padres series since their exciting postseason series last year. In tonight’s series opener, Joe Musgrove will take the hill for the Padres, while Johan Oviedo gets the starting nod for the Cardinals.
Musgrove pitched the first no-hitter of the MLB season over a month ago, but he hasn’t been in the win column since. Meanwhile, Oviedo is still searching for that winning feeling for the first time in his MLB career.
The Padres are heavily favored at home, but will they back that up against the NL Central leaders? Here’s our look at tonight’s matchup.
St. Louis Cardinals (23-15) vs San Diego Padres (21-17), Bally Sports San Diego, 10:10 pm ET
Pitching Matchup: St. Louis Cardinals vs San Diego Padres
- St. Louis Cardinals: Johan Oviedo (0-1, 4.61 ERA)
- San Diego Padres: Joe Musgrove (2-4, 3.00 ERA)
St. Louis Cardinals vs San Diego Padres Betting Odds
- Moneyline: Cardinals +154, Padres +184
- Total: OVER 7 (-102), UNDER 7 (-120)
- Run Line: Cardinals +1.5 (-154), Padres -1.5 (+128)
Cardinals vs Padres odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook as of Friday, May 14 at 4:35 pm ET. For more MLB betting odds, check out our MLB odds, featuring updated odds from FanDuel and other top online sportsbooks.
Struggling Musgrove Seeks First Win Since April No-No
After being traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to his hometown team in January, Musgrove could not have started this season any better. After tossing six shutout innings in a win in his Padres debut, Musgrove hurled the season’s first no-no against the Texas Rangers on April 9. Not only was it the first no-hitter of the season, it was the first no-hitter in Padres history.
After those two starts, Musgrove had some early traction as a potential NL Cy Young candidate along with the likes of Milwaukee Corbin Burnes. But while Burnes continues to be one of the leading NL Cy Young favorites, slotting in behind only Jacob deGrom, Musgrove’s rise has stalled.
Costly Mistakes Magnified By Minimal Run Support
In five starts since his no-hitter, Musgrove has pitched more than five innings only once. In the one start that he did go deep, he was unlucky to be on the losing end of a gem by Brandon Woodruff and the Milwaukee Brewers. His two May starts, however, have not been about bad luck. The Giants, one of the league’s leading power teams but average at best in the other major offensive categories, touched Musgrove for ten runs (nine earned), 12 hits, and three homers in ten innings across two starts.
If there is a positive in Musgrove’s current run of misfortune, but it is that he is still missing bats regularly. He has averaged more than a strikeout an inning in each of his seven starts. He hasn’t been generous with the free passes either, as he has walked only seven batters in 39 IP.
But when run support is a major issue, there is not much margin for error. In his first two starts, the Padres scored ten runs. In his last five, they have scored only 11 runs. Seven of those runs came in one game, when the Padres rallied from a 7-1 deficit to beat the rival Los Angeles Dodgers in an 11-inning thriller.
Can the Friars Turn Petco Park Into a Fortress Again?
Can he get some run support tonight? The numbers are not in his favor. The Padres have scored 58 runs in 19 home games, an average of 3.05 runs per game. On the road, they have scored 96 runs in 19 games, an average of 5.05 runs per game. They are hitting .216 as a team at home, which is 32 points lower than their road average. It is no surprise then that San Diego is 9-10 at home and 12-7 on the road. Last season, they were one of the league’s top home teams, recording a 21-11 mark at Petco Park.
That said, the Padres have won their last two home series, taking two of three against the Giants and Pirates. And they are 7-5 this season in series openers, including a 4-2 mark in their last six.
Oviedo Still Looking for First MLB Win
Given Musgrove’s lack of luck lately, it’d only be natural that tonight is when Oviedo gets his first MLB win.
Across last year and this year, Oviedo has made seven starts and eight appearances overall. He has yet to earn his first win, and the Cardinals are winless in all eight appearances. Oviedo also has yet to go more than 5.1 innings or throw 100 pitches.
So something has to give for someone tonight, whether it’s him or Musgrove.
This is Oviedo’s first road start of the season, and the records actually set up favorably for him and the Cardinals. The Cardinals have fared well away from St. Louis, recording an 11-7 road mark to date. That makes them one of only three NL teams with a winning road record, with the Padres and Brewers being the other two.
Road Success Makes Cardinals Excellent Value Against Shorthanded San Diego
The Cardinals hit for average much better at home–.246 at home to .215 on the road–but they put more runs on the board on the road. At home, they have scored 81 runs in 20 games, an average of 4.05 runs per game. On the road, they have scored 89 runs, an average of 4.94 runs per game.
Additionally, the Cardinals are 5-1 in road series openers and 9-3 overall in series openers this season.
Even if the Padres were not shorthanded at the moment, the Cardinals would be great value tonight. But Fernando Tatis, Jr. is out due to a positive COVID test on Tuesday, and fellow starters Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers, and Jurickson Profar are all the COVID-19 injured list. The Padres did win two of three on the road against the Colorado Rockies in midweek action, but they might find the going a little tougher tonight against one of the top teams in the NL.
St. Louis Cardinals vs San Diego Padres Betting Consensus
- Moneyline: 57% Cardinals, 43% Padres
- Total: 57% OVER, 43% UNDER (at O/U 7)
- Run Line: 86% Cardinals, 14% Padres
Cardinals vs Padres picks updated as of Friday, May 14 at 4:35 pm ET. For more MLB betting picks, check out our MLB picks page.
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