It is tough being a San Diego Padres fan.
Since their inaugural campaign in 1969, San Diego has only made the playoffs five times in 52 seasons. The Padres are one of only six MLB teams that have never won the World Series, along with the Rangers, Brewers, Mariners, Rockies and Rays. San Diego hasn't reached the postseason since 2006. The Padres went 70-92 (.432) in 2019, their 9th straight losing season. San Diego finished dead last in the NL West, 36 games behind the first-place Dodgers and 19 games back in the Wild Card.
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However, there is reason for optimism in sunny southern California. For the second straight offseason, the Padres made significant additions and improvements to their roster. Last year, it was signing Manny Machado (.256, 32 homers, 85 RBIs in 2019), this year it was dealing for former Rays outfielder Tommy Pham (.273, 21 homers, 68 RBIs). San Diego also acquired infielder Jurickson Profar (.218, 20 homers, 67 RBIs), reliever Emilio Pagan (2.31 ERA, 20 saves) and starter Zach Davis (10-7, 3.55 ERA).
The Padres also boast the 2nd-ranked farm system in baseball, led by top 5 prospect and lefty ace Mackenzie Gore (+ 500 to win NL Rookie of the Year). We saw San Diego's steady pipeline to the bigs pay dividends in 2019 with Fernando Tatis Jr taking MLB by storm. The star shortstop hit .317 with 22 homers and 53 RBIs in just 84 games last season.
With Tatis hitting leadoff in front of Machado, Pham and Hosmer (.265, 22 homers 99 RBIs), the Padres lineup suddenly looks formidable. The Padres will hope for a bounce back season for outfielder Wil Myers (.239. 18 homers. 53 RBIs).
Here is the projected starting nine:
1. Fernando Tatis Jr SS
2. Trent Grisham OF
3. Manny Machado 3B
4. Tommy Pham OF
5. Eric Hosmer 1B
6. Wil Myers OF
7. Josh Naylor DH
8. Jurickson Profar 2B
9. Francisco Mejia C
San Diego's rotation is anchored by 24-year-old emerging ace Chris Paddack (9-7, 3.33 ERA). The key may be Garrett Richards. If the oft-injured former ace can reclaim some of his lost magic, San Diego's rotation could be in business.
Here is the projected starting five:
1. Chris Paddack
2. Dinelson Lamet
3. Garrett Richards
4. Zach Davies
5. Joey Lucchesi
In the bullpen, San Diego boasts one of the game's best closers in Kirby Yates (1.19 ERA, 41 saves), along with setup men Pagan, Drew Pomeranz and Craig Stammen.
So what do the oddsmakers think of the Padres in 2020?
At BetMGM, San Diego's win total is 30.5 games. This translates to 82.35 wins based on a regular 162-game schedule. The juice on the win total is an even -110 on both sides, signally relatively equal action on both the over and under without a true wiseguy preference or obvious house liability.
FanGraphs, one of the most respected sites for advanced baseball analytics, is projecting the Padres to go 32-28. This signals a 1.5-game edge to the over 30.5 win total.
Still, don't expect San Diego to snap their postseason drought. The Padres are -417 favorites to miss the playoffs and + 320 dogs to make the playoffs. This translates to an 80.7% implied probability that San Diego missed the playoffs.
The Padres have the 2nd-best odds to win the NL West at + 800. The Dodgers are a heavy favorite at -625. The Diamondbacks are + 900, followed by the Rockies + 3000 and the Giants + 8000.
San Diego is + 2500 to win the National League and + 5000 to win the World Series.
In terms of player props, Machado and Tatis Jr are both + 2000 to win NL MVP, tied with Bryce Harper for the 7th-best odds overall. Mookie Betts is the favorite (+ 500), followed by Ronald Acuna Jr (+ 600), Christian Yelich (+ 700), Cody Bellinger (+ 800), Juan Soto (+ 1100) and Nolan Arenado (+ 1600).
Tatis Jr is + 1600 to lead the NL in hits. Machado is + 2500. Tatis Jr is + 2500 to lead the NL in runs.
Tatis Jr is + 900 to lead the NL in stolen bases, 5th-best odds behind Trea Turner (+ 225), Ronald Acuna Jr (+ 450), Victor Robles (+ 600) and Starling Marte (+ 800).
Machado's over/under home runs is 13.5 (-115 both sides), RBIs 34.5 (-115 both sides), runs 31.5 (over -120, under -110) and batting average .270 (-115 both sides). Machado is + 7500 to hit three homers in any game this season.
Tatis Jr's over/under home runs is 11.5 (-115 both sides), RBIs 27.5 (-115 both sides), runs 31.5 (-115 both sides), batting average .270 (-115 both sides) and steals 8.5 (over -125, under -105).
Paddack is + 4000 to win NL Cy Young. He is + 6500 to lead the NL in strikeouts.
Yates is + 600 to lead the NL in saves, third best odds overall.