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2020 Series Preview: Houston Astros @ San Diego Padres

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The Astros (15-10, 2nd in AL West) round out their quick road trip with a weekend series against the Padres (15-12, 2nd in NL West)

87th MLB All-Star Game Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Just a heads up that this written yesterday in the early afternoon so all stats are current to right before the Padres’ game against the Rangers yesterday.

Padres Quick Notes

The Astros arrive in Southern California to face off against a team that is beginning to ascend in the NL West. After being lost in the wilderness for years, the Padres have worked the past few seasons to produce a crop of home grown talent and sign some big name veterans. That process is beginning to pay dividends as the team looks like to be fielding a much more competitive product in 2020 compared to just last season.

Of course, the youth movement can seemingly have its own issues as the Friars have been embroiled in a brouhaha the last couple of days. This is due to young stud Fernando Tatis Jr. hitting a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch late in a game that the Padres were comfortably ahead in. The whole thing sparked yet another youth vs old school argument that was thoroughly unenjoyable.

The offense has also been the Tatis show for San Diego as the up-and-coming superstar has been a force at the plate in 2020. He’s easily the best hitter on the team with a .317/.393/.731 slash line across 104 at bats. As of this writing, Tatis leads all of baseball with 12 home runs and 29 RBI in the shortened 2020 season.

Right behind him is rookie first baseman Jake Cronenworth, who has been getting on base at a .394 clip since his MLB debut on July 26th. He’s a been a doubles machine, leading the team with 7 and in triples as well with 2. Wil Meyers rounds out their top 3 in 2020, with a .944 OPS and 16 RBI.

Meanwhile, the big money contracts in the Padres lineup aren’t really producing up to a gold standard so far as offense is concerned. Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado are having decent but unspectacular seasons so far in 2020. Machado at least has been a part of the grand slam parade the Friars have been putting on, hitting a walk-off salami in Wednesday’s game against the Rangers. That’s not to say that neither of them are capable of a big series, but right now the team is relying more on veteran experience than their bats.

The back end of the Padres’ bullpen has evolved across 2020, beginning with Kirby Yates as the established closer. However, Yates struggled to start the season and eventually landed on the IL with bone chips in his elbow. Since then converted starter Drew Promeranz has mostly filled the role, but with a slight twist.

Pomeranz has only surrendered a single hit in 9 innings so far this season, and has a trusted role in the Padres’ pen. Manager Jayce Tingler deployed him in the 7th this past week though, which he said was done so he could face the top of the Rangers’ lineup and stop their momentum. Otherwise he’s been perfect in save opportunities, slamming the door in each of his 4 tries.

Of the remainder, Emilio Pagan, Matt Strahm, and Craig Strammen have all seen the most work out of the pen for the Padres. Strahm has the best stats of that group with a 2.03 ERA across 13.1 innings.

Though the Padres have yet to announce who the third starter in this series, Garret Richards, Zach Davies, and Adrian Morejon should be next up if the rotation holds true from last time through. Astros fans should be familiar with Richards as the righty has spent the majority of his career in the Angels’ rotation. After an injury-shortened 2019 Richards is off to a decent start to 2020, pitching to a 1-1 record and a 3.45 ERA in five starts.

Zach Davies, who came over from the Brewers in the offseason, has also enjoyed a good start to the year. His 0.87 WHIP and .192 BAA in 27.2 innings are both great indicators, but he also has had some trouble going deep into games. He has completed 6 innings or more in just one of his 5 starts so far in 2020.

Lefty Adrian Morejon looks to be the Astros’ final test of the weekend, and would be making just the 4th start of his MLB career if he takes this spot again. Morejon has only pitched three innings so far this season after taking over this spot in the rotation the last time around. He looked good in those three innings against the Rangers, allowing 1 walk and no hits while striking out 4. Morejon had a disastrous MLB debut last season, only going 8 innings across five games and giving up 9 runs before being shut down with an injury.

For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure

Game 1: Friday, August 21st @ 8:10 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, La Ranchera 101.7 FM/850 AM / Padres - KWFN 97.3 FM, XEMO 860
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Padres - FSSD, FOX Deportes San Diego

Game 2: Saturday, August 22nd @ 8:10 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KTRH 740 AM/99.1 FM HD-2, La Ranchera 101.7 FM/850 AM / Padres - KWFN 97.3 FM, XEMO 860
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW+ / Padres - FSSD, FOX Deportes San Diego / MLB Network (out-of-market only)

Game 3: Sunday, August 23rd @ 3:10 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, La Ranchera 101.7 FM/850 AM / Padres - KWFN 97.3 FM, XEMO 860
Watch: Padres - FSSD, FOX Deportes San Diego / ESPN

Poll

Who wins this series?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Astros Sweep 3-0
    (14 votes)
  • 56%
    Astros Win 2-1
    (90 votes)
  • 28%
    Padres Win 2-1
    (45 votes)
  • 5%
    Padres Sweep 3-0
    (9 votes)
158 votes total Vote Now