Pundit predictions for Padres during stretch run

Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to their first appearance in the playoffs since 2006 and the team’s offseason additions, the San Diego Padres began the 2021 season near the top in most analysts’ predictions.

In those heady days, FanGraphs gave the Padres’ a 93.5 percent chance of reaching the playoffs. Only the Los Angeles Dodgers at 97 percent had a higher probability of post-season play. At this point in time, however, MLB.com currently gives the Padres just a 33 percent chance at playoffs.

Early this year, MLB.com, Cbsssports.com, and NBC Sports EDGE MLB power rankings placed the Padres second on their top-five list–ahead of the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, and New York Mets who were included in various top-five lists. Through the season though, the Padres’ position has risen and fallen enough to induce whiplash.  Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants, the team left off any list of playoff contenders, have proven everyone (except their front office) wrong.

About those Giants, the team just became the first to reach 90 wins, most definitely proving they are not a flash in the pan pretender.

From now until the end of the season three days into October, the Padres will face only face teams vying for the playoffs: the Giants, Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Atlanta Braves. The series against the Braves will include the completion of the July 22nd game from hell in Atlanta which included multiple rain delays.

As a result of the team’s inconsistencies, FanGraphs predicts that the Padres will only manage to win 12 of the 22 games remaining. Obviously, the darlings of the offseason have lost favor across the board.

The Athletic (Recently The Athletic developed a new Motivation Index with a scale of 1 to 100.)

1 Dodgers up from 2               motivation index         100

2 Giants down from 1             motivation index         101

3 Rays same                            motivation index         undecided

4 Brewers up from 5               motivation index         21

5 Astros down from 4             motivation index         93

6 Chicago White Sox same    motivation index         87

7 Yankees same                      motivation index         87.63

8 Red Sox same                      motivation index         53

9 Braves same                         motivation index         99

9 A’s up from 10                    motivation index         89.78

11 Blue Jays up from 12         motivation index         91.71

12 Reds down from 11           motivation index         100 (at least)

13 Padres same                       motivation index         100

MLB.com Alyson Footer 

1 Giants           same

2 Dodgers       same

3 Rays             same

4 Astros           same

5 Brewers        up one

6 White Sox    up one

7 Yankees       down two

8 Braves 8       same

9 Red Sox 9    same

10 Blue Jays    up 3

11 Reds           down 1

12 Padres        same

NBC Sports EDGE MLB Power Rankings

1 Giants           same

2 Dodgers       same

3 Rays             same

4 Brewers        same

5 Astros           same

6 White Sox    up one

7 Yankees       down one

8 Red Sox       up one

9 Blue Jays     up three

10 Mariners    up four

11 Braves        down three

12 A’s             down two

13 Padres        same

According to Fivethirtyeight.com, in the National League West the Giants and Dodger each have a 99 percent chance of reaching the playoffs, the Padres just a 30 percent chance. The team’s chances of winning the division or reaching the World Series have dipped to below zero.

ESPN’s power rankings include projected winning percentage (first column) as well as relative power index+. In the latter category, San Diego has fallen to 17th place at .498.

Dodgers          .681     Rays                .536

Astros              .632     Giants             .534

Rays                .632     Dodgers          .531

Giants              .629     Astros              .527

Blue Jays         .612     Red Sox          .526

White Sox       .607     Blue Jays         .521

Brewers           .598     Yankees          .520

Braves             .576     Brewers           .518

Padres             .560     White Sox       .515

A’s                    .547     Mariners        .515

Teamrankings.com currently projects that San Diego will finish 85.4 – 76.6, behind the Dodgers 102.1 – 59.9 and the Giants 101.5 – 60.5. Accordingly, the Padres’ odds of reaching the playoffs are 44.5 percent, the odds of winning the World Series 2.6 percent.

Over the season, the Padres have been especially streaky, as evidenced in a number of performance evaluations. Until recently, only the bullpen had lived up to the hype. However, warnings over their overuse have lately been proven to be prophetic. Offensively the team has bounced from awe-inspiring to head-scratching:

Batting %                  13th      .242

Slugging %                20th      .402

OB %                          9th          .324

OPS                             14th        .726

BABIP                        22nd       .286

RBIs per game          10th        4.38

K’s per game              8th        8.24

Walks per game         3rd        3.78

LOB per game            19th      14.47

RISP                             27th      3.60

Run Dif.                      9th         +73.0

On the pitching side, the team hasn’t excelled overall either.

ER per game               9th        3.71

WHIP                          9th        1.223

SO per 9                      5th        9.66

HR per 9                     13th      1.20

Walks per 9                 11th      3.13

Despite the obvious talent on the team, the San Diego Padres have not consistently lived up to expectations. The team’s positive run differential of +73.0 pales in comparison to both the Dodgers  at +223.0 and the Giants at +157.)

However, it’s not over until it’s over. The San Diego Padres have the talent on both sides of the ball to prove the pundits wrong, BUT the clock is ticking.

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Diane Calkins
Baseball has been a part of Diane's life since her father played professionally (mostly at the minor league level). She has written for a number of publications and concentrated on companion animal welfare. She welcomes the opportunity to write about the sport she loves. Diane shares her home with her husband and a house full of rescued animals.

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