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Predictions and picks from MLB handicapper Matt Zylbert for Monday's game when the San Diego Padres travel to San Francisco to take on the NL West leading Giants.

San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres Prediction and Pick

San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres

Over/Under: 8

First Pitch: 9:45 p.m. ET

TV: MLB Network

Probable Pitchers: Yu Darvish (8-9, 3.95 ERA) vs. Dominic Leone (3-3, 1.48 ERA)

San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres Prediction

Giants vs Padres Odds

The concept of a bullpen game continues to be a hot topic of conversation, but the fact that it’s becoming more normalized is a testament to this strategy’s potential success. At least deploying the right arms.

Spotting a talented battalion of relievers being matched up against an upper-echelon pitcher can be fruitful for a bettor.

That’s what we appear to have in San Francisco tonight for this crucial series opener. This year, the Giants have engineered numerous bullpen games and possess the lowest bullpen ERA (3.02) in baseball. They’re a trusty group.

Leone has received the honor of being the opener only twice before, but he shined in both those outings, albeit in limited work. Even so, he’s still worth enlisting for this role when having collectively notched three perfect innings in those two outings.

That gives us our desirable bridge into the rest of the relief core. Again, an obvious experienced-in-these-situations and accomplished pen can carry the baton.

And then we have our quality starter on the other end of this occasion. There’s no question Darvish has disappointed during the second half, but after registering one of his best performances since the All-Star break, perhaps he’s on an upswing.

Darvish is easily better than that 3.95 ERA he currently carries. Just look no further than the right-hander’s standout 174-33 K/BB ratio. And he’ll be in a spot to continue his hopeful resurgence, taking on a club that Darvish has kept in check throughout his first year with San Diego.

In those two meetings, Darvish was sensational, totaling a whopping 19 K’s compared to two walks across 12.1 innings. Furthermore, the Giants managed seven hits and two runs in the matchups.

Darvish is not letting up, especially in these crucial games with postseason implications. The veteran is reliable enough to keep building on an encouraging showing and can lead here.

Pick: UNDER 8 (-108)


Diamondbacks-Dodgers Under 8

2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “78-66-9,” +4.19 units

Yesterday’s Result: Royals-Twins Under 9 (WIN)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit


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