MLB Betting Preview (April 20): Padres vs. Blue Jays Predictions

The Toronto Blue Jays have finally hit their stride this young season, with seven wins in their last 10 games. They will go for their fourth straight winning series when they take on the National League’s San Diego Padres at 8:40 p.m. ET at Petco Park on Saturday.

Bet on Blue Jays vs. Padres

TOR -111
SD -104

With José Berríos on the mound, the Blue Jays have shifted from appreciable underdogs to slight favourites overnight, sitting in the -108 to -120 range on most markets.

Padres vs. Blue Jays best odds

Blue Jays Moneyline Odds-108 @ Pinnacle
Padres Moneyline Odds+102 @ FanDuel
Runline OddsBlue Jays -1.5 (+155) @ Pinnacle
Padres +1.5 (-162) @ Fanduel
Over/UnderOver 8.0 runs (-112) @ Pinnacle
Under 8.0 runs (-106) @ Unibet
Time/DateApril 20, 8:40 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: Sportsnet 1, Sportsnet+

Betting Toronto Blue Jays (11-9 SU, 10-9 ATS, 9-10 o/u)

The Blue Jays added to an already formidable pitching staff when they agreed to sign Yariel Rodriguez out of Cuba for five years and $32 million this past off-season, unsure of whether Rodriguez would factor into their rotation or bullpen. So far, he has given them evidence he can start games successfully, including Friday night’s impressive four innings, in which he struck out seven Padres batters in a 5-1 win at Petco Field.

Another newcomer also has paid strong early dividends. Justin Turner smacked a two-run home run Friday and, while Turner had been in a 1-for-10 mini-slump entering the game, he has been Toronto’s best hitter in 2024. Turner’s .998 OPS leads the club and ranks 11th in the major leagues. Not bad for a guy who will turn 40 this fall.

Overall, Toronto has again been disappointed by its offence, ranking 17th in MLB with a .696 OPS and 21st with 78 runs scored. If the offensive malaise continues, Toronto should consider calling up No. 2 prospect Orelvis Martinez from Triple-A Buffalo. Martinez has been on a tear, with home runs in three consecutive games and four of his last five. He is slugging .667 with a 1.035 OPS in Triple-A.

As the Blue Jays wait for the rest of their well-paid lineup to catch up to Turner, they can feel confident they have plenty of pitching to stay in contention. Earlier this week, relievers Jordan Romano and Erik Swanson came off the injured list. Romano will regain his closer role, which allows Toronto to slide one of the hottest pitchers in baseball, Yimi García, into the setup role, usually in the seventh and eighth innings of close games.

Betting San Diego Padres (11-11 SU, 11-11 ATS, 11-10-1 o/u)

San Diego plays in a tough division with the National League-champion Arizona Diamondbacks and a merciless Los Angeles Dodgers squad and, not surprisingly, the Padres have sort of treaded water to this point. The Padres have a good lineup, ranking seventh in MLB with a .740 OPS and fourth with 25 home runs.

The pitching is middle of the road with a 4.03 ERA that ranks 14th and a 1.30 WHIP that ranks 19th.

Aside from Fernando Tatis Jr., the Padres haven’t developed elite position-player talent as they had in previous regimes, with most of their best players acquired via trade or free agency under the current management group.

But that appears to be changing and 21-year-old center fielder Jackson Merrill is a good example of that. Merrill, a converted shortstop, had an eventful day in center field Friday, with Turner’s blast narrowly eluding his glove. He also misplayed Kevin Kiermaier’s line drive two innings later.

But Merrill’s bat appears major league-ready, as he is slashing .329/.397/.443 and is among the rookie leaders in most categories. Manny Machado also is swinging a dangerous bat lately, with half of his four home runs coming over the past eight days and batting .276 with five RBIs in his past 29 at-bats. Tatis has been a wrecking ball over the same span, batting .346 with a 1.084 OPS, two home runs and five RBIs since April 12.

Ha-Seong Kim (SD) over 0.5 runs


Probable Pitchers

San Diego: RHP Randy Vázquez (0-2, 7.94 ERA, 11.12 K/9, 1.94 WHIP)

The Padres will continue to find out if they got enough in exchange for sending superstar Juan Soto to the New York Yankees last off-season. Vázquez, one of five players San Diego acquired in exchange for Soto and Trent Grisham, will make his 2024 debut Saturday evening.

The 25-year-old right-hander made a pretty good case for a rotation spot in spring training, but the Padres elected to send him to Triple-A El Paso instead and he didn’t respond very well, pitching to a 7.94 ERA in his first three games.

In 11 games pitching in both relief and as a starter for the Yankees in 2023, Vázquez went 2-2 with a 2.87 ERA and 1.27 WHIP while striking out 33 batters in 37 2/3 innings. He throws a ton of pitches, including two fastballs, a sinker and a four-seamer, that typically come in at about 94 mph, a cutter, sweeper, changeup and curveball.

None of the Jays’ hitters has ever faced Vázquez except for Turner, who is 0-for-2.

Toronto: RHP José Berríos (3-0, 1.05 ERA, 7.63 K/9, 0.97 WHIP)

It’s going to be tough to knock off the Jays’ righty for Pitcher of the Month honors though Boston’s Kutter Crawford is giving it a game effort. Like Berríos, Crawford has gotten off to a mercurial start without relying on the darling of modern pitching, the strikeout. Neither pitcher ranks in the top 29 for whiffs, but they happen to have two of the three best ERAs in the American League.

Berríos has focused more on efficiency and less on the whiff this season and it’s hard to argue with the results. He ranks in the 78th percentile for groundball rate while rating in just the 43rd percentile for K-rate. What stands out for Berríos is the precision command with both his sinker and four-seam fastball and a devastating slurve. He has thrown that breaking pitch 36% of the time this season and it has ranked in the 91st percentile. As mentioned, Berríos has given up his share of contact this season and some of the numbers suggest he has been fortunate to have the success he has enjoyed. The average exit velocity on batted balls against him is 90.8 mph, ranking Berríos in the 18th percentile for giving up hard contact. It seems to work as long as he keeps it on the ground.

A lack of familiarity could be an asset here. Machado is the only Padres batter with a home run off Berrios in his career.


There are worse places to be than downtown San Diego on a spring evening. Temperatures are forecast to be about 17 C at first pitch with winds blowing in from left field at about 14 km/h and no hint of precipitation.

  • Both teams have been skewed toward the under. San Diego has gone over in 10 of 21 games and Toronto has gone over in nine of 20 games.
  • Ha-Seong Kim is riding a modest four-game hitting streak, but he mostly has been exceptionally patient lately. Kim has eight walks to go with a .286 batting average in his last five games.
  • Jurickson Profar also has shown good patience this season. He is far from the best hitter in this stacked lineup, but his .398 on-base percentage leads the team.
  • Both George Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. have followed a sub-par 2023 season with concerning starts in 2024. Springer is hitting .219 and slugging just .329 while Guerrero is batting .224 with only five extra-base hits all season.

Padres vs. Blue Jays Predictions

  • While Kim hasn’t been exceptionally hot lately, he has been exceptionally adept at getting on base. And while Berríos doesn’t walk many batters, he does walk some and the internal numbers suggest he has been somewhat fortunate to have the spiffy ERA he is sporting. Kim is an on-base machine and, if you’re on base, you have a chance to score. Consider taking Kim to score at least one run at an enticing +170 (available at bet365) here.
  • While Berríos’s hot start might be somewhat propped up by good batted-ball luck, he and a hot Jays team are worth keeping an eye on in this one, particularly given Vázquez’s struggles at Triple-A.