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Padres Preview: Jhoulys Chacin vs. Matt Cain & the San Francisco Giants

Division rivals face off in their second series of the year.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres face off against the Giants in the second of three games in San Francisco tonight. After a tough late-inning loss, the boys should be raring to go after a revenge win by the bay.

When you look at Jhoulys Chacin game log, a trend is clear. Here are the runs he’s given up, by game: 9, 0, 3, 0, 7. Every even-numbered start has been scoreless. Tonight is his sixth start. he’s going to pitch six or more scoreless innings, and you can take that to the bank! Looking even more closely, the second start of the season was the eight-inning gem that he threw to out-duel Madison Bumgarner against these same Giants. Well, they’re not exactly the same, as evidenced by Brandon Belt starting in leftfield last night to make way for Michael Morse at first base as well as Christian Arroyo playing shortstops and hitting hero homers, but don’t worry about him, Jhoulys will pour some cold water on him... I hope.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres
Manuel Margot has a veteran’s home run trot, and he got to use it the last time Cain took the mound against the Padres.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Cain has been named to three All-Star teams and received Cy Young votes in three years as well, but those years seem like distant memories. He’s been between serviceable and dreadful the last four seasons, but he’s off to a strong start in 2017. After a four-run, 4.1 inning loss to the Padres in his first start of the season, he’s held offenses to no more than one run in each of his last three starts. The odd thing is, his velocity is as low as it’s been through his career, he’s not racking up more K’s, and his walk rate is the highest it’s been since 2006. What’s working in his favor is a microscopic BABIP of .212, which is far lower than any other season of his career. This means that the ERA may be artificially deflated, which makes sense when you look at his more advanced stats like FIP, xFIP, and SIERA, which suggest that the 2.42 ERA should be closer to 5. The Padres hit him well the last time they saw him, with Manuel Margot taking him deep twice along with doubles from Wil Myers and Yangervis Solarte.

With last night’s loss, the Padres allowed the Giants out of the cellar, swapping rows in the standings. If you’re firmly on “team tank”, that could be a good thing, but IMHO any Padre fan should want to see Team SD put Team SF in their place. The Padres need a win tonight to force a rubber match.

Start time: 6:05PM PDT
Radio: 94.9FM, 860AM (Español)
TV: Fox Sports San Diego, MLB Network
Online: MLB.TV