The San Diego Padres in 2022 came up just short of reaching the World Series for the first time since 1998. The 2023 San Diego Padres O/U has been set at 93.5 per FanDuel. Winners of 89 games a season ago, with a second-place finish in the NL West along with a runner-up finish in the National League Pennant race, the Padres look to build off their deep playoff run.
You might be thinking, “why would I bet on the Padres to win 94 games?”. I agree it is a high number. The Padres haven’t won 94 games since their last World Series appearance in 1998. However, this Padres team feels like the team that can do it. So much so, at +500 odds to win the NL, the Padres bring good value for bettors in 2023. Here are a few reasons why I believe the 2023 San Diego Padres O/U over tickets will cash this summer.
2023 San Diego Padres O/U: Why the Padres will hit the OVER
Momentum in the West
For nine of the last ten years, the Los Angeles Dodgers have controlled the NL West. Even last year, finishing 22 games better than the second-place-finishing Padres, they are still the team to beat. However, what happened in last year’s NLDS might just be the spark the Padres needed moving forward.
The Padres have made the postseason just twice since 2006. In both appearances, they have had to face the Dodgers. The first time came in 2020 when it was a quick three-game sweep in which they looked completely overmatched being outscored 23-9. In last year’s NLDS rematch, after dropping game one on the road 5-3, the Padres were able to regroup and string together three straight wins to advance to the NLCS for the first time since 1998.
For the 2023 San Diego Padres O/U to go over, the Padres needed to find a way to improve on their 5-14 record against their division rivals. Making off-season moves like signing Xander Bogaerts and acquiring Michael Wacha days before reporting to camp make the Padres’ 26-man roster that much stronger. It also helps the Dodgers head into 2023 without key players such as Trea Turner, Justin Turner, and Andrew Heaney to name a few.
Getting a full season of Juan Soto along with Xander Bogaerts
The 2022 trade deadline’s biggest deal was Juan Soto heading out west in a blockbuster deal. Soto was a sought-after name in the trade block last season, it just so happened the Padres were able to outbid the competition for him. Recently named the 12th best player on MLB’s Top 100 player list, Soto looks to have a bounce-back season, and he will need to for the 2023 San Diego Padres O/U to hit.
Soto comes off of a career-low slash line .242/.401/.452 with a .376 wOBA. Even more so, Soto only was able to muster up a .778 OPS with just six home runs after changing uniforms in the second half of 2022. At only a 3.8 WAR player per FanGraphs in 2022, which was well below his posted 7.0 fWAR in 2021, Soto’s early projections for 2023 appear to be much closer to his career averages.
Petco Park is a much different environment for hitters than Soto was used to at Nationals Park. After a few months of getting adjusted to the new home field dimensions, look for Juan Soto to be more like Juan Soto to help cash those 2023 San Diego Padres O/U tickets.
On top of getting a full season with Soto in the lineup, the Padres will also introduce off-season acquisition Xander Bogaerts into the everyday lineup. The two-time World Series champ signed with the Padres for the next 11 seasons, making him the team’s big-time splash signing of the off-season. Having a player like Bogaerts at the top of your lineup will incredibly help the 2023 San Diego Padres O/U win total.
Across ten big league seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Bogaerts has been just a few ticks under a career .300 hitter. Last season he was able to slash .307/.377/.456 in route to his fifth silver slugger award in his career. On top of bringing a productive bat to his new team, he also has a flashy glove to go along with it. Last year Bogaerts ranked in the top ten for all shortstops in defensive rating at 9.5. Valued as a 5.8 rWAR player last year, he will be worth a few extra wins towards the 2023 San Diego Padres O/U total.
All in Mentality
For the 2023 San Diego Padres O/U going over, they have to be willing to do everything needed to get there. It is no surprise the Padres haven’t been afraid to spend money on the product they put on the field over the last several years. According to Spotrac, in 2019, the Padres team payroll was around 94.4 million. Heading into 2023, the Padres payroll sits at 232.5 million. That’s a little over 138 million dollars added to a team’s payroll, AFTER covid, that is trying to win now. On top of throwing cash to make cash, they are not afraid to make trades for players they want.
“We’ve expressed our feelings regarding the opt-out to them.”
Padres must engage Manny Machado to keep 2023 from being his final season in San Diego https://t.co/0DdxHYxExr
— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) February 4, 2023
For the 2023 San Diego Padres O/U to hit, they have to be willing to make in-season moves as needed to keep the momentum up for the Padres. News broke before Spring Training started in full swing that Manny Machado intends to opt out of his contract at season end if no extension is reached before seasons end. Then, they signed him to an 11-year, $350 Million extension. With the uncertainty of Machado’s future settled, the Padres front office can focus on continuing to build a championship-caliber team.
Oh, and Fernando Tatis, Jr rejoins the team in the second half of April.
Main Image: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY