The Detroit Tigers are set to host the San Diego Padres Monday in the first matchup of a three-game series at Comerica Park. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our MLB odds series, which includes our Padres-Tigers prediction and pick we have laid out below.

Detroit got off to a strong start out of the All-Star break, beating the lowly Oakland Athletics by a score of 7-2. It has been downhill since then, however, with three straight losses by a combined run differential of 22-5. San Diego, meanwhile, won its first two games of the second half before falling 8-5 to the New York Mets on Sunday.

The Tigers are fifth in the American League Central at 38-58, while the Padres are second in both the National League West and NL Wild Card race at 54-43. This will be the only series between the teams this season.

Here are the Padres-Tigers MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

MLB Odds: Padres-Tigers Odds

San Diego Padres: -1.5 (+105)

Detroit Tigers: +1.5 (-126)

Over: 8.5 (-110)

Under: 8.5 (-110)

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Why The Padres Could Cover The Spread

Although the Padres have displayed a tendency for coming up short against quality teams this season, they also haven’t had much problem taking care of lesser opponents. They enter the series with a 30-16 record against teams below .500, a category the Tigers find themselves in by a whopping 20 games.

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San Diego seems to have a slight edge in starting pitching, with left-hander Sean Manaea entering the game with a 5-4 record and 4.11 ERA, compared to Detroit right-hander Drew Hutchison, who has a 1-4 record with a 4.46 ERA on the year. Hutchison has experienced his share of trouble since moving into a starting role, allowing 12 earned runs across 24 2/3 innings in five starts. This stretch included a couple commendable showings in early July, during which he gave up a total of three earned runs in 11 innings. However, his last time out echoed his initial struggles, as he allowed the Cleveland Guardians to tag him for four earned runs in five frames.

As a team, the Padres haven’t been great against right-handed pitching, but third baseman Manny Machado has certainly been an exception. Machado ranks 11th in batting average and 20th in OPS against righties, with a respectable slash line of .309/.378/.487. Meanwhile, second baseman Jake Cronenworth and outfielder Trent Grisham rank in the top 25 in MLB in doubles and walks, respectively, against right-handed pitching.

Why The Tigers Could Cover The Spread

Despite a forgettable showing his last time out, Hutchison’s strong start to July shows that he is headed in the right direction. Primarily a reliever in recent years, the 31-year-old’s five starts this year match his most since 2015 — the last time he was a full-time MLB starter. His 4.38 ERA as a starter in 2022 is an improvement over the rest of his season, and would mark a new career-best mark in a starting role.

Adding to Detroit’s optimism is the fact that right-handed pitching has been a source of trouble for the Padres, outside of the individual contributors referenced above. They’ve been a middle-of-the-road team offensively for most of the season. However, against righties, they rank in the bottom 10 in baseball in batting average, OPS and runs driven in.

Both teams have received quality contributions from their relievers this season, with each posting bullpen ERAs below 4.00. However, the Detroit bullpen’s 3.18 ERA ranks fifth in MLB and is 68 points below that of the Padres.

The Tigers’ problems at the plate have been no secret, ranking last or second-to-last in the league in runs scored, OPS, slugging percentage, home runs and on-base percentage. Left-handed pitching has provided somewhat of a glimmer of hope, though. Detroit ranks in the top 20 in OPS, slugging percentage and on-base percentage, with its .269 batting average against lefties being the third-best in baseball.

Miguel Cabrera, Robbie Grossman and Javier Baez have all had their way with left-handed pitching this season, posting slash lines of .366/.434/.380, .366/.477/.521, and .347/.359/.587, respectively. Therefore, it might be wise to watch out for lineup cards before placing a wager on this one.

Final Padres-Tigers Prediction & Pick

The lack of production for the Padres at the plate in July makes this an intriguing matchup, and one where there doesn’t seem to be a clear-cut play. San Diego’s 61 runs scored this month are the third-worst in the MLB, and 17 less than the Tigers have produced. However, Detroit’s overall offensive futility over the course of the season cannot be ignored either. San Diego has scored more than five runs only twice since July 8, with both instances occurring against the Colorado Rockies at hitter-friendly Coors Field. This, combined with Detroit being the lowest-scoring team in baseball this year, seems to make the under the smartest play.

Final Padres-Tigers Prediction & Pick: Under 8.5 (-110)