Padres Acquire Blake Snell, Yu Darvish: Fantasy, betting tips

Frank AmmiranteSenior Sports Writer
Last Updated: Jan 13, 2021

Padres Acquire Blake Snell & Yu Darvish: Fantasy baseball, MLB betting tips for 2021

The San Diego Padres made a splash during the holiday season, acquiring two established aces in Blake Snell and Yu Darvish, bolstering a starting rotation that already includes promising pitchers like Dinelson Lamet and Chris Paddack.

The fact that GM A.J. Preller was able to do this without surrendering any significant pieces from the major league roster — chiefly starters Zach Davies and Luis Patiño as well as catcher Francisco Mejia — puts the Padres firmly in the elite tier of MLB.

In this article, I’ll take a look at the trade’s impact on Snell and Darvish’s fantasy baseball outlook for 2021. I’ll also examine how the trade will affect the Padres’ season win total and determine their outlook for the upcoming season.

Padres Acquire Blake Snell, Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish Fantasy Baseball Outlook

Darvish was absolutely dominant last season, putting up a 2.01 ERA and 0.96 WHIP with a 31.3 K% in 76 innings.

His 26.6 K-BB% (7th) and 14.4 SwStr% (9th) were both elite. This performance came on the heels of a dominant finish to the 2019 season. Since July 12, 2019, Darvish has been quite possibly the best pitcher in baseball: 157.2 IP, 2.40 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 34.6 K%, and 3.4 BB%.

Blake Snell & Yu Darvish: Padres fantasy baseball, MLB betting tips for 2021

Sep 25, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) throws the baseball in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

He’ll now have to deal with a tough Dodgers lineup as well as the Colorado Rockies’ hitter-friendly Coors Field, but the Padres’ Petco Park should be an improvement as a home park from Wrigley Field.

Darvish gets a bump in value because he’ll have more of a chance to rack up wins while pitching for one of the best teams in baseball. While we have seen Darvish deal with injury issues in the past (2018), his recent stretch of dominant production has entered him firmly in the circle of trust.

Verdict: Improved value. The righty is on average drafted as SP5 in early high-stakes National Fantasy Baseball Championship leagues, so it’s tough to see his ADP increasing with this move. However, the change of scenery definitely raises his floor, so he gets a minor bump in value.

Blake Snell Fantasy Baseball Outlook

Snell turned in a respectable season in 2020, posting a 3.24 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with a 31.0 K% in 50 innings. His 22.2 K-BB% (13th) and 15.0 SwStr% (8th) ranked among the upper echelon of starting pitchers.

The problem was that the Rays managed his workload throughout the season, as Snell averaged fewer than five innings pitched per start.

In fact, Snell hasn’t lasted six innings in a start since July 21, 2019.

We can attribute this reduced workload to injury risk. Back in July 2019, Snell had elbow surgery that caused him to miss almost two months of the season. He also experienced discomfort in the following spring. This makes him a volatile asset with upside.

Verdict: Improved value. The change of scenery should be good for Snell. He’ll no longer have to deal with the AL East. He’ll also now be playing on a team with one of the best lineups in baseball, so there is more upside for wins.

But the best news about this trade is that it’s likely that Snell will finally be able to be fully unleashed. You can reasonably project an increase in innings pitched for Snell, since the Padres are likely to be more aggressive with his usage. For an ace with wipeout stuff like Snell, that’s great news for his fantasy value.

Currently being drafted as SP16 in NFBC leagues, Snell should now rise to the SP13-15 range as we get closer to the season.

Betting Tips for Darvish, Snell, Padres

The Padres posted a 37-23 record in the shortened 2020 season, finishing 2nd in the NL West and returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

They had a Pythagorean Win-Loss Record of 38-22, so this was not a team who got lucky with a favorable schedule.

The Padres averaged 5.4 runs per game (3rd) and allowed 4.0 runs per game (T-7th). The lineup is loaded with talent, so it’s reasonable to project the offense to remain as one of the best in baseball. The key with these two acquisitions is that they should have a significant impact on run prevention. With Darvish, Snell, Lamet, and Paddack, the Padres now have one of the best starting rotations in MLB.

The Padres are likely to finish in the top 5 in runs scored and runs allowed.

World Series Futures Bet?

As of Monday at 3 p.m. ET, the Pads are +900 to win the World Series on BetMGM, ranking 3rd behind the Dodgers (+400) and New York Yankees (+600). This is solid value for a team that projects to be strong in every facet of the game.

Place this MLB bet on BetMGM today.

Padres Win Total Bet?

While season win totals are not available yet, I would anticipate the number landing around 91 wins for this team. I’d have no problem going over that number, considering they played at a 90-win pace last year and they’ve since added two aces.

NL Cy Young Award Futures Bet?

I wouldn’t suggest betting on Darvish or Snell to win the NL Cy Young. It’s always tough to project an MLB player to reach his ceiling in their first year with a new team.

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Frank Ammirante

Frank Ammirante is a Senior Sports Writer at The Game Day. Previously, he wrote for 4for4 Football and RotoBaller. Frank is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer's Association while maintaining an active presence within the community. He has competed in industry contests like the Scott Fish Bowl, The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and more. Frank will be making his debut in Tout Wars this year. He's got a diverse sporting background, but specializes in football and baseball.

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