San Diego Padres saved by some starters
I'm sure Padres fans must constantly wonder where the team would be if the offense wasn't so, well, bleh. Only recently has San Diego's team batting average climbed above .240 with Fernando Tatis Jr. carrying the best average on the team at just .275. Yet, as the Tampa Bay Rays (.239) are proving, a subpar team batting average doesn't have to be a death nail. In order for a far less than lethal offense to not be a problem the pitching staff needs to be in "lights out" territory, especially in the second half of the season.
As the offense slowly grinds into July, the pressure for success in San Diego will continue to fall flatly on the shoulders of the pitching staff. Blake Snell and Michael Wacha have been the best overall starters for San Diego. Blake Snell's won-loss record isn't what Wacha's is, but Snell's 114 strikeouts lead the Padres staff by far and his ERA and WHIP are second only to Wacha. Both Snell and Wacha will play a huge role in stabilizing San Diego while it waits for its offense to wake up ... and career historical splits for the two suggest that they'll be doing their part.
July and August have been the best for Snell's winning percentage over his career while August has turned out his best ERA at 2.53 on a 16-6 record. August has also been where Snell has thrown the most strikeouts (213) while seeing the second best WHIP and Ks/9 (September being the best month for Snell in those two categories). The guy historically steps up his game down the stretch and San Diego is going to need that from him in a big way.
Wacha, who has impressed everyone all season thus far, is poised to have his best month of the season in July. Wacha's best ERA over his career has come in July at 3.42 which isn't something to light fireworks off of but his best month for winning percentage has also been July where he's gone 11-2 over his career. August has seen the 10-year veteran attain his best K/9 numbers at 9.2.
Obviously the Padres are going to need a lot more than Soto, Snell, Wacha and solid defense to make a push for the playoffs, but you have to start somewhere. These handful of successes through the first three months of the season must continue and probably surpass their historical numbers if San Diego is going to have any chance at a Wild Card run in September.
Worst case scenario for Padres fans? Hit the beach and forget about it until next season.