Yankees vs. Padres series preview: All eyes on Soto’s revenge against former team

Yankees vs. Padres @Petco Park

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The New York Yankees (35-17) are set to face the San Diego Padres (27-26) in a three-game series starting Friday at PETCO Park. Both teams have spent much of the season trailing their respective division leaders.

The series carries added significance as Juan Soto returns to San Diego for the first time since being traded to the Yankees in the offseason. The move allowed the Padres to shed Soto’s lucrative contract, providing financial flexibility to reshape their roster before he hit free agency after the 2024 season.

In exchange for the superstar outfielder and on-base machine, the Padres acquired a haul of prospects and major leaguers, including closer Michael King, pitchers Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez, top pitching prospect Drew Thorpe, and catcher Kyle Higashioka.

The Yankees not only secured Soto’s services but also added outfielder Trent Grisham in the blockbuster deal. Soto’s acquisition bolstered their already formidable lineup as they pursue their first World Series title since 2009.

As the series commences, all eyes will be on Soto’s return to the city where he spent the first four seasons of his MLB career.

Yankees vs. Padres: The revenge

The Yankees-Padres series carries extra significance as Juan Soto and Michael King face their former teams for the first time since the blockbuster trade last offseason.

Soto, the cornerstone acquisition for New York, has thrived in pinstripes with a .979 OPS, 13 homers, and 2.9 WAR. In contrast, the Padres’ return for the superstar outfielder has produced a combined 0.6 WAR.

King, unhappy with the deal that sent him to San Diego, has struggled as a starter, leading the majors with 12 homers allowed and posting a 4.28 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. Jhony Brito (3.96 ERA, 1.320 WHIP) was recently demoted to the bullpen, while Randy Vasquez (5.82 ERA, 1.754 WHIP) has scuffled in five starts. Catcher Kyle Higashioka (.425 OPS) serves as a backup.

As Soto returns to PETCO Park, where he spent his first four seasons, the spotlight shines on the contrasting fortunes of the players involved in last year’s blockbuster swap. The three-game set could provide motivation for redemption on both sides.

Yankees vs. Padres: What, where, how to watch

  • When: Friday, May 24, 2024 at 9:40 PM ET
  • Where: PETCO Park in San Diego, California
  • TV: Watch on YES
  • Live stream: Fubo

Yankees vs. Padres starts:

  • May 24: Carlos Rodon vs Yu Darvish
  • May 25: Marcus Stroman vs Dylan Cease
  • May 26: Clarke Schmidt vs Joe Musgrove

Yankees vs. Padres: How teams stack

A look at the Yankees’ show

The Yankees have lived up to their billing as favorites, winning 25 of 36 games (69.4%) when favored this season, including five of their last seven such contests. Their recent form has seen them favored in seven of the past 10 games, with the total going over four times during that stretch.

New York’s dominance extends to games where they are heavily backed, prevailing in 24 of 35 occasions (68.6%) when favored by at least -120 on the moneyline. Oddsmakers have installed them as 54.5% favorites for the series opener against the Padres.

The Yankees’ success is backed by an offensive juggernaut that has scored a major league-leading 252 runs, spearheaded by Juan Soto’s .312 average and 41 RBIs. Aaron Judge has mashed a team-high 16 homers, while rookies Anthony Volpe (.278, 6 HR) and Alex Verdugo (.256, 6 HR) have made significant contributions.

Their potent lineup is complemented by a stellar pitching staff that tops the majors with a 2.87 ERA, setting the stage for an intriguing showdown against the Padres.

A look at the Padres’ show

The underdog role has suited the Padres well this season, as they’ve won 11 of 20 games when listed as underdogs, including all three instances over their last 10 contests. San Diego has also excelled at hitting the over, going 7-3-0 against totals in their previous 10 matchups.

Despite being installed as slight underdogs with a 50% implied win probability for the series opener against the Yankees, the Padres boast an offense that ranks seventh in the majors, averaging 4.6 runs per game (242 total). Their pitching staff, however, has been middling with a 3.91 ERA, good for 12th in the league.

Leading the way offensively for San Diego is Luis Arraez, who paces the team with a .341 batting average. Jurickson Profar has been a catalyst atop the lineup, posting a .431 on-base percentage and .511 slugging percentage. Jake Cronenworth leads the club in homers (8) and RBIs (34), while Fernando Tatis Jr. has mashed a team-high eight longballs while driving in 26 runs.

As the Padres look to continue their underdog success against the powerhouse Yankees, their balanced offensive attack could pose a stern test.

Yankees vs. Padres in 2023

  • 5/28/2023: Yankees win 10-7
  • 5/27/2023: Yankees win 3-2
  • 5/26/2023: Padres win 5-1

Yankees vs. Padres last 10 games

Who do you think is going to win the series? Predict your score below.

One thought on “Yankees vs. Padres series preview: All eyes on Soto’s revenge against former team

  1. This article is loaded with mistake and bad takes. King is not a closer, Soto did Not spend his first 4 years in san diego. It goes on and on. Was this written by soneone who doesnt even follow baseball

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