Atlanta Braves vs. San Diego Padres MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 7/25/14
San Diego Padres (45-56) at Atlanta Braves (55-47)
MLB Baseball: Friday, July 25, 2014 at 7:35 pm (Turner Field)
Jesse Hahn (R) (5-2) (2.21) vs. Alex Wood (L) (4-6) (3.24)
The Line: Atlanta Braves -175 / San Diego Padres +165 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds
TV: FSSD, FSSO
The Braves look to unseat the Nationals atop the NL East as they open up a series with the Padres on Friday night.
The San Diego Padres were shut out in their series opener against the Cubs, but in the following two games they looked like an offensive juggernaut averaging over 10 runs per game as they exited the north side of Chicago as bullies when all was said and done. Despite the recent outburst, the Padres have ranked dead last in the league in all four offensive categories for the bulk of the season, with Seth Smith as the lone player with double digit HR’s on the team with 11. With the departure of Chase Headley, Smith is also the only Padre with 30+ RBI’s on the year as well. While the Padres are unlikely to feast on the Braves pitching in the same way they did with the sorry Cubs, it’s possible they won’t need that same level of offensive output turning to young righty Jesse Hahn, who is off to a solid start in his rookie campaign with a WHIP of 1.06 and ERA of 2.21, leading to a 5-2 record in seven starts. Hahn hasn’t been fazed in three road starts either with an ERA of 1.50 while facing the Dodgers, Giants and Mets while lasting six innings each time. The Padres however are just 19-30 away from home on the season.
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The Atlanta Braves started their home stand following the All-Star break taking two of three from the Phillies, but failed to capitalize on another divisional opponent as they dropped three of four to the Marlins. The Braves had a 2-0 lead in last night’s game on a Chris Johnson home run, but they failed to score again the rest of the way and allowed the Marlins to rally as Craig Kimbrel eventually took his second loss of the year giving up an RBI single in the 9th inning in a 3-2 finish. The Braves dropped to 1.5 games back in the AL East with the loss but would still enter the playoffs in the wildcard spot if the season ended today. The Braves rattled off a nine game win streak at the end of June and into early July but for the season they’ve been too inconsistent at the plate ranking 25th in the league in runs scored while batting .245 as a club. Atlanta will look to start their four game set against the Padres strong as they start second-year lefty Alex Wood, who enters this game with a WHIP of 1.16 and ERA of 3.24. Wood is especially sharp at home with an ERA of 2.51, opponents batting just .223 against him, and 1.18 strikeouts per inning average. The Braves are 28-23 at home on the year and can ill afford to drop any more winnable home games with a considerably tougher stretch ahead.
This game sets up as a pitchers’ duel with two strong starters and two offenses in the bottom ten of the league in every category. While the southern humidity could certainly adversely affect the Padres’ rookie in his first start at Turner Field, I wouldn’t be thrilled to take that stance and back the Braves at this price after they just squandered some winnable games in their last series against Miami.