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Atlanta travels to Petco Park to take on the Padres, who have won six of their last 9 games. San Diego fans will also be happy to hear that the Braves are a money-burning 4-17 in their previous 21 affairs inside the spacious confines of Petco.
San Diego southpaw Clayton Richard toes the rubber with a 4.74 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 4.14 FIP and 3.59 xFIP in twelve starts. Richard’s surface statistics have been skewed by an unlucky 68.3% strand rate, making him a prime candidate for positive regression in future outings.
Richard’s strikeout numbers are up from previous seasons (7.42 K/9 vs. career 5.88 K/9), while his ground ball rate (56.5%) remains one of the best in the Majors. The veteran hurler has been outstanding at home in 2018, posting a 3.86 ERA, 3.07 FIP and 3.21 xFIP across 46.2 innings of work.
The underrated lefty boasts a 7.71 K/9 rate, a 2.31 BB/9 rate and a 0.58 HR/9 rate at home. The one area of concern for San Diego backers is the fact that Richard is 0-6 with a 7.05 ERA and 1.99 WHIP in six career starts against the Braves. Most of those starts came against completely different rosters, however.
Indeed, Richard has only faced Atlanta once since 2012, yielding four runs on 9 hits in six innings on April 15, 2017. Atlanta arrives in town with a scuffling lineup that is averaging just 4.0 runs over its last seven games, batting .238 with a .681 OPS over that span.
Bettors should note, however, that the Braves are averaging 5.6 runs per game against left-handed starters this season, hitting .268 with a .770 OPS. Nick Markakis and Freddie Freeman are a combined 7-for-17 against Richard.
Richard is backed by a solid San Diego bullpen that owns a 3.21 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 2018, including posting a 2.98 ERA and 1.13 WHIP at night and a 2.93 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over their last seven games.
Atlanta’s bullpen has not been quite as strong as the Padres’ relief unit in 2018. Specifically, the Braves’ relief staff enters tonight’s game with a 4.03 ERA and 1.30 WHIP on the road, a 3.73 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in evening affairs and a 3.71 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in their previous nine games.
Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran is once again outperforming his peripherals in 2018. The 27-year-old takes the mound with a 4.03 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 5.11 FIP and 4.96 xFIP in twelve starts. Teheran’s control has practically disappeared (4.03 BB/9), the long ball remains an issue (1.48 HR/9) and he has survived by virtue of an unsustainable .230 BABIP.
Batters are squaring up on Teheran as evidenced by his 38.6% hard contact rate, which is a career high. Teheran is 4-2 with a 3.76 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in eight career starts against the Padres, yielding two runs or fewer in four straight outing.
The Braves are 13-6 in Teheran’s last nineteen starts, including going 8-3 in Teheran’s last eleven road outings against teams with a losing record and 4-1 in his previous five starts following a team loss. Atlanta is 9-2 in its last 11 games versus .499 or worse opposition and 8-2 in its previous ten clashes with a left-handed starter.
Atlanta’s current record (35-24) is also significant in that the Braves are a money-making 34-19 (+11.4 units) in Teheran’s last 53 starts when they own a win percentage above 55 percent. In what the oddsmakers deem to be a toss-up game based on the current odds, Oskeim leans with the Padres as one of his free MLB picks for Monday.
Oskeim Sports’ Free MLB Picks for Monday, June 4:
- San Diego Padres (-106) over Atlanta Braves
- San Francisco Giants (-107) over Arizona Diamondbacks
Additional MLB Betting Notes:
- Arizona starter Zack Godley has a 4.38 ERA, 4.44 FIP & 4.05 xFIP in 2018
- Godley owns a 5.81 ERA, 5.08 FIP & 4.61 FIP in road games this season
- Godley owns a 4.86 ERA, 5.48 FIP & 4.65 xFIP in the month of May
- Opponents have an exit velocity of 96 mph off Godley over the past 15 days, and the right-hander is allowing a hard-hit percentage of 54% over that span
Other MLB Betting News:
- J.D. Martinez led all players in the Majors with 13 home runs in May. Jose Ramirez was second with 11 dingers
- Mookie Betts stole the most bases in the month of May with 10. Whit Merrifield was second with eight steals.
- Addison Russell was forced out of Sunday’s game with a finger injury & is considered day-to-day.
- Anthony DeSclafani will make his season debut for the Reds on Tuesday vs. the Rockies. DeSclafani has not pitched in the Majors since 2016