MLB Game Preview: San Diego Padres at Atlanta Braves

Apr 6, 2023

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Game: San Diego Padres @ Atlanta Braves

Time: 7:20 p.m.

Odds: Padres +148, Braves -160

Total: 7.5

On Wednesday afternoon, the Braves defeated the Cardinals 5-2 to end a 5-1, season-opening road trip and sweep the three-game series in St. Louis. Now, the Braves head back to Atlanta to take on the San Diego Padres in their home opener tonight.

The Padres, meanwhile, opened the 2023 campaign with a six-game homestand that ended with a demoralizing loss on Tuesday and saw them go 3-3 overall. San Diego lost 8-6 after blowing a 5-1 lead against the Arizona Diamondback. The Padres and uncharacteristically bad defense allowed the Diamondbacks to score seven runs in a row. Arizona stole five bases, and the Padres only made one error despite having the potential to make three.

San Diego is about to embark on a seven-game road trip where they will play two National League East teams that each won 101 games last year. The Padres will play four games in Atlanta before traveling to New York for a three-game series against the Mets.The Padres defeated the Mets in the wild-card round of the 2022 playoffs by winning two out of three games in New York. They also held a 4-3 season advantage over the Braves in 2022.

The trip for San Diego begins on Thursday when left-hander Blake Snell of the Padres faces right-hander Spencer Strider of Atlanta (1-0, 0.00). Strider, 24, came in second place in the voting for the National League Rookie of the Year in 2022. He had a record of 11-5 in 31 appearances (20 starts), a 2.67 ERA, and a 0.995 WHIP. He held opposing hitters to a .180 batting average and had 202 strikeouts over 131 2/3 innings for a 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings ratio.

Strider pitched 4.1 innings in two relief outings against the Padres, surrendering two runs on two hits and three walks. He defeated the Washington Nationals 7-1 on Saturday in his first start of the year, allowing just three hits, three walks, and no runs over six innings. Strider struck out nine.

Snell started for the Padres on Opening Day because Yu Darvish (late return from the World Baseball Classic) and Joe Musgrove (fractured toe) were unable to do so. He pitched 4.1 innings against the Rockies, allowing three runs on six hits, a walk, and nine strikeouts. The Padres’ desire to get Snell off to a quicker start played a role in that choice. Snell has a career record of 22-30 with a 4.08 ERA in the first half of the season. In the second half, he is 31-15 with a 2.68 ERA.

In his final 14 starts of the 2022 season, Snell’s earned run average was 2.19. It had been 5.22 prior to that. Snell had a difficult performance against Colorado to start the year. It left his ERA at 6.23 heading into tonight’s game. Snell has faced the Braves just once in his career, starting that game on May 8, 2018. He went 6.1 innings while giving up one run on four hits.

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