After a rough trek to California, the Atlanta Braves have won three straight games, taking advantage of the friendly confines of SunTrust Park and suddenly electric pitching. Brian Snitker’s team has allowed only four runs over the past three games and, on Thursday evening, Anibal Sanchez was brilliant in blanking the San Diego Padres over seven innings of work.
On Friday night, the Braves and Padres will be at it again and, this time, it will be Brandon McCarthy on the mound for Atlanta. While McCarthy’s overall performance hasn’t been ideal this season, he has put together quality work in three of the past five outings. With that said, his last start against the Dodgers was substandard, allowing three home runs (and four runs) over less than five innings of work.
There are signs of life for McCarthy in his peripherals, though, and that would allow slight optimism for the future. The 34-year-old has an unsightly 5.03 ERA for the year but that is mitigated by a 3.68 xFIP and a 4.04 SIERA, indicating that he is closer to a league-average starter (all he needs to be, by the way) than the ERA would indicate.
In this particular match-up, the Braves may even have a pitching advantage, as the Padres will send Clayton Richard to the hill in opposition. The former Michigan Wolverines quarterback is pitching quite well lately, though, with a 3.04 ERA over his last seven outings. Richard’s stuff is less than stellar but he does quality work in Petco Park and that allows for a reasonable overall profile. Still, this is a spot in which the Braves the capability to take full advantage of a hittable pitcher.
The good folks in Las Vegas install the Braves as somewhere in the neighborhood of -145 favorites in this game, indicating that Atlanta is expected to win more often than not. The work must be done on the field, however, and we encourage you to spend your Friday evening with us.
Time/Date: Friday, June 15, 7:35 pm ET
Location: SunTrust Park
TV: FOX Sports South
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM, 106.7 FM Braves Radio Network