After finishing off a sweep in Kansas City, the Atlanta Braves will head to San Diego, where they will continue their road trip on by tangling for threegames against the Padres. Atlanta has won six straight games, and at 12-4, holds the best record in the National League.
The upcoming series will be a rematch from the Braves’ most recent homestand, where the Padres handed the Braves three of their four losses. Atlanta bounced back with three straight one-run victories over the Reds and then outscored the Royals 24-10 for their second consecutive sweep.
Kyle Wright recently returned to the rotation and Max Fried is set to return on Monday. Atlanta still has a lengthy Injured List that includes outfielder Michael Harris II, catcher Travis d’Arnaud, key reliever Collin McHugh, and closer Raisel Iglesias. Harris was working out on the field prior to Sunday’s game and is eligible to come off the injured list Monday, but hasn’t yet been cleared to take batting practice.
Since taking three of four at Truist Park, the Padres dropped two of three in New York and then three of four to the Brewers at home, including a 1-0 loss Sunday. San Diego currently has an 8-9 record and are in third place in the NL West, 1.5 games back of the Diamondbacks. The Padres have been held back by Manny Machado (73 wRC+) and terrible production from most of their role players, but Xander Bogaerts’ tenure in San Diego is off to a blistering, 173 wRC+, 1.1 fWAR in 75 PAs start.
Monday, April 17, 9:40 p.m. ET (Bally Sports South)
Max Fried (1 GS, 3.1 IP, 15.4 K%, 0.0 BB%, 45.5 GB%, 2.70 ERA, 2.17 FIP)
Brian Snitker confirmed that Fried will return from the IL to make Monday’s start. Fried started on Opening Day in Washington, but was forced to leave the game after straining a hamstring while covering first base during the first inning. The Padres drafted Fried in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He was traded to Atlanta in 2014 in the Justin Upton trade. Fried has made three career starts against San Diego and has a 2.05 ERA, 3.08 FIP, and 2.92 xFIP in 22 innings.
Ryan Weathers (2 GS, 10.0 IP, 13.2 K%, 7.9 BB%, 44.8 GB%, 2.70 ERA, 3.27 FIP)
Young left-hander Ryan Weathers will make his third start of the season for the Padres in the opener. Weathers pitched well last time out, holding the Mets to three hits and one run over five innings. He has one career appearance against the Braves out of the bullpen where he allowed two hits and an unearned run in two innings.
Keep in mind that while Weathers has a nice ERA and FIP this year, he’s also running a line with no homers allowed yet, and only has a 5/3 K/BB ratio on the season. He’ll need to keep getting lucky on the fly ball front to keep runs off the board.
Tuesday, April 18, 9:40 p.m. ET (Bally Sports South)
Spencer Strider (3 GS, 16.0 IP, 40.9 K%, 12.1 BB%, 25.8 GB%, 3.38 ERA, 2.30 FIP)
Spencer Strider will make his fourth start of the season on Tuesday. Strider allowed four hits and three runs over five innings in his last start against the Reds. Strider struggled through the early part of the start before finding himself after a third inning mound visit by Rick Kranitz seemed to wake him up. He retired the last nine hitters he faced and acknowledged after the game that he had been somewhat holding back in an effort to pitch deeper into games. Strider vowed to return to what made him so successful last season, so it will be interesting to see how that translates in this start. After all, it wasn’t like he was struggling as he has totaled nine strikeouts in all three of his starts and has struck out at least nine in seven straight during the regular season dating back to last year. Strider faced the Padres in Atlanta two weeks ago and allowed a three-run homer to Matt Carpenter as part of a five-inning, 9/3 K/BB ratio effort that eventually ended in a walkoff Braves win.
Blake Snell (3 GS, 13.0 IP, 24.2 K%, 15.2 BB%, 37.5 GB%, 6.92 ERA, 6.21 FIP)
It has been a rough start to the season for Blake Snell, who will match up opposite of Strider on Tuesday. Snell didn’t make it out of the fourth inning on April 6 in Atlanta allowing six hits, four walks and four runs in just 3 2/3 innings, which was the same game that Strider started. He struggled again in his next outing against the Mets, allowing six hits and three earned runs in five innings, which was a season-high. He did walk five more hitters in that outing and now has 10 in his first 13 innings. After a 9/1 K/BB ratio in his season debut, he has walked nine and struck out just seven.
Wednesday, April 19, 4:10 p.m. ET (Bally Sports South)
Charlie Morton (3 GS, 16.1 IP, 15.2 K%, 8.9 BB%, 51.7 GB%, 3.86 ERA, 4.35 FIP)
Veteran right-hander Charlie Morton will get the start on getaway day Wednesday. Morton will be making his fourth start and is still trying to put it all together. He allowed six hits and three runs (two earned) in six innings in his last start against the Royals. After recording just one strikeout in his first start in Washington, Morton has 11 strikeouts over his last 11 innings. Morton had a 6/3 K/BB ratio and allowed a homer in his start against the Padres as the Braves lost the game, 4-1.
Nick Martinez (3 GS, 17.2 IP, 14.1 K%, 12.8 BB%, 56.1 GB%, 5.60 ERA, 6.76 FIP)
Nick Martinez will also be making his fourth start in Wednesday’s finale. Martinez couldn’t get out of the fifth inning when he faced the Braves in Atlanta on April 7 allowing four hits, five walks and four runs in 4 2/3 innings while striking out just four. He allowed five hits and three runs over six innings in his last start against the Brewers. Overall, he’s had a terrible time of it, as his 5.19 xFIP is his best ERA estimator. Still, the Padres won his start in Atlanta, 5-4.