The Atlanta Braves are looking to win their fifth series in six attempts so far this season, as they’ll be taking on the San Diego Padres in the middle game of this three game series at Petco Park.
Spencer Strider is getting the ball to start the game tonight and the obvious goal for him tonight should be to get deeper into the game than in his two most recent starts. He’s only gotten through five innings and given up three runs in each of those two starts, including on April 6 in Cobb County when he took on the Padres for the first time. The strikeout numbers are already there, but he’s also having to throw a ton of pitches in order to do so.
Strider’s early peripherals are looking really good, so it’s really only a matter of putting things together and getting more efficient with his pitches. Maybe a return to basics should do the trick? That’s what seemed to help him out near the end of his most recent start:
Strider said his dip in velocity probably comes from trying to pace himself, to get deeper in games. Said he knows that’s not how he’s been competitive before, and that Kranny basically woke him up when he came out and asked if he was Ok, but not in PG language.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) April 13, 2023
On the other side of things, Blake Snell will be starting for the Padres and he’ll be looking to get out of the rut he’s been in to start this season. He’s actually dipped into the negative in fWAR here in the extremely early stages of the season and a lot of that has to do with the fact that he’s been dealing with a ton of baserunners and opposing teams have been making him pay for it with a lot of hard contact. He’s given up at least three runs in each of his three starts and hasn’t made it past the fifth inning in any of them. The Braves were able to coax four walks and rack up six hits in just 3.2 innings against him back on April 6 and then the Mets hit two homers off of him in five innings in his last start.
If there’s a team that Blake Snell probably doesn’t want to see at this point, it’s the Braves. Snell’s been giving up a ton of hard hits, he’s been getting barrelled up and teams have been hitting rockets off of him. Atlanta currently leads MLB in Hard Hit percentage and Average Exit Velocity while also being third in all of baseball when it comes to Barrels per Plate Appearance. If the trends continue, then this could end up being another night where the Braves are busy lighting up the EV boards with triple digits and usually that translates to success for our favorite baseball club.
The Braves have a shot at picking up a series win in San Diego after the Padres took three out of four in Cobb County and while a win tonight it wouldn’t totally make up for the rough weekend that the Braves had back then, it sure would go a long way towards doing so. It’s been nice seeing this team get off to a hot start for a change and it would be even bette rto see them keep it going with a win tonight.
Game Date/Time: Monday, April 17, 9:40 p.m. ET
Location: Petco Park, San Diego, California
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan