After a 5-1 opening road trip, the Atlanta Braves return to Truist Park Thursday where they will take on the San Diego Padres. Thursday’s game is the first of four against the Padres and is part of a seven-game home stand. Spencer Strider will make his second start of the season for Atlanta while the Padres will go with lefty Blake Snell.
The Braves took two of three in Washington in the opening series and then swept three from the Cardinals in St. Louis, including a 5-2 win Wednesday behind a good pitching performance by Bryce Elder. While Atlanta is dealing with multiple injuries in the starting rotation, the offense has gotten on track early. The Braves are third in the National League in runs scored with 32 and are tied for second with 10 home runs.
Ronald Acuña Jr. is fully healthy and has resumed his role as a table setter for the offense. He had seven hits in the series against the Cardinals and has already scored seven runs. Matt Olson added another home run Wednesday and leads the team with three through the first six games.
Strider held the Nationals in check in his first start allowing just three hits and struck out nine over six scoreless. What might be most terrifying opposing hitters, Strider mixed in a changeup that had a 75% whiff rate that garnered a closer look by Pitching Ninja. Strider has had a lot of success in his brief career as just a fastball/slider guy. Adding a solid changeup would just make him that much more unhittable.
The Padres enter the series with a 3-3 record after splitting a four-game series with the Rockies and then a two-game series with Arizona.
Snell will be making his second start of the season and his first was somewhat of a mixed bag. He struck out nine, but ran up a high pitch count and lasted just 4 1/3 innings while allowing six hits and three runs to the Rockies.
Xander Bogaerts has got off to a blistering hot start for his new team going 9-for-22 at the plate with three doubles and three home runs. The Braves won’t have to worry about Fernando Tatis Jr. in this series as he won’t return from his 80-game suspension until April 20.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. ET and can be seen on Bally Sports Southeast.
Game Date/Time: Thursday, April 6, 7:20 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan