Friday, September 13, 2013

Weekend Series Preview: Padres

It's a quick and dirty 3-gamer back in Turner Field before the Braves have to hit the road again. That means we're looking at a lot of pitchers you've likely seen very little of (on both sides) in this homestand. As such, I'll give you a look at what to expect for the matches against the Padres. On to the matchups!

Game 1 - Hale (0-0) v. Kennedy (6-9)
Game 2 - Medlen (13-12) v. Erlin (2-2)
Game 3 - Teheran (12-7) v. Smith (0-1)

Welcome to the majors David Hale. For those of you that don't know, and I'm guessing that's a lot of you, David Hale is a 25 year old rookie out of Marietta, went to Princeton, and he's graduated every year he's been in the minors from rookie ball up to AAA. He's started 20 games in AAA with a 3.22 ERA and a WHIP of 1.39 on the season. Is he ready for a primetime starter job? Personally, I think he's probably not quite yet, but we'll see how it works out. My biggest concern is the kid's command, as he's known for a lot of strikeouts, but he's also known for a lot of walks to go with them. At the MLB level, in today's pitchcount-obsessed world, tons of walks and Ks mean tons of pitches, and that means an early exit. Keep an eye on his command against the Padres. He'll face off against Kennedy who should be well-known amongst Braves fans. He's a 6-year vet who spent a lot of time with the Dbacks and Padres in his tenure. He's also been smoked by Atlanta twice this season for a 5.79 ERA. If the Braves can keep their head on straight, and David Hale doesn't walk the lineup, this sets up for the Braves to take game 1 at home.

Medlen looks to extend his winning streak in Game 2. The Braves have won his last 3 starts in a row, and they look to make it 4 against Robbie Erlin, a rook with a 5.56 ERA in 6 starts. It's a complete mismatch on paper in favor of the Braves. Medlen has held the Padres lineup to a .556 OPS, which is just silly, and Robbie Erlin has an 8.62 ERA when he goes on the road. It's about as far apart in terms of numerical advantages as you're likely to see, but be forewarned. The Braves have had horrible luck hitting guys they've never seen before, regardless of ERA. That means they may struggle to find the ball without their regular leadoff guy in the lineup.

Game 3 features Teheran versus another guy you've never heard of, Burch Smith. Burch is so new he doesn't even have a picture on the website. I know little about this kid except his parents obviously hated him enough to give him the name Burch. It sounds like a grumpy muppet. Also he's posted a 9.17 ERA in the majors in 4 starts, so he has good reason to be disgruntled. Teheran is on a two game winning streak and looking to tack on. He had issues with the Padres earlier in the season, but he'll look to right the ship from his awful 6 run outing in SD. He's out for revenge, and Burch is a good candidate for a whooping.

The CPA won again and goes to 74-50, with a 4 game winning streak. Love that money! What about the weekend matchups?

CPA Prediction Game 1: Braves 5 - Padres 4
CPA Prediction Game 2: Braves 4 - Padres 2
CPA Prediction Game 3: Braves 7 - Padres 1

The CPA likes the Braves in a sweep. The Padres are tossing high ERA guys at us, and with the exception of David Hale, we're posting two of our best at them. Game 1 may be close, and the CPA predicts a tossup on that with a home field advantage, but David may be able to pull them through. The rest of the games just rely on the Braves converting their chances against rookies. Get to it and seal this thing up!


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