The San Diego Padres have just finished a solid series against the Colorado Rockies. The Padres will now take on the Atlanta Braves for a three game set at Petco Park. The Braves are the worst team in the National League. They sit on a 16-40 record and are 17.5 games out of first.
The Braves are really a horrendous team on paper. But the Braves are what the Padres should be aiming to be. In order to have success in the bigs now, you must have seasons like the Braves are having currently. Just look at the Chicago Cubs and their rise to success. The Braves are bad but their farm system is booming with talent.
The Bravos also have a couple of former Padres prospects on their MLB roster in Matt Wisler and Mallex Smith. Both players are actually not looking too bad so far in the majors. But it is quite clear that they still need some time to develop to reach their full potential. The point here is that the Braves are a reflection of what the Padres should be.
The Padres should have a low salary cap for a low performing team. They should also be stacked in the minor leagues. This is what a last team should look like if they are looking for a bright future. Now in terms of the actual series, the Padres should definitely be able to pull off the series. Maybe even mange to achieve their first sweep of the season. Even though these two teams are in last, the Padres are clearly superior tot he Braves.
Monday night’s matchup should be one to look out for. Williams Perez has actually been a decent pitcher for the Braves. In eight starts Perez has an ERA of 3.86. Perez utilizes a hard sinker which does cause a lot of ground balls to be in play. The Padres could be in trouble, but I can definitely see them overcoming the Venezuelan pitcher. The Pads will have lefty, Christian Friedrich on the mound. Friedrich has been a very good pitcher since getting called up due to injuries on the pitching staff. In four starts Friedrich has an ERA of 2.53. Friedrich is definitely more than capable of throwing a quality start against the Braves.
Tuesday night’s game is definitely one the Padres should be winning. Aaron Blair was one of the key pieces in the Shelby Miller trade. Blair was the fourth best prospect on the Braves before the season started. Blair was forced into the rotation after a few injuries to the staff, but it is quite clear he is not MLB ready yet. In seven starts Blair has an ERA of 7.55. Colin Rea and the Padres should definitely be able to take game two of this series with ease. But the way the Padres have done against struggling pitchers, who really knows.
Game three of this series will be an outstanding matchup. It’ll also quite possibly be the toughest game of the series. The best pitchers on the respected teams will go at it on Wednesday. For the Braves it will be Colombian, Julio Teheran. The former all-star has always been one of those pitchers who is just shy of being elite. In my opinion he just needs to be on the right team, because he definitely has the stuff. Teheran has pitched very well this season, but has not had any run support to show for it. For that reason Teheran is 1-6. However the Colombian pitcher does have an ERA of 2.92. In his last start at Petco Park, Teheran had a very nice game. He would go six innings and only allow a run. Teheran will definitely be a tough task for the Padres.
The good thing is that we will have our best pitcher facing him. Drew Pomeranz will be the man on the mound on Wednesday. Pomeranz looked magnificent his last time out. The lefty threw seven shutout innings and would only allow two hits against the Colorado Rockies. If Pomeranz is capable of doing that to one of the best offenses in the National League, he can certainly pull it off against the Braves. I believe the Pads will not disappoint and deliver their first sweep of the season. The Pitching matchups alone should paint a clear picture of who has the edge in this series.
Players to watch
You may remember when Francoeur was one of the biggest names in baseball. Well Frenchy has had a long journey including a pit spot as a Padre to return in Braves uniform. Believe it or not Francoeur is actually one of the best Braves hitters. The former future of the Atlanta Braves has a BA of .287 with three home runs. Apart from that Francoeur is always really a fun player to watch out on the field. He’s always capable of making an extraordinary catch in the outfield. Just the fact that he always has a smile on his face makes him a fun player to watch. It’s always nice to see someone who really enjoys his job, even a baseball player. Keep an eye on the former Sports Illustrated cover boy in this series.
Myers would yet again have another nice series at Petco Park. In this last series against the Rockies. Myers would go 5-12 with two home runs. As stated in previous articles, Myers is absolutely killing it at Petco Park. The main reason I wanted to highlight Myers in this series, was to state the fact that Myers has done way better than Freddie Freeman. Now based on how good Freeman was, that is kind of hard to believe really. But yeah, Freeman had always been regarded as a franchise player for the Braves. Myers on the other hand was an okay player, but look how the tables have turned. Freeman is having a rough 2016 like many of his team mates. He has a very low BA of .246 with just nine home runs and even more shockingly just 16 RBI. Myers has been killing it this year. The former Rookie of The Year has a BA of .283 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI. It is crazy to think that Myers almost has double the amount of RBI that Freeman has. Granted Freeman doesn’t have much to work with. Even still, it’s nice to see our first baseman have an edge over a guy who was once considered one of the best first basemen in the bigs. I expect Myers to have another nice series here at Petco and even add a home run or two to his count.
Melvin Upton Jr. vs The Braves
Melvin Upton Jr. was on the Atlanta Braves from 2013-2014. Without exaggerating Melvin was probably one of the most hated players in Braves history. The fans absolutely hated him. Now Melvin has found a new home with the Padres. He seems comfortable here in San Diego and fans are starting to love the guy. Just that alone has made a big impact on the way he plays. Melvin has been an exiting player all year long. Just in this last series against the Rockies, he stole home. He has also been just about the best glove on the Padres. Melvin has played gold glove caliber defense all year long. Braves country always makes its presence at any stadium. It’ll be interesting to see how they react to Melvin. It’ll also be interesting to see how Melvin reacts to them. Maybe Upton has a bit more motivation to do well in this series. That mixed in with the horrid Braves pitching staff can turn out to be a pathway to Melvin having an amazing series. Definitely something to lookout for in this series.
The Padres Need To Win This Series
The fact of the matter is that this is a series the Padres need to be winning. The Padres haven’t been the best team in the world, but the Braves have been even worse. The Padres of course have no shot at winning anything at this point. But the Padres need to win this one for the fans, and for Andy Green‘s sake as well. Andy Green has proved to be a decent manager in the MLB with some very innovative ideas. But if he loses this series against the worst team in baseball, it’ll definitely tarnish my view on him. There are series in which you can lose. This is not one of them. The Padres not only have home field advantage but also have the edge on pitching matchups and the team in general. There is no reason why the Padres shouldn’t be able to win this series. This will definitely be a series to watch everyone. Due to the fact that we will more than likely see the Padres come out victorious. Go Padres!