San Diego Padres Series Preview: Friars look to get over .500 mark with series against Atlanta Braves

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Atlanta Braves vs. San Diego Padres series preview.

The San Diego Padres are currently sitting at the .500 mark with a 45-45 record after the MLB All-Star break.

The Friars are still 14 games out of first place in the NL West but are just two games out of an NL Wild Card spot with Washington, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Arizona in the hunt.

The Padres will host the Atlanta Braves for a three-game series at Petco Park from Friday, July 12 to Sunday, July 14 for their first series after the All-Star break. Before the midsummer classic, San Diego won three out of four games against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium and now will look to continue that impressive run of form.

The Friars did already face the Atlanta Braves earlier in the year as both teams split a four-game series at SunTrust Park. The Braves are currently leading the highly competitive NL East division with a 54-37 record and are six games ahead of the second-place Washinton Nationals.

Atlanta has the best record away from home in the National League at 26-18, and it is also the fifth-best in the MLB. The Braves have a stacked offense with players like Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Josh Donaldson, but also have a solid pitching staff that features youngsters like Mike Soroka and experienced veterans like Dallas Keuchel.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1 (Friday, July 12 – 7:10 P.M. PST) Dinelson Lamet (0-1, 5.40 ERA) vs. Dallas Keuchel (2-2, 3.60 ERA)

Game 2 (Saturday, July 13 – 5:40 P.M. PST) TBD vs. Julio Teheran (5-6, 3.75 ERA)

Game 3 (Sunday, July 14 – 1:10 P.M. PST) TBD vs. Mike Soroka (9-1, 2.42 ERA)

The Braves won the Dallas Keuchel sweepstakes and the left-handed pitcher has been performing and showing his leadership on the mound. Dinelson Lamet is fresh off of his recovery and looked solid against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his first start since coming back from injury.

The Braves do have the edge in the pitching matchups for this series as the Padres will face the core of this rotation. Mike Soroka gave the Padres a real hard time the last time he faced them as the right-hander allowed just one run on four hits through six innings.

Players to Watch

Credit: AP Photo

Fernando Tatis Jr.

Tatis was perhaps the biggest All-Star snub this year as he has clearly been the best player for the San Diego Padres. The 20-year-old phenom is currently hitting .327/ .393/ .620 with 14 home runs and 13 stolen bases as well. Tatis ended the first half of the season with a two-homer game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and it is exciting t0 see what he can do in this series.

Ronald Acuna Jr.

Acuna is another one of the most exciting young players in baseball and is a menace to any pitcher at the top of that Atlanta Braves lineup. The 21-year-old made the MLB All-Star Game and is hitting .292/ .377/ .506 with 21 home runs, 53 RBI and 13 stolen bases.

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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