The San Diego Padres are coming off a great series in Miami. The Padres took two out of three games from the Miami Marlins. Pitching would definitely be the strong suit of the series as the Padres starters would only allow two earned runs in the three-game set.
The Friars now head to Turner Field for three games against the Atlanta Braves. The series will take place from August 30-September 1. Based on current form and past matchups the Padres should be able to take another series against the Braves. The Padres of course won two out of three games from the Braves earlier this season.
However, those were very different teams than they are now. In general both teams do have a few similarities. Both teams are struggling and are among the worst in MLB. Both are also in a rebuilding process. This should be quite an interesting series with quite a few runs scored. Despite what their 48-83 record indicates, the Braves can definitely cause problems for a team like the Padres. In fact they just split a four-game series against the Diamondbacks not too long ago. The Dbacks have a very similar record to the Padres, so this could prove to be an action packed series with some very good baseball in it.
The pitching matchups in this series are actually very even which definitely adds drama to the series. These games can go either way and can also either be a slug-fests or a solid pitching matchups. Both pitchers going in the first game have potential, but have also struggled of late. First we have Edwin Jackson for the Friars. Jackson is coming off two very poor outings. The veteran would allow three home runs in his last start which would be at Petco Park against the Chicago Cubs. Jackson has struggled heavily as of late posting a 7.31 ERA in his last three starts. The Braves will have a struggling pitcher of their own in Julio Teheran. The Colombian pitcher had been having a great 2016 season even making the All-Star Game. However that would change since recently making his return from a right lat strain. Teheran has really not been the same pitcher and there is even doubts that he still might be injured. Overall Teheran is still having a solid season posting a 3.15 ERA on the year with little to no run support. However he has struggled in his last three outings posting an ERA of 6.75. This game definitely has potential to be a good game either offensively or pitching wise. It all depends how the starters will perform. If Teheran is on it I can’t see the Padres winning this game. But we will have to see what unfolds on Tuesday night in Atlanta.
The second game of the series is one which I feel will be decided by offense. The Pitchers going are struggling heavily and have not shown too many bright spots this season either. Paul Clemens will be the one on the mound for the Friars. I just can’t wait for Tyson Ross or Colin Rea to come back already and take Clemens spot on the rotation. Clemens has proven to be unreliable this year posting a 5.06 ERA on the season. He hasn’t even been able to eat up innings either. In fact Clemens just had his longest outing of the season and it was only five and a third innings. I can’t see Clemens having a good outing at Turner Field on Wednesday. Fortunately for him and the Padres they will not be facing the strongest of opponents in Matt Wisler. The former Padres prospect has really struggled in his stints in the big leagues this season. He has posted an ERA of 4.92 throughout the 2016 campaign. Even worse are his numbers in his last three starts, Wisler has posted an ERA of 6.38 in those starts. For any gamblers betting on the over in game two of this series would be a smart choice. Hopefully we do see an action packed slug fest for the second game of the series.
The finale of the series should be a lot calmer than the second game of the series. The reason for that, is because the Padres will have Jarred Cosart on the mound. Cosart has been outstanding since joining the Padres and should be able to handle the Braves on Thursday morning. Cosart has been unlucky going winless in his last three starts but has posted a minuscule ERA of 1.62 in those starts. Cosart has also had success at Turner Field before. He would throw seven shutout innings in his lone start at Turner Field as a member of the Miami Marlins. As for the Braves, it is still unclear who will be on the mound for them. Joel De La Cruz is the scheduled starter for the Bravos but we could see Tyrell Jenkins or Jed Bradley tossing the ball on Thursday. De La Cruz or Jenkins should not pose a threat to the Padres as they have struggled in their stints the MLB. Bradley however poses an unknown factor as he would be making his MLB debut. It’ll be interesting to see who Brian Snitker will go for. Whoever it is I still don’t feel that will be a match for Jarred Cosart. The Padres should be able to take the finale of the series and the series in general. Hopefully they can pull it off and provide us with some solid baseball games.
Edwin Jackson vs The Atlanta Braves
We had mentioned earlier how the first game of the series could prove to a slug fest rather than a pitching matchup. Well Edwin Jackson’s numbers against the Braves could turn out to play a huge factor in that. Jackson has struggled severely against the Braves in 11 games against them throughout his career. The German-born pitcher has posted an ERA of 6.00 against the Braves in those 11 games. Even more alarming is the fact that he has given up 10 home runs and an astonishing 18 walks in those 11 games. Hopefully Jackson can fight through it and get himself a solid start. However, the trends aren’t looking good for our veteran to start off this series.
Players To Watch
Many Padres fans including myself will be interested to see Matt Kemp in this series. It’ll definitely be interesting to see how the former Friar does against his old team mates. Since joining the Braves, Kemp doesn’t seem to be helping much batting .245 with only three home runs. However, Kemp has actually helped out this Braves lineup a ton. Just recently Kemp blasted a three-run home run which would lead the Braves past the Giants. Since Kemp’s arrival the offense has been able to get 1.4 more runs on average per game. Before Kemp the Bravos were averaging 3.4 runs per game, well now with Kemp that has risen to an average of 4.8 runs per game. The Braves definitely got a great deal from the Padres for Kemp. Make sure to look out for “Beast Mode” throughout this series.
We all know what the face of the Braves Freddie Freeman is capable of so we’ll focus on the Braves future, Dansby Swanson. The shortstop Swanson is of course one of the premier prospects in MLB. The former Vanderbilt alumni seems to be on to a nice start to his MLB career. In 10 Games Swanson is hitting a solid BA of .278, he has also shown his defensive prowess along the way. Swanson is yet to blast his first MLB home run, but does have an RBI to his name. Swanson isn’t off to an incredible start but we still have not seen a lot of him. Hopefully we get to see a lot more of the top prospect in this series. My bold prediction of the series is that we will see Swanson’s first MLB home run in this series. Make sure to look out for Swanson at the plate and at short in this series.
The Padres have been able to find diamonds in the rough throughout this whole 2016 campaign. It doesn’t surprise me at all that Luis Sardinas has now started to perform as well. Sardinas just had an absolutely amazing series against the Miami Marlins. Sardinas would go 5-9 with five RBI, two doubles, three walks and a home run. After a performance like that he has to be one of the main Friars in this series to keep a close watch on.
It seems now that in almost every preview I add Ryan Schimpf to the players to watch. Well the little guy has really earned it with his performances throughout the season. It seems that almost in a blink of an eye Schimpf now has 16 home runs this season. It really is incredible what Schimpf has manged to do this season with the limited playing time. “The Jumbo Schimpf” would just destroy it in this last series in Miami. He would have one of his best series of this 2016 season. Schimpf would go 5-8 with two home runs, three RBI, three walks and a triple in the series. We should continue to see some “Jumbo Schimpf” in Atlanta so make sure to get the catch in this series. We should be in for an action packed series at Turner Field, make sure to tune in to see what will unfold. Go Padres!