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When Manny Machado signed with San Diego as a free agent there was a group that thought he went to the highest bidder with no desire to be part of a winner. A few years into his deal and the facts are he did take the money (good for him) and he has been at the foundation of a rebuild in San Diego that has them competing for the playoffs every season. If not for the Dodgers…well, no need to go down that road because Mookie Betts and the Dodgers are a reality with whom San Diego and every other team must contend.
Through their first 32 games, the Padres have earned 20 wins. They are one of only seven teams to have reached 20 wins at this point in the season.
Their opponent this weekend is the Atlanta Braves. The defending champs are sputtering out of the gate. They are a couple games under .500 as of the publication of this article. Their numbers on offense are middle of the pack across the board. Their pitching ranks in the bottom third in terms of ERA at 4.10, but recent history gives them confidence that Atlanta will make a push at some point. However, just as the Padres must battle to keep pace with the Dodgers, Max Fried and Atlanta must do the same with the New York Mets.
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To help you out, here are some statistics and suggested picks to three questions from this weekend’s game.
Question #1: How many Home Runs will the San Diego Padres hit @ Atlanta on Sunday against the Braves?
Potential Answers: 0, 1, 2, 3+
The San Diego Padres even without Fernando Tatis, Jr. are off to a strong start to the season. This despite a relatively pedestrian offense. Their numbers rank in the middle third of the major leagues in almost every offensive category. Manny Machado leads the team with seven home runs (T-12). Jurickson Profar stands behind him with five bombs (T-33). The team is tied for 15th in all of baseball with 28 home runs. More pertinent to this contest, the Padres have hit 13 round trippers on the road this season (T-18th).
The Atlanta Braves’ pitching has been adequate at best. Their ERA is 4.10. They have surrendered 242 hits in 281 innings including 25 home runs.
Combine the Padres’ offense with the Braves’ pitching and expect an uptick for San Diego in terms of the long ball.
Suggested Answer: The San Diego Padres will hit 1 home run Sunday in Atlanta against the Braves.
Question #3: How many Singles and Doubles will the San Diego Padres hit @ Atlanta on Sunday vs. the Braves?
Potential Answers for No. of Singles: 0-2, 3, 4, 5, 6-7, 8+
Manny Machado leads San Diego with 46 hits. Right behind him is Eric Hosmer with 40. The first baseman is off to his strongest start in years with a .367 average. A look inside the numbers show that of Hosmer's 40 hits, 28 have been singles (to go with four homers and 8 doubles).
San Diego’s offense as a whole has hit 79 singles in 506 at bats in 15 games away from home (slightly more than five per game).
Suggested Answer: The San Diego Padres will hit 6-7 singles Sunday in Atlanta against the Braves.
Potential Answers for No. of Doubles: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4+
Hosmer and Machado lead the Padres with eight doubles apiece this season. As a team, San Diego ranks 22nd in the majors with 44 doubles overall. On the road, San Diego’s offense has accounted for 24 doubles in 15 games. As with the previous questions, I expect a slight bump Sunday for San Diego on offense.
Suggested Answer: The San Diego Padres will hit 2 doubles Sunday in Atlanta against the Braves.
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Question #6: What will the total number of strikeouts allowed be for the Atlanta Braves in their game at home Sunday against San Diego?
Potential Answers: 0-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12+
The Atlanta Braves rank 5th in the majors with 291 strikeouts in 281 innings. The Padres have struck out 129 times in 506 at bats on the road this season. Max Fried and the Braves pitch to “less contact” away from home, however. That is a less direct way of saying opposing teams make better contact when facing the Braves in Atlanta.
Suggested Answer: The Atlanta Braves will strike out 6-7 Padres’ hitters on Sunday against San Diego.
Question #6B: What will the total number of earned runs be for the Atlanta Braves in their game at home Sunday against San Diego?
Potential Answers: 0, 1, 2, 3-4, 5-6, 7+
Atlanta’s pitching staff as mentioned is off to a sluggish start this season. Their team ERA is 4.10. In a year when offenses are struggling to score runs, that is a big number. San Diego’s offense has 120 hits in 506 at bats this season. Although they rank 18th in OPS, the Padres rank 9th in runs scored in all of baseball. They average a little over four runs per game.
As with the rest of their offense on Sunday, expect the Padres to rake just above their season averages as the Braves pitching has been subpar too often.
Suggested Answer: The Atlanta Braves will allow 5-6 earned runs Sunday against the San Diego Padres Field.
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