Backing Braves to Keep Streak Alive

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Braves vs. Padres, 4:10 ET

At the beginning of the year, you’d probably have expected that the two top teams in the NL would be the Braves and either Dodgers or Padres. One of the teams have held up their end of the bargain so far this season. Right now the Braves are better than any team not named Tampa Bay. They are rolling right now and the Padres are not. How should we play the last game of the series?

Atlanta came into this season with really high expectations after winning the World Series last season and falling short in the playoffs last year. They have only played six home games this season and are crushing it on the road. This season, they are already 10-1 away from their house. Not only are they pitching well, which you’d expect, but they are also hitting very well – which I suppose you’d expect also. Charlie Morton is pitching really well to start the year. He is getting out of jams, but flirting with disaster. Morton has gone 16.1 innings, but he has allowed 21 hits and walked seven hitters. He hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a game though. He’s been hit fairly well by the Padres over their careers. Juan Soto is 6-for-8 with two home runs against Morton. Xander Bogaerts also has hit Morton well and he is off to a good start for the Padres.

I mentioned that Bogaerts is off to a good start, he’s about the only one from San Diego that is living up to expectations. Their lineup is loaded with household names, but it isn’t translating to much success. I mentioned the Braves road record, it is worth mentioning the Padres home record and it is 4-8. They need to take care of business at their own stadium if they want to live up to expectations. Nick Martinez is taking the ball for the Padres today. He hasn’t been terrible but his ERA is a high 5.60 right now. He turned in a quality start in his last game, a six-inning three earned run outing against the Brewers. He did start against the Braves once this season it was a 4.2-inning start and he allowed four earned runs.

So what will happen in this game? I am expecting both pitchers to perform at a fairly standard level. Martinez should go five or six innings and allow a few runs. Morton also probably allows a few runs. The way the Padres are playing right now it is hard to back them, and the way the Braves are playing, it is hard to fade them. At this price, I think the right play here is to take Morton and the Braves through five at -120. I do have concerns about how the Padres have hit him in the past, so maybe the over 4.5 through five is a better look, but I’ll take the Braves.

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Written by David Troy

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