Tuesday MLB Preview – Padres at Braves

The top two teams in the National League square off in an important series at Turner Field

San Diego Padres at Atlanta Braves

San Diego comes into this series showing some offensive might, tallying double-digit hits in seven out of nine games, as the team is hitting .324 over that span.  The Padres now kick off a six-game road trip in facing the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves.  The team is a solid 24-18 away from Petco Park (+1,180) and the total is 14-25 O/U in those games.  Manager Bud Black was just rewarded with a three-year contract extension, leading the Padres to a 54-37 record (+2,020), which is the best record in the National League.  The club has recorded an 8-5 record this month (+160), but is a terrible 25-41 during July the last three years (-1,570).

Padres starting pitcher Wade LeBlanc is 4-7 with a 3.30 ERA in 16 starts this season, with the team losing three of his last four outings.  Over those four outings, he has allowed 12 runs and 25 hits in 24 innings.  He is 2-3 with a 5.12 ERA in six road starts, allowing opponents to bat for a combined .312 average.  LeBlanc is 2-3 with a 2.89 ERA over his last seven starts, with the team going 4-3 over that span.  San Diego’s offense is averaging just 3.21 runs of support while he’s in the game, including zero runs in six games.

Atlanta hopes to put its MLB-best 32-12 home record (+1,400) to use during this crucial series, as they currently trail tonight’s opponent by a half game for the best record in the National League.  The Braves enter play today with a 5.5 game lead in the National League East Division, which represents the largest gap of any first-place team in the majors.  The club is in a current stretch of facing left-handed starters in five of six games from last Friday to this coming Thursday.  Atlanta is 15-16 against lefties (-410), but is 9-4 at home in the situation.  Entering this series, the Braves have gone 15-1-4 in their last 20 series dating back to May 10.  Being a veteran-laden team, manager Bobby Cox’s squad enjoys a day off, going 6-4 this season (+180) and 30-20 over the last three years (+740).

Braves starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens is 2-3 with a 4.75 ERA in eight stats, leading the team to three straight victories.  In those starts, he has allowed five runs and 14 hits over 17.2 innings, as the Braves have outscored opponents by a 12-5 margin.  Tonight is his fifth start at home this season, where he is 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA.  He is 2-0 with one no-decision and a 2.25 ERA in three starts since being made active from the disabled list on June 30.  In three career starts against the Padres, Jurrjens is an even 1-1 with a 5.29 ERA.  He is a perfect 2-0 with a 1.99 ERA in four nighttime starts compared to 0-3 with a 8.05 ERA in four daytime outings.

Bettors may have a chance in scoring big with the total in this contest, as the Padres are 2-9 O/U when playing with a day off and the Braves stand at 17-28 O/U in the same situation the last three years.

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