Thursday night features a battle of superstars as Manny Machado and the San Diego Padres (3-3) take on Ronald Acuna Jr and the Atlanta Braves (5-1). The Braves will host this one at Truist Park, with first pitch scheduled for 7:20 pm ET.
The Braves are the favorites in this one playing at home. They are -164 to win, while the Padres’ moneyline sits at +138. The runline features San Diego at +1.5 (-152), and the over/under for total runs is 7.5.
Padres Try To Get Above .500
While the Padres sit at a disappointing 3-3 to start the season, they have won three of their last four entering this one. They did lose their last game against the Diamondbacks 8-6, but they enjoyed an off day on Wednesday before starting this four-game series.
In the loss to Arizona, Yu Darvis gave up just one run in five innings, but the bullpen imploded in route to the loss. Nelson Cruz, Xander Bogaerts, and Trent Grisham all homered, but it still wasn’t enough to put San Diego on top.
On Thursday, it will be lefty Blake Snell toeing the rubber for San Diego. He was roughed up in his lone start of the season, taking the loss against Colorado after giving up three earned runs in 4.1 innings. On the positive, he did have nine strikeouts.
Albeit in limited at bats, Juan Soto is the only Padres’ hitter who has a hit off of the Braves’ Spencer Strider.
To start the year, Xander Bogaerts has been San Diego’s hottest hitter. In 22 at bats, he is hitting .409/.440/.955 with three home runs and seven runs batted in.
Braves Look To Stay Hot
After starting the season 5-1, the Braves are currently tied for the best record in the National League. They will try to stay hot as they play their home opener Thursday. Last season, at Truist Park, they went 55-26.
On Wednesday, they finished a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals with a 5-2 victory. Matt Olson hit his third home run of the season as part of a three-hit, three-RBI game. In fact, the top three hitters (Acuna Jr, Olson and Austin Riley) combined to go 7 for 14.
Six games in, that trio has combined for seven home runs, 16 runs batted in, and 17 runs scored. While they have a deep lineup, the top of the lineup is especially potent.
Also potent is Atlanta’s starting pitcher Wednesday. 24-year-old righty Spencer Strider will take the mound after pitching six scoreless innings in a win over Washington in his first outing. He allowed three hits, three walks, and he struck out nine.
Hard To Bet Against Atlanta Right Now
This is an excellent matchup of teams that have lofty expectations this season. In fact, both teams sit in the top five of best odds to win the World Series, as the Braves are +700 to win it all (second-best), and the Padres are +1000 (fifth-best).
Still, this game is all about momentum and pitching, and the Braves have the edge in both of these. Not only are the Braves on quite a roll, but they have one of the best young starters in the game going Tuesday in Spencer Strider.
It is early, but Atlanta ranks in the top-10 in both runs per game and opponents runs allowed per game. For that reason, take Atlanta to continue their onslaught against Blake Snell.
Take Atlanta to both win and to cover the -1.5 runline (+126).