After a bit of a comeback, the Braves ultimately lost in the bizarro world suspended seven inning game and then won game two highlighted by a Maddux from Max Fried on Friday, the Braves have a 1.5 game lead over the Phillies for the division lead in the NL East with a magic number of eight and eight scheduled games remaining for Atlanta to play, plus the postponed game against the Rockies that may or may not be played. The Phillies won again on Friday against the Pirates and get two more games against them before the big series in Atlanta between the two NL East competitors starts Tuesday. The Braves would do well to maintain as big of a gap as possible heading into that matchup.
On Saturday night, Atlanta will send the young flamethrower Huascar Ynoa to the mound against a Padres team that has faded quite a bit in the final stages of the season. Ynoa is having a pretty good rookie season, although his ERA has come back to Earth a bit since coming back from the IL with a broken hand. His more predictive metrics have stayed much more consistent throughout his season, hovering in the mid-3s for most of the season, which is pretty good production. Ynoa has been a good bit better at home than on the road, so while we are not sure that’s actually a real trend going forward, it’s perhaps something to keep an eye on for his start Saturday.
The Padres will send Vince Velasquez out to the mound for their cause, after a number of injuries to their pitching staff this season. Velasquez has been okay at best in his career and this season has been very bad, with an ERA of 6.23, although with peripherals that are friendlier albeit still bad, at a 5.19 xERA, a 5.64 FIP, and a 5.03 xFIP. Velasquez has always had pretty strong strikeout numbers, with his 9.45 K/9 hovering a tad below his career mark, but walks and home runs have been an issue for him. Given that this Atlanta offense is ninth in baseball in walks and third in home runs, this should be quite a favorable matchup for the Braves hitters. Some fireworks can be expected from the Braves against Velasquez, and I would put the starting pitching matchup squarely in Atlanta’s favor for Saturday.
Game Date/Time: September 25, 7:15 p.m. ET
Location: Petco Park - San Diego, California
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network