After taking the first two games of their series against the San Diego Padres, the Atlanta Braves will going for the sweep this afternoon at Petco Park. Wily veteran Charlie Morton (2-1, 3.86 ERA) will take the mound for Atlanta against San Diego’s Nick Martinez (0-1, 5.60). First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m ET.
The Braves are -120 favorites on the moneyline, while the Padres are +100 underdogs. The total sits at 9.
Braves-Padres picks: Wednesday, April 19th
Out: OF Michael Harris II (lower back soreness), RP Raisel Iglesias (right shoulder soreness), RP Collin McHugh (right shoulder discomfort), RP Lucas Luetge (left biceps inflammation), SS Orlando Arcia (microfracture in left wrist)
Out: C Luis Campusano (left thumb sprain), SP Joe Musgrove (fractured left big toe), RP Drew Pomeranz (flexor tendon surgery), OF Adam Engel (left hamstring strain), OF David Dahl (right quad strain), RP Robert Suarez (right elbow inflammation)
Charlie Morton vs. Nick Martinez
Morton’s coming off a strong start where he scattered two runs over six innings in a win over the Kansas City Royals. While Morton’s still been able to get batters out with his curveball (.138 batting average against), hitters have been able to catch up with his fastball (.450 average against) and sinker (.444), which is part of the reason he has an expected ERA of 6.15 — nearly three points higher than his actual ERA.
Martinez’s days in the Padres’ starting rotation could be numbered, as ace Joe Musgrove is expected back in San Diego’s rotation this weekend, which could potentially push Martinez back to the bullpen. That said, Martinez is coming off his best start of the season, as he allowed three runs over six innings against the Brewers in his last time out.
Both Martinez and Morton have allowed three runs in each of their starts this season, with one of Morton’s starts coming against the Padres where he gave up three runs (two earned) in five innings. Neither starter will make it out of this game unscathed, and I’m expecting the Braves to add some runs off the Padres’ shaky bullpen.
Pick: Over 9
The Braves complete the sweep. While Morton hasn’t been as good as his stats, the Braves are playing some of the best baseball in MLB, and are currently in the midst of an eight-game winning streak. I can’t see that ending against Martinez and the Padres.