Braves Preview: Atlanta look to extend win streak with Strider on the mound
By Logan Dollar
The Atlanta Braves look to build off of a well fought series opener after their ace Max Fried made his triumphant return. They hope the offense improves situationally tonight as it was a tough scene with runners on base after the first inning Monday night. The Braves look to continue their revenge series in San Diego with young star Spencer Strider on the mound. Losing three out of four to the Padres earlier this year remains the only series Atlanta has lost, and a win tonight would guarantee it stays that way.
Probable Starters: Spencer Strider vs. Blake Snell
Spencer Strider looks to build off a promising finish in his last outing. Strider struggled in the early part of his start against the Cincinnati Reds. He labored, uncharacteristically, and gave up several hits and walks until pitching coach Rick Kranitz decided to make a mound visit. Apparently Kranitz didn't hold back and told Strider exactly what he needed to hear. Strider's velocity immediately ramped up along with his aggression in the zone, and the young righty finished with a flurry of dominant strikeouts.
It will be interesting to see if Strider is able to ride that momentum straight into tonight's start or if there will be some more early inning issues. Strider comes in with a 3.38 ERA and 9 strikeouts per start, however, he has only gone over 5 innings in one appearance so far. Strider hasn't faced anyone from San Diego's lineup more than 6 times (Juan Soto) and has held them to a collective .147 batting average. The lone home run came in a mustache duel with Matt Carpenter at Truist Park earlier this season.
As for the Padres, former Cy Young award winner Blake Snell will get his second chance at the Braves early on in 2023. Snell has struggled quite a bit so far with an ERA pushing 7. He's having no issues striking out hitters as always, but the deep counts, walks, and hits continue to pile up as he has only gotten through 5 innings once. He will certainly have to make some adjustments as the Braves teed off on him early and sent him to the locker room after 3.2 innings while giving up four earned runs in his April 6th start.
How to watch Braves vs. Padres
Date/Time/Location: 4/18/23 at 9:40 PM EST at Petco Park
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan