Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#2959 Atlanta Braves vs.
#2960 San Diego Padres
Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 7:15pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

It’s the continuation of a weekend series between a pair of teams still in the midst of the playoff picture in the National League down in southern California. The Atlanta Braves are on the road as they travel to face the San Diego Padres in the third game of a four-game set Saturday night. Atlanta fell 6-4 to Arizona on the road Thursday, missing a chance at a four-game sweep in the process. San Diego avoided a sweep at home to NL West-leading San Francisco as they earned a 7-6, 10-inning walk-off victory Thursday night. This article was published prior to the conclusion of both games Friday: the teams were slated to conclude a suspended game from July 21, which was slated to be seven innings, before playing the regularly scheduled contest.

Atlanta Braves Fighting to Hold On to NL East Lead

Atlanta saw their four-game win streak snapped as they were beaten in the finale of their four-game series with Arizona on the road Thursday. The Braves entered Friday holding a narrow two-game lead on the Phillies in the NL East race. On Thursday, Ozzie Albies (run, RBI) had three hits while Adam Duvall (run) and Travis d’Arnaud each added a pair. Austin Riley hit his 32nd homer of the season in a losing effort as the Braves let a 4-1 lead after six innings slip away. Charlie Morton didn’t factor in the decision as he threw six innings, allowing three runs on five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. Jacob Webb (5-4) took the loss as he allowed three runs on three hits with no walks or strikeouts without retiring a hitter.

Huascar Ynoa takes the ball for his 17th appearance and 16th start of the year for the Braves in this contest. He comes in 4-5 with a 3.43 ERA, a 1.057 WHIP, 23 walks and 88 strikeouts over 81.1 innings of work this season. Ynoa didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came Monday on the road against the Diamondbacks. He threw four innings, allowing three runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts in a game the Braves went on to win 11-4. On the road this season, Ynoa is 1-3 with a 4.46 ERA, a 1.266 WHIP, 10 walks and 31 strikeouts over 36.1 innings in eight appearances, seven starts. In his 28th career appearance and 21st major league start, he pitches against the Padres for the first time here. That makes this Ynoa’s first career outing at Petco Park as well.

San Diego Padres Scrapping to Stay in NL Wild Card Chase

San Diego had dropped five straight and 10 of their previous 12 before earning a walk-off win over the Giants Thursday night to salvage the finale of that series. The Padres entered Friday third in the NL West, 21.5 games behind the Giants for the division lead. In the NL wild-card picture, the team was six games behind the Cardinals for the second wild-card spot with 10 to play. Against the Giants Thursday, Victor Caratini (two RBI) had three hits while Ha-Seong Kim (run, two RBI) added two. Kim (his seventh) and Trent Grisham (his 15th) each homered in the contest for the Padres. Yu Darvish didn’t factor in the decision as he allowed four runs on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts over 5.1 innings of work. Ross Detwiler (3-1) threw a scoreless 10th, allowing no hits with one walk and no strikeouts, to earn the win in relief.

Pierce Johnson is expected to make his 61st appearance and third start of the season for the Padres with both Chris Paddack and Blake Snell on the IL. He is 3-3 with a 3.23 ERA, a 1.257 WHIP, 24 walks and 74 strikeouts over 55.2 innings of work this season. Johnson didn’t factor in the decision in his last outing, which came in relief against the Giants Thursday. He threw one inning, allowing one run on two hits with no walks and one strikeout in the Padres 7-6, 10-inning victory. At home this season, Johnson is 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA, a 1.052 WHIP, 11 walks and 33 strikeouts over 25.2 innings in 28 appearances, one start. Johnson makes his fourth career appearance and first start against the Braves in this contest. He comes in with no record, a 0.00 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, one walk and no strikeouts over two innings of work against them. Johnson is 5-1 with a 1.70 ERA, a 0.992 WHIP, 17 walks and 58 strikeouts over 42.1 innings in 46 career appearances, one start, at Petco Park.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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San Diego has fallen apart since mid-August, even with their victory Thursday over San Francisco. Since August 10, the Padres have gone 11-26, going from 17 games above .500 and only three games behind the Dodgers for the top wild card spot, not to mention 4.5 games ahead of the Reds, to six games back of the Cardinals entering Friday. Pitching depth is nonexistent for the Padres, who designated Jake Arrieta for assignment earlier this week, leaving them rather thin in the starting pitcher roles. Ynoa hasn’t been great lately but the Braves still own a two-game lead in the NL East race. We know that Atlanta has the ability to dent mediocre pitching and with the Padres having to likely stretch their bullpen Friday with the full game following the completion of the suspended game, that makes things tough for the hosts. Give Atlanta the upper hand in this contest.

Prediction: Atlanta Braves +120

Full-Game Total Pick

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Ynoa has pitched fairly well for an unknown commodity this season. His last 10 starts have produced an average of 8.6 runs per game. The under has hit in seven of those 10 games though he hasn’t gone deeper than 5.2 innings in any of his four September starts. Two of his last three starts have wound up over the mark with an average total of 11 runs in that stretch. San Diego doesn’t have much to lean on in the way of background or experience given how thin their pitching has been this season. The Padres are 19th in scoring at home as they average 4.41 runs per contest at Petco Park this season. Seeing how San Diego’s pitching is going to be strained here after Friday’s contests and the lack of proven arms that can go long innings in games outside of perhaps Dinelson Lamet, you have to think that the Braves can get some runs on the board. That helps push this one over the total.

Prediction: Over 8.5
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Written By Chris Kubala , "Chris Kubala"

Chris Kubala has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well. as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.