Jul 4, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Alex Wood (40) pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Padres at Atlanta Braves preview: Alex Wood vs. Jesse Hahn

Today the Atlanta Braves hope to get back on track with a home series against the San Diego Padres, after dropping three of four to the Miami Marlins. Our very own Fletcher Keel takes a wide look at the series as a whole, but in this post I’ll be breaking down the pitching matchups for game one and giving our Editor predictions*.

*I feel like I should tell you that I’m undefeated at this point. Small sample size or not, this could be the only chance I have in life to think I’m smarter than Brad.

The Pitching Matchup:

For the opening game of this series, the Braves will look to the young lefty Alex Wood. Wood has been about as solid a pitcher as you could have hoped for this season, putting up a .324 ERA, 3.42 FIP and 3.25 xFIP as well as a really good K/BB ratio of 3.91. He’s fanned 8.84 batters per nine innings while walking just 2.26 batters per nine. In his previous five starts, Wood only has one “rough” outing and that was when he allowed five hits and four runs to the Chicago Cubs over 5.1 innings. Other than that, he’s been terrific.

For the Padres, they’ll go with righthander Jesse Hahn, who’s done extremely well in his short 40 innings with the team so far. He was acquired from the Rays as part of a seven-player offseason deal and was ranked as the No. 15 prospect in Tampa Bay’s system before the season by Baseball America. He brings a solid mix of four pitches (two fastballs, a curve and a change) and has used them to generate 10.40 strikeouts per nine innings. However, he walks a bit more hitters than one would like (3.54 per nine) and because of that his K/BB ratio (2.94) is lower than Wood’s.

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The Particulars:

Date: July 25, 2014

Start Time: 7:35 pm ET

TV Channel: SportSouth, MLB Network (National)

Radio: 680 AM/106.7 FM (Local in Atlanta), Full list of Local Affiliates

Live Stream: MLB.tv (Click Here, $)

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The Predictions:

Now let’s get into our picks. In yesterday’s first installment of this new “competition” between myself and fellow editor Brad Rowland, I got the upper hand. Brad sided with the Braves and for the sake of not having a tie after the first day, I took the Marlins. It worked out pretty well for me.

  • Carlos: 1-1
  • Brad: 0-1

Today, both Brad and myself are siding with the Atlanta Braves. Brad’s sound reasoning comes from the fact that Alex Wood has been so good lately, and mine has to do with Wood’s performance in addition to the fact that the Padres quite easily have the worst offense in baseball–and they just traded away one of their better players.

San Diego is hitting .216/.277/.337 with a 75 wRC+. Each of those numbers are the worst in all of baseball. And no matter how frustrating the Braves offense can be, it’s not that.

Please feel free to sound off in the comments with your predictions for the game and feel free to rub it in our faces when you beat us on twitter (@ATLBeatBlog).

Tags: Alex Wood Atlanta Braves

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