(Manny Machado photo courtesy Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports)
Note: The 5/5 does NOT represent the best overall pick of the day’s games when there are multiple games, simply the best pick(s) from each individual game.
When and Where: Saturday, July 13, Petco Park, San Diego, Calif., 8:40 p.m. EDT.
The Atlanta Braves have been one of the more potent offenses in the majors this year, but it has not always produced when Julio Teheran has pitched for them.
The veteran right-hander is hoping for better support in the second half of the season, starting with Saturday night’s contest at Petco Park versus the San Diego Padres.
Teheran hopes for better run support coming out of All-Star break
Teheran (5-6, 3.75) has been plagued by a lack of run support — he has pitched five or more shutout innings on five occasions this year but recorded wins in only two of them.
The 3.67 runs per start the Braves have provided the right-hander was the eighth-worst in the majors in the first half of the season and fifth-lowest in the National League. It is also a sign of Teheran’s competitiveness that the Braves are 12-7 in games he has started.
That combination was evident in Teheran’s final start before the All-Star break, leaving without a decision after scattering five hits and two walks in six innings before Atlanta emerged with a 1-0 walk-off victory July 5.
If there is an area of inconsistency for Teheran, though, it has come on the road. He is 2-4 with a 4.61 ERA in 11 road starts, and six of the eight outings he allowed more than one earned run came outside Atlanta.
The righty had trouble keeping the ball in the park against the Padres on April 30 when Franmil Reyes belted a pair of solo homers and Eric Hosmer added one of his own in a 4-3 Braves loss. Teheran is 5-4 with a 3.88 ERA in 11 career starts versus the Padres, including 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in four outings at Petco Park.
Reyes and Hosmer are a combined 7 for 14 with four solo homers versus Teheran, but Manny Machado has been held to a single in eight at-bats.
Lucchesi to get start with Lauer on bereavement list
Lucchesi battled his way to a win before the All-Star break last Sunday, overcoming a pair of solo homers and three runs allowed in 6 1-3 innings to help San Diego record a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The second-year hurler went 2-0 with a 3.42 ERA in his last four starts before the break but has been tough at home all season, going 6-2 with a 2.76 ERA in 10 starts at Petco. Lucchesi has held opposing hitters to a .196 batting average in San Diego while striking out 54 in 58 2-3 innings.
The southpaw, who is making his first appearance against Atlanta, is 5-0 with a 3.38 ERA in seven career starts versus NL East foes, including 4-0 with a 2.57 ERA in five at home.
The Padres furthered their reliance on young arms this year with Monday’s call-up of 20-year-old reliever Andres Munoz from Triple-A El Paso. After starting the season at Double-A Amarillo, Munoz has struck out 58 in just 35 2-3 innings and is 3-4 with a 3.03 ERA overall at both rungs.
The hard-throwing right-hander, who has hit 104 miles per hour with his fastball this season, has refined some of his command at Triple-A, walking seven in 19 innings after issuing 11 in 16 2-3 innings at Amarillo. He, along with Matt Strahm, will try to help stabilize San Diego’s set-up corps and serve as a bridge to All-Star closer Kirby Yates.
The Padres are:
- 5-2 in their last seven during game 2 of a series.
- 20-7 in their last 27 home games vs. the Braves.
- 6-1 in Lucchesi’s last seven starts vs. NL East teams.
The Braves are:
- 1-5 in Teheran’s last six starts with seven or more days of rest.
- 7-19 in their last 26 road games vs. the Padres.
UNDER 4.5 runs first 5 innings (-105)
This is about Teheran’s ability to keep the Braves close on the road despite the lack of run support. The five-inning under has a 6-0-2 record in the righty’s last eight road starts for Atlanta, which dovetails nicely with the under going 6-2-2 in Lucchesi’s 10 starts at Petco.
The five-inning under is also 4-1 in San Diego’s last five games and 5-2 in Atlanta’s previous seven.
Lucchesi’s track record at home and against NL East opponents gives San Diego the nod here, along wit the fact it’s his first time facing the Braves.
Also factoring into this pick is Teheran being a notch lower in quality on the road compared to at home in addition to Atlanta’s lack of run support for him.
UNDER 8.5 runs (-105)
The number fell within expectations at 8.5 runs, and Lucchesi’s form at home makes the under the lean. The under has trended strongly between the teams, improving to 6-1 after hitting Friday night.
The under is also 5-0 in San Diego’s last five games and 6-0 in the last six against above-.500 teams. It was 3-1-1 in Lucchesi’s final five starts ahead of the Mid-Summer Classic.
The under also has rewarded bettors when Teheran has pitched, going 10-4 in his last 14 starts and hitting in eight straight road outings. The under is also 5-2 in his last seven starts versus San Diego.
Braves UNDER 4 runs (-115)
A confidence pick in Lucchesi trumping Atlanta’s offense on the road. The Padres have limited all six opponents in Lucchesi’s home wins to four or fewer runs compared to yielding five or more in the four losses. The Braves have scored five or more runs in their last six road games, which makes this pick against the grain, but the lefty’s form at home is worth a shot.
Padres -0.5 runs first 5 innings (+121)
The expectation is this will be tight given Teheran’s ability to battle without run support. While the Braves have led after five innings just twice in his 11 road starts, they have been even on five occasions. Lucchesi’s strong home form extends to the first five innings as San Diego has led at the midway point in eight of his 10 starts at Petco.
UNDER 0.5 runs first inning/NO first-inning run (-105)
The “No” pick to a first-inning run, Lucchesi has been reached for a run in the opening frame in just one of his 10 home starts, which was a four-spot by Washington on June 6.
Teheran has been nicked for single runs in three of his 11 starts outside Atlanta and has gotten through the opening inning unscathed in his last four. Both pitchers sport solid first-inning overall ERAs — Teheran at 1.89 and Lucchesi at 2.12 — and makes for a solid play.