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Braves Vs. Padres: Atlanta Goes For Four Straight In Series Opener Against San Diego

The Braves and Padres begin a three-game series as Atlanta goes for four straight and San Diego tries to avoid losing five straight. Game time is 10:05 on SportSouth.

Braves Lineup:
1. Martin Prado, 2B
2. Jason Heyward, RF
3. Chipper Jones, 3B
4. Brian McCann, C
5. Dan Uggla, 2B
6. Freddie Freeman, 1B
7. Alex Gonzalez, SS
8. Nate McLouth, CF
9. Derek Lowe, SP

Padres Lineup:
1. Cameron Maybin, CF
2. Jason Bartlett, SS
3. Chase Headley, 3B
4. Nick Hundley, C
5. Ryan Ludwick, LF
6. Orlando Hudson, 2B
7. Brad Hawpe, 1B
8. Will Venable, RF
9. Dustin Moseley, SP

Derek Lowe (27.2 IP, 3.25 ERA, 2.65 FIP, 3.02 xFIP, 2.6 BB/9, 7.81 K/9, 54.9 GB%, 8.6 SwStr%)
(46.4 FB%, 26.9 SL%, 17.2 CH%, 9.4 CT%; 38.6 Swing%, 77 Contact%)
vs.
Dustin Moseley (25.2 IP, 1.40 ERA, 3.75 FIP, 4.15 xFIP, 2.45 BB/9, 2.81 K/9, 58.1 GB%, 5.6 SwStr%)
(53.8 FB%, 19.1 CB%, 18 SL%, 9 CH%; 43.4 Swing%, 86 Contact%)

Lowe suffered through the worst start of his season so far in his last start, allowing five runs on nine hits in three innings. The trend of increasing amounts of fly balls allowed seemed to finally catch up to him, but he also had some hits that bled through holes. Lowe's two starts prior to the last one, while not bad by any means, have given a pretty good indication that some concern is worthy, and now his last start proved that. He needs a bounce back outing against a poor offensive team in the Padres.

Moseley is pitching over his head so far this season, allowing just six runs in 25.2 innings despite only eight strikeouts. Even the ground ball rate is over his head, as he has never posted a number better than 49.1% in his career. The ground ball are probably just luck and variance more than anything, because his pitch numbers and contact numbers are pretty much in line with his averages. Whether the Braves are able to knock him out of his hot streak is not certain, but he's due for a fall at some point.

Opposing Numbers:
The Braves have almost no experience against Moseley. Gonzalez and Eric Hinske have one at-bat each, and that is all.

Several Padres have hit Lowe in the past. Brad Hawpe is 13-39 with three homers and 10 RBIs. Orlando Hudson is 12-38 with six walks. Ryan Ludwick is 8-13 with three homers. Those not playing but have had big success against Lowe are Jorge Cantu - 7-14 with four doubles and a homer - and Alberto Gonzalez - 7-13.

What to Look For:
The Braves need Lowe back on track, and facing a poor offensive team in San Diego is good medicine for that.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.