Place your MLB Pick on Ross and Padres to Win Against Braves

Willie Bee

Sunday, August 3, 2014 11:52 AM GMT

The losing continues for the Braves who fell for the 5th-straight time Saturday and need a win today in San Diego to avoid being swept for a second consecutive MLB odds series.

Paybacks are hell, as the old saying goes, and the Braves are finding that out in San Diego this weekend as the Padres are a win away brooming Atlanta out of town after losing three of four at Turner Field last weekend.

Will Venable's bases-loaded single in the 12th inning gave San Diego a 3-2 victory Saturday evening in a game that lasted over 4½ hours and featured 13 different pitchers among the 35 players who saw action. The decision gives the suddenly surging Padres a shot at a series sweep on Sunday, while the sinking Braves look to stop a 5-game skid.

MLB odds for the 4:10 PM (ET) clash like San Diego's chances of completing the job, the Padres listed around -125 behind Tyson Ross.  Atlanta counters with Aaron Harang with scoreboard bettors looking at 6.5 for the total.

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Ross Rounding Into Ace Of Padres Staff
The good news is Harang hasn't lost his last three starts, actually pitching well enough to win two of them. The bad news is Atlanta has dropped all three, the latest this past Tuesday in LA where the Braves and Dodgers opened a 3-game series. Harang allowed Los Angeles' first four runs in his six innings, surrendering nine hits along the way.

His best start of 2013 came against the Padres, a complete game shutout in Los Angeles while part of the Dodgers rotation. Once a member of the SD rotation, Harang is 12-8 in 25 career starts at Petco Park, sporting a 3.00 ERA in nearly 165 innings.

While the Braves have been busy losing Harang's last three assignments, San Diego has triumphed in Ross's three starts since the break.  The former Cal Bear just wrapped up an outstanding month of July, going 4-2 with a 1.10 ERA and 48 K's (41 IP). Sunday will be his first-ever look at the Braves.

Check out the FIP Leaderboard as of August 1st!

Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
With four of his last five plate assignments never reaching the total, umpire Brian Knight's season record now stands 10-11 O/U. The Montana native worked a start by Harang in Atlanta on June 18, that contest skipping past the mark, and his last four appearances behind the mask in San Diego have split the totals, 2-2.

Another cloudy and rather muggy day is in the mix, but no rain is expected after a little drizzle fell during Saturday night's game. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez would probably like a rainout at this point given how his team has performed on this road trip.

Gonzalez also has a decision to make on closer Craig Kimbrel after his wildness contributed heavily to the Game 2 defeat. Kimbrel went through 38 pitches during his 1.1 inning relief stint, and while he should be available again on Sunday after having four days off, neither his nor Gonzalez's confidence can be at an all-time high. I don't think Gonzalez is going to have a chance to send Kimbrel out to the mound in the ninth to protect a lead, and will make my free pick on Ross and San Diego this afternoon.

MLB Pick: Padres -125

Season: 95-96 (-1.60)