Probable pitchers: Matt Strahm (1-2, 3.00 ERA) vs. Kenta Maeda (4-2, 4.03)

There’s no question the Padres have been one of the pleasant surprise teams in the National League through the early portion of the campaign, playing like a genuine contender for the first time in many years.

Improved production from both their lineup and starting pitching are what has soared San Diego above water.

As far as the pitching staff goes, while rookie Chris Paddack has been getting a lot of the attention, his rotation mate, Strahm, has been just as effective in delivering quality work each time out.

In fact, after his rough season debut on April 1, Strahm has just been marvelous, limiting his opponents to two runs or fewer in all six starts since -- the last four have clocked in as quality ones.

This is the type of breakout potential Strahm displayed last season in his first year with the Padres, albeit out of the bullpen and also as an “opener” on some occasions.

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