Is this Baltimore Orioles team the real deal? I mentioned in my pick yesterday that my brain keeps telling me that the O’s aren’t going to be able to sustain all of this early season success, but that my heart keeps thinking, just maybe. While I was hesitant to pick a side yesterday in the Orioles game with the Philadelphia Phillies, I did feel that Phillies starter Jake Arrieta was going to be able to slow the O’s down, and with a double-digit game total, felt that the clear play was the under.
The game hit the bottom of the fourth inning tied up at 0-0, and it looked like I was on the right side. But the fifth inning wasn’t kind to Arrieta as he got hammered for four runs and didn’t make it out of the frame before getting yanked from the game. But even with the high scoring inning, the game was still well under the total, at just six runs, entering the seventh inning. But that’s when the Orioles took advantage of this bad Phillies bullpen and played add-on, eventually finishing the day with eleven runs scored, pushing the game to the over all by themselves.
Sweep dreams 💤
Back at it again at 5:05 tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/7shoqYXjsV
— Baltimore Orioles 😷 (@Orioles) August 14, 2020
It was a disappointing loss, and you have to start to wonder how the Orioles are managing to score so many runs, with such a mediocre collection of bats? Baltimore has now scored double-digit runs in three out of their last five games, scoring a combined 42 runs and running their record to 5-0 during that stretch.
I still feel that this just can’t be sustainable, but at this point, I’ll either have to back them or just stay away, as expecting them to come back to earth and fading them, is getting me beat up. For today’s daily betting pick, we will check in on another team that seems to be playing well above their talent level as the Miami Marlins host the Atlanta Braves.
Atlanta Braves (11-9) at Miami Marlins (8-4)
The Miami Marlins host the Atlanta Braves tonight in game one of a three-game series with their National League East Division rivals. The Marlins enjoyed a rare day off yesterday but broke out the bats in their last game when they dropped fourteen runs on the Toronto Blue Jays and picked up a win that snapped a modest three-game losing streak. Entering play tonight, the Marlins are in the first place in the NL East.
For Atlanta, the Braves are just one game back of Miami and would love to win this series and leave South Beach in first place. The Braves are in the midst of a brutal road trip that will see them away from home for eleven days. Atlanta has lost three straight games and are a disappointing 2-4 on their current roadie.
Starting tonight for the Marlins is Pablo Lopez (1-1 1.80 ERA), and for the Braves, it is Kyle Wright (0-2 6.75 ERA). The game total over/under is set at eight and a half runs. The Braves are small -110 road favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM PST from Marlins Park in Miami.
The Atlanta Braves were expected to dominate in the NL East this season. And while they haven’t played all that poorly, their eleven wins on the season trail only the Rockies, Dodgers, and Cubs in the National League, the fact that they trail the Marlins is shocking. They have been able to score runs, mostly through the long ball, but the starting rotation has really struggled.
Of their opening day starting rotation, the Braves have already lost a couple of key pieces. Mike Soroka, the young ace of the staff, went down with an Achilles injury and is out for the rest of the season. Mike Foltynewicz got hammered in his first start of the year and was designated for assignment. Max Fried has been great, as the next man up ace for the Braves, but the rest of the staff has really struggled.
Touki Toussaint is 0-1 with a 7.27 ERA, Sean Newcomb is 0-2 with an 11.20 ERA, and Huascar Ynoa hasn’t won a game yet, and his ERA is 8.10. The Braves were expected to have one of the best sets of starters in the NL this year, but they have quickly fallen apart, and right now, they can’t be trusted.
Kyle Wright (0-2 6.75 ERA)
Kyle Wright was a first-round draft pick in 2017 and was fast-tracked to the Major Leagues, making his debut just a year later. But in two seasons of limited work for Atlanta, Wright has yet to live up to the ample hype he had coming out of college when the Braves took him as the fifth overall pick. Wright’s career stat line in fourteen appearances is 0-5 with a 7.41 ERA. He has 29 walks and just 34 strikeouts in 37.2 career innings pitched.
This season, Wright has been thrust into this Braves rotation, and Atlanta really needs him to step up, with the losses of Soroka and Foltynewicz. Wright has made three starts this season for Atlanta and has not pitched well. Twice he has been pulled before making it out of the fourth inning, and in his last start, he lasted a season-long six innings, but gave up four earned runs to the Phillies, and was charged with the loss for his efforts.
After starting out the season 7-1, Miami hit a road bump last week and lost three straight games. They rebounded in their last game, to knock off the Toronto Blue Jays, and head home for just their third home game of the season. The Marlins lost a big chunk of their season to a COVID-19 outbreak, and that has resulted in a lot of canceled games, and plenty of time on the road.
The Marlins are still undefeated at home at 2-0, and they are now in Miami for a long seven-game homestead. The next time Miami will be away from home will come nine days from now when they play the Washington Nationals in DC. The Marlin’s ability to stay hot at home, and post a winning record on this homestand, will go a long way in solidifying this team as a true playoff contender.
Pablo Lopez (1-1 1.80 ERA)
Pablo Lopez is another young pitcher that was fast-tracked to the big leagues, as he made his MLB debut at the ripe old age of 22, two years ago. And unlike Wright, who can’t find the strike zone with a career walk to strikeout ratio of just 1.17, Lopez rarely walks hitters, and his walk to strikeout ratio is a solid 3.10 in 33 career appearances.
This year Lopez is really finding his stride as he has pitched well in two starts. He has pitched five innings in both outings and has allowed just two earned runs total. We talked earlier about how dangerous the Baltimore Orioles offense has been, but when Lopez pitched against the O’s, he shut them down to the tune of no runs and only two hits, with seven strikeouts, in five innings of work.
Who Do I Like?
Well, if you can’t beat ’em join ’em, right? Similar to the Baltimore Orioles, I don’t think the Marlins have the talent of a first-place team right now, and they are overachieving. But unlike the Orioles, who are mostly winning games with washed-up veterans that we know can’t sustain this level of success, the Marlins have a bunch of young guys, specifically on the mound, like Pablo Lopez, who we know are inexperienced and untested, and should be getting better as the season wears on.
The oldest starter in this Miami rotation is Elieser Hernandez at just twenty-five year’s old. That makes me think that the Marlins host start to the season has more staying power than the Orioles, and I think they can find a path to the postseason in the expanded 16-team format. I like them in this matchup tonight at home against a shaky, at best, Kyle Wright.
Eventually, Kyle Wright is going to figure things out in the Major Leagues, but right now, he is a liability on the mound for Atlanta. He has yet to have a winning decision in seven career starts, and I don’t think that changes tonight. I am going to make my favorite play in sports betting in this one, and back the home underdog.
The Marlins have the hot hand, and I would expect Pablo Lopez to be at least serviceable against this tough Braves lineup, and for Kyle Wright to get roughed up by a Marlins lineup that while inconsistent, has the ability to run up the score at times, as they have scored eleven runs or more twice already in twelve games this year. Give me the Miami Marlins as home dogs tonight in game one from Marlins Park!