We picked up an easy win last night when we backed the Atlanta Braves against the Miami Marlins. The line was a tight one despite the fact that the Braves are the far more talented squad this year. I liked getting the opportunity to get to back the division-leading Braves against the last-place Marlins at nearly even money, so I jumped all over it.
I mentioned in my pick yesterday that I thought the starting pitching matchup was a wash and that is exactly what it turned out to be. Mike Foltynewicz pitched five strong innings and allowed just one unearned run on three hits for Atlanta and Caleb Smith was solid as well, going five and two thirds and giving up just two runs for Miami. The difference in this one turned out to be the Atlanta bats pounding the Marlins bullpen.
I talked about how Ronald Acuna Jr. was the youngest player in the majors, well his teammate Ozzie Albies is the second youngest player in the majors, and he exploded for a home run, and five RBI in the blowout Atlanta win. Freddie Freeman also added in five hits and this game wasn’t close once it was all said and done as the Brave won 9-2. For today’s pick, I will stay right here in Miami for game two of this series between the Braves and the Marlins.
The Atlanta Braves are in Miami Friday night for game two of a four-game series with the Marlins. The Braves will look to stay hot as they have won four straight games and find themselves alone atop the standings in the National League East Division. For Miami, their struggles have continued, and the Marlins are making a case as the worst team in the National League.
On the mound tonight for the Braves is Brandon McCarthy (4-1 4.84 ERA), and for the Marlins it is Dan Straily (0-0 6.75 ERA). The Braves are -137 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM PST from Marlins Park in Miami.
Brandon McCarthy is the elder statesmen of this Atlanta “Baby” Braves team. At 34 years old he is a big part of the veteran leadership of what is a very young team. He had gotten off to a fantastic start to the season before being roughed up in his last start. Through his first six starts of the season, McCarthy ran up a 4-0 record and posted an ERA of just 3.09. Don’t let that inflated ERA fool you, McCarthy has been solid this year.
McCarthy hasn’t been able to get deep into games this year as he has yet to pitch past the sixth inning. But McCarthy is doing what it takes to give his team a chance to win games every start. Sometimes you see a team like this Braves squad that wins a lot of games and swings a heavy bat and all they need from their starters is not to be terrible, and they are going to win a lot of games. That is what Brandon McCarthy is bringing to the table this year, and it seems to be working as the Braves are 5-2 in his seven starts on the year.
Dan Straily started the season late and has made just two starts on the year. And those two starts haven’t been what I would call effective, to put it mildly. Straily has lasted just four innings in each of his two starts and has given up six runs, all earned. His major struggle has been home runs and walks. In his eight innings of work, Straily has given up three homers and walked eight guys. You aren’t going to win many games if you are handing out a free pass every inning like Straily has done so far this year.
This game could get ugly again. The Braves are just really good, and the Marlins are just really bad. I am actually shocked to see this number is so low. I had no clue what the public saw in the Marlins yesterday when that line was a tight one, and I have no idea what they are thinking now, keeping this line manageable. I was scared off the run line last night, that would have covered, because Caleb Smith had been pitching so well recently.
And to be fair, he did pitch really well again last night, it was the bullpen that let the game get out of hand, so my suspicion was legit. Tonight, I don’t have those same reservations. Dan Straily hasn’t survived past the fourth inning yet in either of his two starts and if the Marlins have to hand the game over to the bullpen for another long stretch, I see a similar outcome as last night.
Brandon McCarthy likely won’t be dominating, but f he just goes out and gives a decent effort, I feel that the Braves will be able to touch up this Marlins pitching staff and easily win this game big. When you look at the run line, it is offering a solid premium at +120, and I will enjoy snatching up the extra juice that I left on the table last night. Give me the Atlanta Braves laying a run and a half at +120 tonight from Miami!