The Atlanta Braves got out ahead by a score of 6-0 in the 5th inning and rode a strong performance to an 8-4 win in Miami. The Braves must take advantage of the bad teams and that’s what they did last night against the Marlins. Not so much with Dallas Keuchel at the controls the night before.
Ronald Acuna Jr. had a monster night, as he hit 5-for-3 with 4 RBI’s on two long balls. Having a guy hitting leadoff like Acuna Jr. is terrifying for opposing teams. Then they have to deal with Albies, Freeman, and Donaldson following Acuna Jr.
That’s a tricky offense to get through and playing a big role in their 1st place ranking in the NL East. Following the win last night, the Braves advanced to 69-49 to put more pressure on the Nationals. Sean Doolittle blew a 6-3 lead in the 9th for the Nats last night, so that was an added blow for them.
Atlanta hold a 6.5-game over Washington going into Saturday. Playing the Marlins is a perfect chance for the Braves to pull away even further. The Braves aren’t garnering much attention to the public, but this is a team who could be dangerous in the postseason. Mike Soroka provides a dimension to their pitching staff that they didn’t have last season.
Can a rookie spearhead a long postseason run by the Braves, though? October baseball is so different than the regular season that Soroka is going to be under a microscope at that point. Along with Soroka, Julio Teheran is having himself a season. He’s the veteran that the rotation needs for leadership.
Teheran was spectacular last night, and it will be up to Soroka against the Marlins on Saturday. Sandy Alcantara is expected in the starting role for the Marlins at home. He will be looking to help the Marlins avoid their eighth loss in the last nine games. Head below our free Braves vs. Marlins pick.
Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins Pick:
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Mike Soroka is only a rookie but you wouldn’t know it by watching him pitch. As a 21-year-old, Soroka has already been to an All-Star Game and goes into mid-August with an ERA of 2.45 and record of 2.45. The Canadian has more than impressed in 2019 and was flirting in Cy Young territory for a while there. That door is closing on him with Max Scherzer and Hyun-Jin Ryu ahead of him as favorites for the award, but just being mentioned as a candidate is a big win for Soroka.
He has plenty of history against the Marlins already in his career, having to face them in the NL East. Soroka has been on point against Miami, as he’s held them to a .188 batting average and no home runs in 69 at-bats. He’s also excelled on the road this season. Most pitchers don’t like going and pitching as a visitor, but Soroka has thrived on the road. It hasn’t bothered him much, as he carries an ERA of 1.45 and 0.94 WHIP on the road as a rookie.
He has yet to allow more than 3 runs in a road start and has allowed more than 2 runs only once in 12 outings. This will be his fourth start on the road in a row. In his previous three, he posted a 2.41 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. His only blemish was a 3-run outing against the Twins in Minnesota. The Marlins most definitely aren’t the Twins. Minnesota are 2nd in the majors with 5.79 runs scored per game, while the Marlins are 30th with just 3.62 runs scored per contest.
That is going to leave this game up to Miami starting pitcher, Sandy Alcantara. Alcantara has been serviceable with an ERA of 4.50 and 1.47 WHIP on the season. In his first full season in the major leagues, that’s not too bad. However, he’s gotten tagged for a 6.32 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in his last three outings. Further, Alcantara hasn’t cared for pitching at Marlins Park, where he holds an ERA of 4.68 with a record of just 2-7. Part of that is him and a lot more of that is a lack of run support. Atlanta likely pastes the Marlins again on Saturday for their second win in a row in Miami on Saturday.