The Miami Marlins rode a 3-run 5th inning to take a 5-4 lead and didn’t let go of it. That’s how the game would end, with the Marlins’ pitching taking care of the best. The Braves scored 4 runs between the 1st to 3rd inning and that was all of their offense for the day. Caleb Smith had a rough start, but ultimately settled in and had a nice game.
Don Mattingly stuck with him when it looked like a bleak game for the Marlins. Smith ended up going 6 innings and didn’t allow another run after getting touched up early. The bullpen should be commended for their effort for 3 innings. They blanked the Braves and didn’t cough up the lead. It’s been a recurring story with relievers getting absolutely bombed this season. Notch one up for the Marlins’ bullpen in that contest, though.
Despite the loss on Saturday, the Braves are in a comfortable position with a 6-game lead in the NL East. They’ve watched as the Phillies look at the standings wondering what is going on. What’s going on is Bryce Harper isn’t fulfilling his contract. It goes beyond him, but it’s a good place to start. The Braves are a team with more depth throughout their lineup.
If Bryce isn’t swatting the stick effectively, the Phillies don’t stand much of a chance. Him not getting voted into the All-Star Game might be the best thing that happened to the Phillies chances of catching the Braves. That could spark something underneath of him. Then again, if it’s all mental and in his head, he might need an entire offseason to get things straight.
Atlanta will be in the market for a trade soon. The most obvious choice for them is a starter and a reliever, perhaps a reliable closer after going into this season without Arodys Vizcaino. Dallas Keuchel will make his fourth start since signing with the Braves. They won that bidding war and it wouldn’t be bad to add another decent arm at the deadline. A guy like Matt Boyd or Mike Minor might be good targets. Keuchel and Trevor Richards will be on the docket Sunday afternoon in Atlanta. Head below for our free Braves vs. Marlins pick.
Miami Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves Pick:
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The Marlins recorded their first win since June 29th yesterday. They were losers in five straight games, as they got swept by the Nationals and Braves to open the series. Jordan Yamamoto was outstanding yet against the Marlins in that one, holding a team scoreless for the third time in his young career.
The ball gets handed over to Trevor Richards, who has been up and down this season for the Marlins. He’s been serviceable enough with an ERA of 4.02 and 1.30 WHIP. In his previous three outings, Richards posted an ERA of 5.74 and 1.53 WHIP, mainly struggling against the Nationals at home. He has losses of 9-2 and 1-0 against the Braves this season.
Keuchel has been a boss against the Marlins in his career, holding their current roster to a 1.94 and no home runs. Starlin Castro is the only Marlin to have notched an RBI against Keuchel. Keuchel took his first pitch this season on June 21st against the Nationals, where he ultimately allowed 3 runs in 5 innings. He followed that up with the exact same performance against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Not bad for a guy whose last meaningful pitch was against the Red Sox on October 16th. In his third start since becoming a Brave, Keuchel improved with 2 runs surrendered in 7 innings of work against the Phillies. He’s been best at home, where he has sported a 2.57 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. With the rust gone, expect Keuchel to have a nice day in this one against the Marlins. A 6-3 or 5-3 win by the Braves looks like an accurate outcome on Sunday.