I made five free MLB pick last night across four games, but unfortunately we were on the losing side of the ledger in what was a 2-3 night at the office.
The first winner of the night came early when I had the Angels -1.5 on the run line over the visiting Rangers. It didn’t look good early as Texas jumped out to 2-0 and 3-1 leads, but a Jared Walsh grand slam certainly helped and the Angels went on to win that one 8-5.
I hit another run line winner between the Phillies and Nationals where I had the Nats +1.5 on the run line. They jumped out to a first-inning 2-0 lead and never looked back in an eventual 5-1 victory, also hitting as +136 dogs in that one.
It was downhill from there, unfortunately.
I had the White Sox and the under against the Indians, but an early three-run homer from the white-hot Jose Ramirez was a killer, as was the White Sox rallying back to tie the game at four later on. At that point, we needed the Sox to win the game but Cleveland would end up on top by a 7-4 final.
Finally, it was the Rockies vs. Giants pick that irked me the most. Almost everything point to a Giants win in that one. The Rockies have not hit right-handed pitching or hit on the road this season and their bullpen has been the worst in baseball for a month. So naturally, they scored seven runs – without Nolan Arenado – while holding the Giants to just two in a 7-2 Rockies win.
It was that late pick that turned the tide for the night in what resulted in a 1.26-unit loss on the evening.
Season Record: 22-19-1
Now let’s get things turned around on this free MLB pick featuring the Marlins vs. Braves from Atlanta!
Marlins vs. Braves Betting Odds
- Marlins (+149)
- Braves (-162)
- Marlins +1.5 (-135)
- Braves -1.5 (+115)
- Over 9.5 (-117)
- Under 9.5 (-103)
Marlins vs. Braves MLB Pick Breakdown
The Marlins will send former Opening Day starter Jose Urena to the mound for this fourth start of the season in this one tonight. The problem is the first three have not gone over well.
Urena enters this one sporting a 6.00 ERA/5.79 FIP/6.10 xFIP through his first three starts of the season, spanning 15 innings. In that time he also owns an ugly 6.02 SIERA that only confirms his poor work to this point. In layman’s terms, he’s allowed 10 runs in those 15 innings as well as 14 hits, nine walks and two home runs.
Given the small 15-inning sample, it’s probably best to look at his previous body of work.
He posted a 5.21 ERA/4.74 FIP in his 84.2 innings between the rotation and bullpen last season and while he has a couple of sub-4.00 ERA season under his belt from 2017-2018, he also owns a 4.60 ERA/4.72 FIP with a 4.87 SIERA in 588.2 career MLB frames. He’s also fooling nobody at the plate with a tiny 6.13 K/9 in that time.
In his career against the Braves, Urena has been torched for a 6.55 ERA in 14 starts, 17 appearances and 67.1 innings. He’s worked to a far better 3.38 ERA in six starts in his career at SunTrust Park, which is pretty much the only thing for him to hang his hat on for this one as current Braves hitters have still combined to hit .319 with a .399 OBP, .237 ISO, .955 OPS and .412 wOBA off of him for their careers.
While the Braves will send right-hander Bryse Wilson to the mound to open this one, it’s going to be a bullpen day for Brian Snitker’s club.
Wilson’s body of work has been poor in his 7.2 innings of relief work this season, posting a 7.04 ERA/7.75 FIP in that time while allowing two homers and six walks in that span.
A positive for Wilson entering this one is the fact he pitched four innings of one-run ball on September 9 against these Marlins, the only outing of the season in which he’s exceeded 1.2 innings.
So while he might go that deep again, the Marlins will face a big chunk of Atlanta’s bullpen in this one, so stay tuned.
The Marlins haven’t fared well against right-handed pitching this season, but they have been a far better offense on the road than they’ve been at home.
Against righties, the fish rank 23rd with a .304 wOBA on the season, and while they’ve been one of the worst offenses in baseball at home, they’ve produced a solid .322 wOBA on the road, good for 12th in the bigs, so they could still get to Wilson in this one.
They came out swinging against the struggling Huascar Ynoa in last night’s game while plating three first-inning runs, but they would score just once more across the final eight innings of that 5-4 loss last night.
Still, after scoring just two total runs in Sunday’s double-header with the Nationals, the Marlins have now averaged just two runs per game over their last three and have been shut out three times over their last nine.
There is a ton to like about this Braves offense tonight, so let’s go through it.
For starters, they are the best team in baseball against right-handed pitching by way of their league-high .365 wOBA against them.
Second, they are the league’s second-ranked offense at home this season, raking their way to a .375 wOBA at SunTrust Park. Only the Yankees and their .390 wOBA at Yankee Stadium have been better.
Third, as I noted above, they’ve absolutely destroyed Urena in the past with the likes of Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna Jr. posting big-time numbers against their division rival.
Fourth, after putting up five runs last night, the Braves have now averaged 7.25 runs per game over their last four since scoring only seven times while losing two of three to the Orioles last week.
Fifth, keep in mind the Braves hung 29 on this Marlins club in their second-to-last meeting with them. Of course, that’s a historically rare offensive outburst, but you have to think the Braves are quite comfortable at the plate against this Marlins pitching staff.
Needless to say, I believe the Braves enjoy a productive night at the plate in this one.
The Marlins’ bullpen was out-pitching their peripherals earlier in the season, but their collective ERA has now regressed to the point where it matches those secondary figures.
Entering this one, Marlins relievers have combined to post a 26th-ranked 5.17 ERA, 27th-ranked 5.44 FIP and 29th-ranked 5.31 xFIP. Additionally, their 7.32 K/9 on the season is the worst mark in the big leagues while their 1.53 HR/9 is the sixth-worst mark in baseball, as is their 39.6% hard hit rate against.
Over the last two weeks, the club’s bullpen owns a terrible 7.13 ERA while their 5.57 ERA over the last month isn’t attractive in the least, either.
The bullpen is going to be used for a decent portion of this game in all likelihood, and if the Braves get to Urena as I anticipate they will, this one could get ugly again for the road side.
On the flip side, this Braves bullpen has been impressive this season and one of the better groups in baseball.
A major offseason focus was to retain high-end bullpen pieces they had acquired recently, such as Chris Martin, Darren O’Day and Will Smith to add to a group that already had former closers Shane Greene and Mark Melancon in house.
The result has been a third-ranked 3.38 ERA for the season. They also sit fifth with a 3.78 FIP, although their xFIP slips to 13th at 4.51.
Nonetheless, it’s a deep and talented group. Smith has scuffled some, but Martin, O’Day, Greene and Melancon have been excellent, as has the likes of Tyler Matzek, Josh Tomlin, A.J. Minter and Grant Dayton.
All told, the Braves sport eight different relievers that have pitched at least 14 innings and sport an ERA of 3.04 or better. Perhaps more eye-popping is that they have three relievers – Martin, Minter and O’Day, – sporting ERAs of 0.60 (!!!) or under while all throwing at least 15 innings. Wow.
While it’s possible the Marlins get to Wilson in this one, it’s clear they are going to be in tough against this crop of Braves relievers.
Marlins vs Braves MLB Pick
If it’s not clear enough yet, I expect the Braves to absolutely rake in this one tonight. I have no confidence in Urena to get through this deep lineup and it’s going to be awfully difficult considering his weak strikeout rate of just 6.00 K/9 this season and 6.13 for his career. The Braves are going to put the ball in play, and they’re doing so at a third-ranked 38.2% hard-hit rate against right-handers this season.
Once Urena departs – likely early – this Braves offense can then feast on a bad Marlins bullpen.
On the flip side, we don’t quite know what to expect from Wilson or how long he will go, but it’s clear the Braves have the ability to close the door after he departs. Most of those relief arms above are right-handers – save for Matzek and Minter – and Matzek threw multiple innings last night so he won’t even be available. I expect much of the relief pitching to be of the right-handed variety for Atlanta, and as noted, the Marlins struggle versus right-handed pitching.
I was actually quite surprised to see the Braves as just -162 moneyline favorites, but I am going to jump at the opportunity to grab them at valuable +115 odds on the run line tonight.