A pair of NL East rivals open up a weekend set on the diamond down in South Beach. The Atlanta Braves are on the road as they kick off a three-game set with the Miami Marlins Friday night. Atlanta closed out a three-game set on the road with the Phillies Thursday afternoon with a rubber game. The Braves lost 2-1 in walk-off fashion Wednesday night. Miami finished up a three-game series at home against the Rockies Thursday night with a rubber game of that set. The Marlins were edged 4-3 Wednesday night in the middle game of the set. In the first series between the teams this season, it was the Marlins taking three of four on the road April 12-15.
Atlanta Braves Battling for Position in NL East RaceAtlanta cruised along for eight innings with a lead but gave up a walk-off two-run homer in the ninth to end up with a loss. The Braves entered Thursday second in the NL East race, 3.5 games behind the Mets for the top spot in the division race. Atlanta got three hits each from Ozzie Albies and William Contreras (RBI) while the rest of the team went a combined two for 25. Tucker Davidson was brilliant, throwing six scoreless frames, allowing four hits with one walk and four strikeouts, yet ended up with a no-decision. Will Smith (1-5) took the loss as he allowed two runs on one hit with one walk and one strikeout in two-thirds of an inning of work.
Charlie Morton is on the bump for his 13th start of the season for the Braves in this contest. He comes in 5-2 with a 4.21 ERA, a 1.258 WHIP, 22 walks and 72 strikeouts over 62 innings of work this season. Morton comes in off a win in his last start, which came against the Dodgers at home Saturday. He threw five innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits with one walk and five strikeouts in a game the Braves won 6-4. In his last three starts, he is 3-0 with a 3.18 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, six walks and 20 strikeouts over 17 innings of action. Morton makes his 15th career start against the Marlins in this contest. He comes in 7-4 with a 4.04 ERA, a 1.263 WHIP, 26 walks and 70 strikeouts over 82.1 innings of work. Morton is 3-1 with a 3.47 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP, three walks and 20 strikeouts over 23.1 innings in four career starts at LoanDepot Park.
Miami Marlins Trying to Get Things GoingMiami lost for the 10th time in 12 games as they were upended by the Rockies in the middle game of their three-game set at home Wednesday night. The Marlins entered Thursday in the cellar of the NL East, 7.5 games behind the Mets for the division lead. On Wednesday, Miami got two hits from Jazz Chisholm Jr. (RBI) while Adam Duvall hit his 10th homer of the season. That wasn’t enough for the Marlins, who never led in the contest. Braxton Garrett (0-1) took the loss on the mound for Miami. He threw four innings, allowing two runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts before departing.
Sandy Alcantara gets the ball for his 14th start of the season for the Marlins in this contest. He comes in 3-5 with a 3.30 ERA, a 1.063 WHIP, 22 walks and 74 strikeouts over 79 innings of work this season. Alcantara earned the win in his last start, which came Sunday on the road against the Pirates. He threw eight innings, allowing one run (none earned) on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts in a game the Marlins won 3-1. In his last three starts, Alcantara is 1-2 with a 2.45 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP, three walks and 14 strikeouts over 22 innings of work. Alcantara makes his fifth career start against the Braves in this one. He comes in with no record, a 2.88 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, 12 walks and 17 strikeouts over 25 innings of action against them. Alcantara is 6-13 with a 3.59 ERA, a 1.214 WHIP, 63 walks and 157 strikeouts over 173 innings in 28 career starts at LoanDepot Park.
The top trends for this contest are:
- No Key Trends
- Marlins are 2-10 in their last 12 overall
- Marlins are 0-4 in Alcantara's last 4 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance
- Marlins are 0-4 in their last 4 Friday games
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Alcantara has pitched well this season but has little to show for it thanks to the Marlins’ inability to consistently generate offense. That’s likely to be a problem for him again here. Atlanta has the ability to score runs with a fairly deep lineup, especially with the way Austin Riley has hit over the last six or seven weeks. Morton has won his last three starts and continues to provide solid outings despite his advanced age for the Braves. This comes down to which lineup you can trust more and that’s clearly not Miami. Give the advantage to Atlanta here as Morton wins his fourth straight start as the Braves take the opener.
Full-Game Total Pick
Atlanta has seen the over post a 31-26-2 mark this season. The Braves are 8th in the majors by scoring an average of 4.86 runs per game this year. Atlanta is 24th in run prevention by allowing an average of 4.86 runs per contest, giving them an average total of 9.72 runs per game. Miami entered Thursday with the under posting a 32-26-3 mark on the season. The Marlins are 28th in runs per game with 3.84 runs a night this season. Miami stands 8th in run prevention as they give up an average of 3.87 runs per contest, giving them an average total of 7.71 runs per contest on the year. In the first series this season, the over was 3-0-1 in the four games. With that said, Alcantara and Morton do a solid job in preventing runs, keeping this one just short of the total.