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#955 Miami Marlins 9 vs.
#956 Atlanta Braves -265
Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 7:20pm EDT
Written by Sporty Jordy

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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: August 22, 2019, SunTrust Park, Cumberland, GA, 7:20 PM ET

The Atlanta Braves will bring the broomsticks to SunTrust Park on Thursday as they aim to sweep the visiting Miami Marlins in the series finale. After losing their fifth consecutive game, the Marlins are in danger of dropping their fourth straight road series. Meanwhile, the Braves are on the verge of a third consecutive series win. Mike Soroka gets the nod as the starter in the closeout game against Miami’s Sandy Alcantara.

Marlins take fifth straight loss

These aren’t fun times for the Marlins (losing never is), but they deserve a ton of credit for taking everything in stride. Team CEO Derek Jeter has avoided the panicky pitfalls of unloading young talent in search of a fast road to success. He is patiently building his baby from the ground up in hopes of creating something sustainable. After crossing off Starlin Castro and Martin Prado, along with other moves, the Marlins are in a position to go after free agents in 2020 without sacrificing their young talent.

However, that doesn’t mean the players currently on the roster aren’t frustrated with the process. It’s a natural reaction when the mere possibility of success is so far off into the future. The loss to the Braves on Wednesday marked the fifth consecutive defeat for the Marlins, who are now in danger of being swept in back-to-back series meetings. They now sit at 45-80 in fifth place in the NL East standings.

Alcantara will attempt to do his part to help avoid the sweep when he takes the mound against the Braves on Thursday. He is throwing a 4.35 ERA with a 1.42 WHIP on top of a 4-11 record. Since his rough outing against the Minnesota Twins, he has settled down in recent games. He is coming off a loss to the Colorado Rockies in a seven-inning game where he still managed to hold them to only three hits and two runs.

Injuries adding up for the Braves

Players have been going down left and right with injuries and the Braves keep on winning. The team was without catcher Brian McCann in Wednesday’s game against the Marlins after he was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left knee sprain.

Calm down, Braves fans. Manager Brian Snitker is confident McCann will find his way back into the mix after a 10-day rest.

“We’ll have to take it day-by-day, but it’s kind of encouraging to see him walking around,” said Snitker, via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Talking to him,  he seems a little more encouraged than what he thought he might be today, so that’s good.”

Alex Jackson was called up from Triple-A ball as a replacement for McCann, who joins the likes of Dansby Swanson, Ender Inciarte, Austin Riley and Nick Markakis as injury-ridden. Dealing with a multitude of injuries this late in the season with the Washington Nationals breathing down their neck in the NL East standings isn’t necessarily ideal for the Braves. They still sit on the throne in the division with a 76-52 record.

Soroka will try to extend on their divisional lead when he takes the mound against the Marlins on Thursday. The 22-year-old righty recently gave up seven hits and three runs in six-plus innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite his team losing that game, he continues to trend in the right direction with a 2.41 ERA and a 10-2 record on the season.

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What can the Marlins do that would actually give them a shot at challenging the vastly superior Braves? They’ve given up five runs in back-to-back games, and after mustering only one run in return in the series opener, they were completely blanked in Wednesday’s rematch. Soroka should be licking his chops for Thursday’s opportunity to devour this wounded animal.

However, fortunately for the Marlins, Alcantara has played well against the Braves when he’s faced them this season. He recently held them to three runs in seven-plus innings, meaning he could get a similar work load if he’s pitching well. Despite an up-and-down season, he has quietly played well in the month of August. Not to mention he also has a 3.86 ERA when throwing against the Braves.

The Marlins aren’t stealing any games here, but Alcantara should be able to pitch the Braves into a jam enough to keep things competitive. There will be an opportunity for the Marlins to steal the game after a herculean defensive effort, but the ongoing offensive struggles will show up at some point and cause them to crumble once again.

Bring out the broomsticks.

Prediction: Atlanta Braves (-1 ½ -134)

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Alcantara has actually fared better on the road this season than he has at home, and he has also done a decent job against the Braves, holding them to five runs in 19-plus innings this season. On the other end, the Braves will challenge the moribund Marlins’ offense with their young pitching phenom, Soroka. Defense will rule the day on Thursday. Give me the under betting total here.

Prediction: Under (9.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.