Atlanta Braves (71-86 SU, 81-76 RL, 78-74-5 O/U) vs. Miami Marlins (74-83 SU, 80-77 RL, 80-66-11 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 7:10 p.m. EST
The Line: Miami Marlins -107/Atlanta Braves -103 Total: 9.
The Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves will begin a four-game series when they square off at Marlins Park on Thursday night. Miami split the first two contests of its recent set with Colorado. The Braves had lost three of their last four heading into a finale against the Mets on Wednesday.
Teheran ending well
Atlanta has won four of its past seven road games, outscoring opponents 37-17 during this stretch. Center fielder Ender Inciarte lined a first-inning double in Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to New York, becoming the first Braves player to reach 200 hits in a season since Marquis Grissom in 1996. First baseman Freddie Freeman also recorded two hits in the loss, raising his average to .312 for the season. Right fielder Nick Markakis, who finished each of the past two seasons with 38 doubles, hit his 39th in the setback. Atlanta, which blew a 3-0 lead in the seventh inning, could have enjoyed an even bigger advantage but it left 11 runners on base.
Right-hander Julio Teheran is taking the mound for Atlanta on Thursday. Teheran is wrapping up what has been a disappointing 2017 campaign, marked by an 11-12 record and a 4.39 ERA. If nothing else, he at least appears to be closing on a high note. The 26-year-old compiled a 3.65 ERA in August and he is sporting a 2.16 ERA through four September starts. Teheran has allowed more than three runs in an outing only once since Aug. 8. Three consecutive starts and five of his last six have been quality.
Stanton stuck on 57
The Marlins were looking to play the spoiler role in their series with Colorado, which is bidding for the second wild-card spot in the National League behind Arizona. They will be playing no such role against Atlanta, as these two teams have been way out of contention for weeks and are instead getting ready to make offseason tee times. Giancarlo Stanton was just 1-for-9 through two games in the series against the Rockies, leaving him stuck on 57 home runs. Center fielder Christian Yelich is 1-for-12 with six strikeouts over his last three contests.
Dillon Peters will oppose Teheran on Thursday. The left-hander is 0-2 with a 6.32 ERA since joining Miami’s rotation at the beginning of this month. Two of Peters’ first three starts were quality, a stretch that saw him allow no more than three runs in any outing. But to say things have taken a turn for the worse would be a gross understatement. The 25-year-old has surrendered 13 runs (all earned) over 7.2 innings of work in his last two appearances.
The Atlanta Braves are:
- 4-1 in their last five games against left-handed starters
- 5-1 in their last six games that are the first in a series
- 7-2 in their last nine games against Miami
The Miami Marlins are:
- 8-20 in their last 28 overall
- 5-15 in their last 20 games against the National League East
- 1-4 in Peters’ last five starts
In his only previous appearance against Miami this season, also at Marlins Park, Teheran tossed six innings of scoreless baseball. There is reason to think more success is on the horizon, because Teheran has turned his season around down the home stretch. At the same time, the lineup he is facing (Stanton and Yelich, specifically) has cooled off. Atlanta is 4-1 in its last five against left-handed starters and 5-1 in its last six series openers. The Marlins are 8-20 in their last 28 overall, 5-15 in their last 20 against the National League East, 1-4 in Peters’ last five starts, 2-7 in the last nine meetings between the two teams, and 18-41 in their last 59 at home against the Braves. Don’t be surprised if those trends continue.