The Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves will face off in Atlanta on Saturday night, a matchup between division foes. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our MLB odds series, which includes a Marlins-Braves prediction and pick we have laid out below.
Miami has yet to build on their promising 2020 season, going 55-76, fourth place in the NL East. Although they have yet to be officially eliminated from contention, there is no chance Miami will be able to muster a playoff berth. Still, young pitching talent is abundant in this rotation, and time will tell if the hitting prospects can match the talent.
Atlanta, the defending World Series champions, are 82-51, second place in the NL East, just three games behind New York for the division lead. Even without winning the division crown, Atlanta is a mere shoo-in for the playoffs, as they are firmly entrenched in the first NL Wild Card spot.
Here are the Marlins-Braves MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Marlins-Braves Odds
Miami Marlins: +1.5 (-137)
Atlanta Braves: -1.5 (+114)
Over: 8 (-106)
Under: 8 (-114)
Why The Marlins Could Cover The Spread
Miami is sending an impressive young pitcher to the mound in Edward Cabrera. The 24-year-old has only started and pitched in eight games this season, but owns a 2.45 ERA in 44 innings, striking out 48 batters. A dastardly changeup, which Cabrera throws 34% of the time, has held batters to a .150 batting average, with 15 strikeouts coming on the Cambio. Batters have only hit above .200 on one of Cabrera’s five pitches, with his sinker being hit at an alarming .333 clip. In the month of August, Cabrera pitched to a 1.91 ERA in five starts. Miami’s bullpen has been merely okay, with a 4.05 ERA that ranks 18th in the league. Steven Okert is the best remaining reliever after the trade deadline, and the lefty has been magnificent. Enjoying his best season in his MLB career, Okert has registered a 2.35 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 46 innings.
Miami’s offense no longer contains one of its biggest presences, as Jesus Aguilar now suits up for Baltimore. With injuries to other big-name players, Jesus Sanchez and Garrett Cooper are the best remaining options for this club. Sanchez leads all active Marlins with 12 home runs, adding 12 doubles. Cooper has hit .253, with seven home runs and 24 doubles, which leads the team. Joey Wendle has continued his steady career, with a .256 batting average and 19 doubles in 81 games. Jon Berti has hit .259 with a team-leading mark of 32 stolen bases. Miami leads the league with 108 stolen bases as a team.
Why The Braves Could Cover The Spread
Atlanta has one of the most talented rosters in the league, supplemented by an enviable wealth of upper-level minor league talent. Austin Riley paces the offense with 34 home runs, a .290 batting average, and is tied with Matt Olson for the lead with 87 RBIs. Riley’s elite offense has earned him a new, expensive long-term contract. Olson was acquired in an offseason deal with Oakland and has done nothing but rake since arriving. In addition to his 87 RBI, Olson leads the team with 41 doubles, adding 27 home runs. Rookies Michael Harris (15 home runs, 16 stolen bases) and Vaughn Grissom (.313 batting average, 4 home runs in 22 games) have injected some life into the offense. Ronald Acuna, Jr. has missed time with some injuries, but leads the team with 25 stolen bases, adding 11 home runs and 18 doubles in 94 games.
Bryce Elder, who has been up at different times this season, will make his seventh appearance and sixth start for Atlanta tonight. Elder has a 4.45 ERA in his 28.1 innings. Elder does not throw exceptionally hard, ranking in the 17th percentile of fastball velocity, but batters have managed to hit just .176 against his nasty cutter. Atlanta’s bullpen ranks sixth with a 3.23 ERA. AJ Minter has been one of the better lefty relievers in baseball, with a 2.28 ERA in 60 appearances. Minter has struck out 74 in 55.1 innings, ranking in the 97th percentile with a 34.3% strikeout rate. Even more impressive is Minter’s minuscule 4.6% walk rate, which is in the 94th percentile across the league. Minter throws his fastball about half the time, and batters have managed to hit just .150 against that pitch.
Collin McHugh owns a 2.67 ERA in 46 appearances, striking out 59 batters in 57.1 innings. Batters are hitting well below .200 combined against McHugh’s slider and curveball, two pitches he throws about half the time combined. Closer Kenley Jansen has been up and down, with a 3.62 ERA and 31 saves in 50 appearances. The veteran right-hander has struck out 65 in 49.2 innings.
Final Marlins-Braves Prediction & Pick
Despite starting a rookie, Atlanta’s offense is too good to bet against.
Final Marlins-Braves Prediction & Pick: Atlanta -1.5 (+114), under 8 (-114)