Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports Pictured: Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kevin Gausman
Betting odds: Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins
- Braves Moneyline: -173 (Kevin Gausman)
- Marlins Moneyline: +156 (Pablo Lopez)
- Over/Under: 7.5
- First Pitch: 1:10 p.m. ET
>> All odds as of 10 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets
One of the lowest posted totals of the day belongs to Kevin Gausman vs. Pablo Lopez. I raised my eyebrows a little bit at that, but let’s dig deeper before jumping to conclusions.
As a general rule, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Marlins’ offense is involved in a low total.
After maintaining even below-average levels of efficiency for a while, their offensive production has dropped off a cliff in August. They’re hitting .219 with a minuscule .625 OPS this month.
On the other side, Miami has limited the Atlanta offense spectacularly. The Braves were in the middle of a 21-inning scoreless run vs. the Marlins before a solo home run in Saturday’s game.
The problem with these factors, especially the recent run-scoring drought by Atlanta in the match up, is they aren’t predictive. If anything, they’ve dragged this total down so low that now when I look at my projections I have to play the over.
Admittedly, whenever the Marlins are involved, “I have to play the over” should give you pause, sort of like “I don’t care how good the Warriors are, I have to take the Suns here” or “You know who’s not being rated properly? The Jets!”
The meat of the projection obviously comes from the Atlanta offense. One of the premier groups in the National League, and they should be able to get to Lopez with frequency here.
He doesn’t strike batters out with great frequency, and although his numbers are slightly improved over the second half of the season, aside from his ERA (which can be misleading) they aren’t THAT much better.
He sort of is what he is: league-average, maybe a little worse, and he’s benefited by getting out of a lot of jams (of his own making) the last couple months.
On the other side, what hope can there be for the Miami offense to scratch out a run or two to help this out?
Well, if you look at Gausman’s recent dominant three-game run (3 ER in 20 innings), he wasn’t striking a lot of guys out, and in pitching to contact he had an extremely low BABIP, which means he probably wasn’t pitching as dominantly as the numbers would indicate.
A return to his more “usual” numbers would mean the Marlins have a chance to help this over/under out a bit.
Lastly, as a weird type of bonus, for whatever reason Gausman really struggles in day games compared to night games. This isn’t just a one-year, two-year small sample size.
For his career, his ERA is about a half-run worse and opponents hit better against him during the day. Those things are particularly amplified this season in his splits.
Again, this wasn’t used in the projection, just something I found interesting, and can just be used as further support.
As has been customary lately using the model I’m using, I’ll be hoping for more offense than we’ve seen recently with these two teams.