Lo Duca: Believe in Anibal Sanchez and the Braves Against the Marlins

Lo Duca: Believe in Anibal Sanchez and the Braves Against the Marlins article feature image

Dale Zanine, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Anibal Sanchez

  • Anibal Sanchez has been rolling for the Atlanta Braves, who are -175 favorites against the Miami Marlins on Wednesday.
  • Sanchez will take on rookie pitcher Pablo Lopez, who has struggled in his brief major-league career.

Betting Odds: Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves

  • Marlins: +157 (Pablo Lopez)
  • Braves: -175 (Anibal Sanchez)
  • Total: 8.5 (-105/-115)
  • First pitch: 7:35 p.m. ET

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Sometimes a pitcher just finds it. Look at Justin Verlander or Charlie Morton or even CC Sabathia. Anibal Sanchez may need to be added to that list because he’s been terrific for the Braves this season.

Sanchez has logged a 3.00 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 8.54 K/9 in 78 innings with the Braves this season. Getting that kind of production out of a 34-year-old who looked like his career was over has been gigantic for Atlanta this season. But will it continue?

Sanchez’s xFIP (a regressed version of FIP that gives a truer indication of a pitcher’s performance) sits at 4.07, which isn’t great but also isn’t bad, and suggests he’s running hot. However, I think there’s more good than bad here and trust Sanchez to navigate Miami’s weak lineup.

Even though Sanchez struggled in his last assignment against the Dodgers, he’s been in form over the last month. In his four outings leading into that tilt, he logged at least six innings and didn’t allow more than three earned runs.

Sanchez will take on rookie right-hander Pablo Lopez tonight. The 22-year-old has struggled since coming up to the majors. He’s yielded four or more runs in three of his last four starts and isn’t a pitcher who will rack up the strikeouts. Although the Braves hit better against lefties (.784 OPS) than righties (.738 OPS), their lineup should get to the young righty early and often and give Sanchez run support.

This is a good opportunity to take a shot on the run line and bank on Lopez struggling to get outs. With that being the case, I also think there’s value on backing the Braves on the first five innings line.

The Bet: Braves -1.5 (+115) and Braves F5 Innings (-120)

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