Marlins vs Braves MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expect Sandy Alcantara, Charlie Morton To Silence Bats (Friday, September 2)
Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Sandy Alcantara
- The Braves are strong home favorites in tonight's matchup with the Marlins.
- Atlanta sends Charlie Morton to the mound against Miami's Cy Young favorite, Sandy Alcantara.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Marlins vs. Braves Odds
|7 (+100 / -120)
|7:20 p.m. ET
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
With a Cy Young favorite on the bump for Miami, is there hope for the underdog? How do we play this one? Let's answer those questions.
Marlins Can't Hit Behind Alcantara
The Marlins have done the opposite of the Braves lately. There's no momentum to re-establish, except of course negative momentum. Miami has now lost four straight and 10 of the last 13, essentially calling it quits on the season well in advance of its final game.
The Marlins' offense has been particularly bad, coming up with just eight runs in their last five games and scoring more than two runs just once in the last seven games.
They have a wRC+ of 53 in the last week, the third-worst mark in the league in that split. It's not as if the Marlins are striking out in an inordinate amount of at-bats, posting a 22.7% rate over the last week, it's just been that their contact has been so incredibly weak. It's hard to do much worse than a .094 ISO.
The good news for the Marlins is that Sandy Alcantara is starting this game. I don't really need to go into much detail about why he's been so good, but I'll just highlight his elite .308 xwOBA on contact as evidence that he's truly one of the best around.
The last time he met the Braves, he struck out 14 hitters over eight innings of one-run ball. Before that, he spun a complete game where he allowed three unearned runs. The Marlins won both of these games.
Can Braves Bats Hit Cy Young Favorite?
How do you beat Alcantara? Well, you need to keep the ball off the ground against a guy who is an extreme ground-ball pitcher. The Braves have the 11th-lowest ground ball rate in the game.
That's great, but a low 7.7% walk rate against a guy who never walks hitters isn't great, as well as a high strikeout rate near 25%, which helps Alcantara — a merely average strikeout arm — out more than he needs.
The other unfortunate news here is that the Braves have not really been all that great at the plate over the last week. They rest in the middle of the league with a 103 wRC+ and a high 26.4% strikeout rate with that same lame 7.3% walk rate. The power has dissipated with a .153 ISO and despite a couple of wins over the Rockies, this team has averaged just about three runs per game.
Luckily, Charlie Morton shouldn't have too tall of a task given what we've covered above with the Marlins' offense. He's really started to settle back in here and pitch more to that 3.93 xERA we've seen over the course of the season and he can hang his hat on a solid 3.26 ERA in the month of August.
It's simply going to be hard for both of these offense to generate any offense. Not only are both slumping at the moment, both pitchers look incredible.
The Braves are not well-equipped at all to handle Alcantara, as evidenced by their two previous meetings, and the Marlins should have nothing harmful for a guy who has had some serious problems with home runs at times this year.
I'll play the under to 6.5.
Pick: Under 7 (-120)