Miami Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves Odds, Picks, Predictions for NLDS Game 2 (Wednesday, Oct. 7)
Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Ronald Acuna Jr.
- The Atlanta Braves showed why their offense is one of baseball's most powerful in Game 1 of their NLDS series against the Miami Marlins.
- BJ Cunningham expects that offense to do more of the same against Pablo Lopez and the Miami bullpen on Wednesday.
- Check out Cunningham's full betting preview for Braves vs. Marlins with updated odds below.
Marlins vs. Braves Game 2 Odds
|Marlins Odds||+170 [BET NOW]|
|Braves Odds||-216 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||8.5 (-125/+105) [BET NOW]|
|First Pitch||2:08 p.m. ET|
The Marlins jumped out to an early lead in Game 1, but only saw it dissipate in the later innings behind a offensive onslaught from the Braves.
Atlanta plated six of its nine runs in the seventh inning and showed why it’s the best offense in baseball. Miami now turns to Pablo Lopez to try and cool off the Braves’ bats, while Ian Anderson will attempt to keep his fantastic rookie season going in Game 2.
Advanced Stats Glossary
FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.
wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.
wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.
BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual batter per game is 0.50 BaseRuns and a for a pitcher its 0.52 BaseRuns per inning.
The Marlins’ offense, for lack of a better word, stunk coming into the playoffs. Over the last two weeks of the season, the Marlins accumulated a .297 wOBA and 88 wRC+, which ranked 25th in MLB. In fact, Miguel Rojas and Garrett Cooper were the only two Miami hitters with a wOBA over .350.
The offense was surprisingly impressive in Game 1, but a lot of that was due to Miami’s success against left-handed pitching. During the regular season, the Marlins hit for only a .298 wOBA and 89 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, which ranked 26th in MLB. They’ll have a tough test on their hands against Anderson, who’s been one of the hottest right-handers in baseball.
Atlanta had the best offense in baseball during the regular season, and it showed why in Game 1. It led MLB in wOBA at .355 and maintained that over the last two weeks of the season at .354.
The Braves have the best 1-2-3 hitters in baseball. Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman, and Marcell Ozuna have combined for 45 home runs, 138 RBIs, and all have a wOBA over .400 this season.
Additionally, the Braves were the best team in MLB against right-handed pitching with a .363 wOBA, so Pablo Lopez is going to have his hands full trying to get through this lineup in Game 2.
Starting Pitching Matchup
Pablo Lopez vs. Ian Anderson
2020 Stats (via Fangraphs)
Pablo Lopez, RHP
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Pablo Lopez has been a solid starter for the Marlins this year. He’s posted a 3.63 ERA and a 3.71 xFIP while allowing only a .227 average to opposing hitters.
His secondary pitches have been very effective, as his changeup, sinker, and cutter have combined to allow a .231 average to opponents this season. He’ll have to utilize his secondary pitches often, as the Braves have been the best team against fastballs this season.
Ian Anderson, RHP
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Ian Anderson has been a fantastic surprise for the Braves’ rotation. The 22-year-old showed why he was the third-overall pick in 2016, posting a 1.95 ERA through his first six starts.
Anderson’s arsenal starts with a really nice fastball that can top out at 96 mph with good downhill movement. He then has a power curve that can be a solid pitch for him, as it’ss producing a 40.5% whiff rate. Where Anderson really has been excelling, though, is with his changeup. The pitch has been almost unhittable. He’s allowed only a .104 average to opponents and produced a 39.4% whiff rate. As you can see, the pitch has some fantastic drop-off-the-table action.
Anderson pitched six shutout innings in Game 2 against the Reds and should be able to handle this Marlins lineup that struggles against right-handed pitching.
The Marlins’ bullpen has been an issue for them all season long, and it showed in Game 1. Miami has the 26th-best ERA (5.50) and 29th-best xFIP (5.39) in MLB. Its bullpen will likely be its Achilles heel in this series.
Atlanta counters with a bullpen that ranks in the top half of MLB in both ERA and xFIP. It shut Miami down in Game 1, allowing one run on three hits over the final five innings. The Braves have the clear advantage in the later innings in this series.
Projections and Pick
Atlanta’s offense is too much of a juggernaut right now for Lopez and the Miami bullpen. Lopez and Sandy Alcantara are very similar pitchers, so I don’t think the Marlins can contain the Braves’ offense in Game 2.
Since I have the Braves’ margin of victory projected at -1.90, I’m going to back their run line of -1.5 at +100 and would play it up to -112.
Pick: Braves -1.5 (+100)