Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins Betting Odds
|Braves Odds||-112 [Bet Now]|
|Marlins Odds||-104 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||8.5 (-115/-105) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||7:10 p.m. ET|
The N.L. East division-leading Miami Marlins will look to extend their lead over the second-place Atlanta Braves in a three-game series this weekend. Despite only playing 12 games thus far due to a COVID-19 outbreak in their clubhouse, Miami’s (8-4) .667 win percentage is good enough for first place.
The Braves trail the Marlins by just one game at 11-9. Miami has won seven of their last 10, while Atlanta will look to improve its 2-4 record on their current nine-game road trip.
The Marlins have quietly gone about their business and are 6-3 since their season was halted due to the outbreak. The Braves, on the other hand, must now deal with injuries to two of their best players: left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. and second baseman Ozzie Albies. Both players are expected to be out of the lineup for the foreseeable future.
Their absences could be a significant challenge for an Atlanta team that’s currently mired in a three-game losing streak.
The Marlins will give the ball to right-hander Pablo Lopez on Friday night. Lopez has yet to defeat the Braves in five career starts (0-3), but his 3.54 ERA against Atlanta suggests that a quality start is still well within his reach.
This season, Lopez is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA and has picked up 11 strikeouts in 10 innings of work. With a 1.1 WHIP, Lopez is only allowing about one batter to reach base each inning, and he’s yet to give up a home run. Moreover, 66.7% of Lopez’s batted balls are hit on the ground compared to just 14.8% lifted in the air.
According to Baseball Savant, Lopez throws five pitches: a four-seamer (33.3%), changeup (29.8%), sinker (23.4%), cutter (7.8%) and a curveball (5.7%). So far this season, it appears he’s made an adjustment by throwing his four-seamer less (33.3% vs 42.4%) compared to 2019 and increased the use of his changeup (22% to 29.8%) and sinker (16.3% to 23.4%).
He’s generating a 42.3% whiff rate when throwing his changeup, and there’s no doubt that his heavy 93.4-mph sinker has contributed nicely to his 4.50 GB/FB ratio.
Lopez will be opposed by Kyle Wright in the series opener. Wright has yet to register a win (0-2, 6.75 ERA) and has dealt with command issues throughout the season. He has already given up 10 walks in just 12 innings and has a 2.08 WHIP entering Friday’s matchup. Wright continues to trend in the wrong direction after posting a 1.88 WHIP in four starts in 2019.
Wright throws five pitches: a slider (35.5%), four-seamer (24.1%), sinker (15.9%), changeup (13.2%) and curveball (11.4%). Unlike Lopez, who has three main pitches, Wright seems to throw all five of his pitches with regularity.
If Wright still doesn’t know what his best pitch is three years into his career, then that’s a big problem. And that could be the reason why he has allowed so much traffic on the base paths. Last year, Wright had a 1.88 WHIP and finished 0-3 with an 8.69 ERA in four starts. I would argue that he hasn’t learned his lesson just yet.
What I’m Betting
I’m looking to the home team in this matchup. Wright’s struggles with his command, coupled with Atlanta missing key players, is enough to put me on the side of the Miami Marlins.
With Wright chasing his first career win and Lopez looking for his first win in six starts against the Braves, it will be interesting to see if one of the starters is able to get over the hump tonight in Miami. If you ask me, Lopez appears to be the more likely candidate to make the leap.
The Marlins opened at plus-odds (+108), but they’ve already seen some sharp action and that price is long gone. Nonetheless, you can still bet Miami at the short price of -104 at DraftKings.
I would play the Marlins up to -115. Expect the Braves’ road woes to continue tonight down in the Magic City.
The Pick: Marlins -104 (Play up to -115)