The defending World Series champions haven’t had the best start to the season, sitting at 6-8 after getting cooked by the Dodgers in a three-game series. It was hard for Braves fans seeing Freddie Freeman hit two home runs for L.A. in a series loss.
Meanwhile, the Marlins have had a typical start to the year. The pitching has been solid, but the bats are cold and the Fish are 4-7 because of it. Most recently, Sandy Alcantara tossed a gem but the Marlins couldn’t muster anything in a 2-0 loss to St. Louis.
Typically, the Fish are big underdogs here against Atlanta. But it’s not just because Atlanta is a better team. The Braves starting pitcher today is Kyle Wright, an upcoming star in the Atlanta rotation.
So, with valuable betting odds, can the Miami Marlins pick up a much-needed win today? Or will the Atlanta Braves continue to roll?
Let’s dive into the starting lineups and my prediction for the game.
Miami Marlins vs Atlanta Braves Odds
Trevor Rogers broke out in the first half last year. But he has been on a downward trend since. He’s pitched to a 12.15 ERA through two starts in 2022, and his advanced stats don’t show much hope.
Meanwhile, Wright is rolling through batters and recording over 12 K/9 in the process.
And considering the Atlanta lineup is dangerous and Miami’s is underwhelming, it’s no wonder the Braves are such heavy favorites.
But has the market overadjusted in a divisional rivalry game?
Miami Marlins Starting Lineup
LF Jorge Soler R
DH Garrett Cooper R
CF Jorge Sanchez L
1B Jesus Aguilar R
RF Avisail Garcia R
3B Joey Wendle L
C Jacob Stallings R
SS Miguel Rojas R
2B Jazz Chisholm L
Miami Marlins vs Kyle Wright
Wright has been a revelation for the Braves rotation.
Through two starts and 11 innings, Wright has an ERA under 1.75 and his xFIP is sticking right around 2.00. It’s because he’s punching out so many batters while also walking less than one per nine innings.
Wright’s stuff is ridiculous. He’s upped his swing-and-miss rate by almost seven percent since 2019 and the eye test proves it.
Kyle Wright pitched another GEM tonight for the Braves 👀📈
.455 BABIP 🙄
— Kevin Keneely (@KevinKeneely1) April 16, 2022
Wright may be the best starting pitcher in the Braves rotation this season. Especially because Charlie Morton is looking washed.
Wright will battle an underwhelming Miami lineup. However, the Marlins added some significant bats in the offseason – including Jorge Soler, Avisail Garcia, and Joey Wendle – and their numbers have jumped from bottom of the barrel to middle of the pack. The Fish have posted a 102 wRC+ through the first stretch of the season.
There’s not a big sample size for Wright against the Marlins, but it’s been promising. He’s held a few Fish bats underneath a .200 xBA over 39 PAs.
Atlanta Braves Starting Lineup
2B Ozzie Albies S
1B Matt Olson L
DH Marcell Ozuna R
CF Adam Duvall R
C Travis d’Arnaud R
LF Travis Demeritte R
SS Dansby Swanson R
RF Guillermo Heredia R
3B Orlando Arcia R
Atlanta Braves vs Trevor Rogers
There’s still hope for Rogers. Although his numbers are putrid so far this season, his BABIP allowed is over .415 in the short sample size. And when his numbers skyrocketed in the second half of last year, that BABIP allowed hovered around .350.
Rogers is a fastball-changeup-slider pitcher who heavily relies on his four-seam. That pitch was lights out last season, hitting mid-90s and recording a -15 run value. His changeup was also solid last season, producing a -6 run value.
The Braves produced positive run values against fastballs (20.2 wFB, 12th in MLB) and changeups (29.5 wCH, first in MLB) last season, but couldn’t against sliders (-11.9 wSL, 12th in MLB). The slider usage will be very important for Rogers in this game.
Being in the same division, Rogers has seen plenty of Atlanta in the past two seasons. His numbers have been fine, although he’s been short in his starts. Over four starts since 2020, Rogers has managed just 17 ⅓ innings, pushing five full just once.
The key for Rogers is control. He’s gotta keep his walks down. So far this season, he’s walking over six batters per nine innings, and that’s been leading to sub-par performance. In those four starts against the Braves, Rogers walked at least two batters in each.
In the early 2022 season, the Braves have walked at a league-average rate against Southpaws. In 2021 while at home against Southpaws, the number was about the same.
So, the control is in Rogers’ hands.
Miami Marlins vs Atlanta Braves Picks & Prediction
My pick: Under 9 (-115 at DraftKings)
With these two pitchers on the mound, I’ll happily take the under.
Moreover, both lineups should hit theoretically league average against their opponents today. And neither lineup has been hot, with the two combining for a total of seven runs in their last two games.
Predictably, both games went under for both teams.
Moreover, three of the last five games between these two went under the listed total, and this is the highest total of any.
I’ll play the under at anything better than 8.5 (-110).