So far so good for the new-look Braves. They dominated the Marlins yesterday and have a chance at the three-game sweep tonight in Miami. Who should we side with when placing our MLB picks?
MLB odds makers have Miami as a -125 to -130 favorite at home, with Atlanta available for backing in the +115 to +120 range. We've seen similar numbers posted throughout the series, but the Braves have defied the lines each time and won as underdogs.
If you want to make a play on the total, you can find the O/U at seven runs. Last night's game went way OVER the O/U thanks to Atlanta's offensive explosion, but we can expect things to settle down a bit tonight.
Miami Marlins (Koehler)
The Marlins were beat up badly last night, and it started right from the beginning. Mat Latos, in his Miami debut, struggled from the opening pitch and didn't even get through the first inning before getting pulled. Latos allowed six hits and seven earned runs while only recording two total outs.
Down 7-0 after the first inning, it was always going to be a tough hill for the Marlins to climb, but the bullpen didn't make things much better and the offense didn't help either, with Miami ending up losing 12-2 at home. Donovan Solano had a pinch-hit RBI triple, while Dee Gordon singled home the Marlins' other run. Atlanta opted to pitch around slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who was walked three times and didn't get much of a chance to go after pitches.
Tonight the Marlins hope to avoid a three-game sweep when they send out Tom Koehler. Koehler went 10-10 with a 3.81 ERA last season, but he was far better at home (3.00 ERA in 15 starts) than he was on the road (4.63 ERA in 17 starts). He also had a ton of success against Atlanta in 2014, posting a 2.77 ERA in 26 innings of work. Granted, this is a much different Braves lineup these days, but it's not like it's gotten any stronger. If anything, this team is a lot weaker, regardless of yesterday's offensive fireworks.
Atlanta Braves (Miller)
Who expected the Braves to jump out to a 2-0 start after dealing so many of their best players over the offseason? Well, here we are, as Atlanta has to be feeling great after a 12-2 domination of the Marlins last night.
It's not like Alex Wood had the greatest of outings, but he didn't need to after the offense jumped all over Latos early. Wood ended up pitching five innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs to go with four strikeouts and three walks. The offense was led by the heart of the order, as Nick Markakis, Freddie Freeman and Christian Bethancourt all got the job done at the plate. As did Chris Johnson, Andrelton Simmons and even leadoff hitter Eric Young Jr. Needless to say, when you score 12 runs, you're getting production from all over the place.
Now it's Shelby Miller's turn to take the mound in what will be his Braves debut. He went 10-9 with a 3.74 ERA for St. Louis last season, but will look to improve on those numbers with his new ballclub, starting tonight in South Beach.
It's been a rough start for the Marlins, but they never really had a chance yesterday after Latos completely imploded, not even able to get out of the first inning.
We expect the more consistent Koehler to fare better tonight, and we wouldn't be surprised to see those Miami bats wake up for the first time this season either. Miller isn't the most dominant pitcher out there, so this is as good of a spot as any for Stanton and company to get into a groove at the plate.
With our MLB picks, we like Miami to save some pride and avoid the sweep.
Free MLB Pick: Miami Marlins -125 at BetOnline