Marlins-Braves: Hotshot Rookie Vs. Giant Total on Friday

Jason Lake

Thursday, June 15, 2017 8:00 PM UTC

Thursday, Jun. 15, 2017 8:00 PM UTC

Both the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves are scuffling along in the NL East. But the Braves and their impressive new southpaw could beat the baseball odds Friday night.

We’ve been waiting to buy low on the Miami Marlins for a while now. As you may recall, we took a little looky-loo at the Marlins last month when they were 14-23 and 9.90 betting units in the hole, but nobody here at the ranch was ready to pick them against the Houston Astros. Good thing: Houston won that game 3-0 as –164 faves on the closing line, completing the three-game sweep.

There’d be some more losing after that, but check it out: Miami is 12-5 over the past 17 games, taking advantage of some softer opponents along the way. That improves the Marlins' record to 29-35 and 5.15 units in the red, and they’re about to play a three-game set with another losing team, the Atlanta Braves (29-36, -1.96 units). Friday’s opener starts at 7:35 p.m. ET, with the Fish pegged as -118 road faves on the MLB odds board as we go to press.

Duke Newcomb

The Braves have been running hot-and-cold all year, so we’re not necessarily enthusiastic about this series – except for Game 1. That’s because Atlanta is expected to send promising rookie Sean Newcomb to the mound. Newcomb will be making just his second major-league start; in his debut last Saturday, the towering lefty allowed just one unearned run to the New York Mets (-105 away) over 6.1 innings. Alas, Newcomb got no run support, and Atlanta’s bullpen blew a tire and lost 6-1.

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Sean Newcomb's curveball is absolutely ridiculous. #Braves

— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) June 10, 2017

Dan Straily (4.01 FIP) has pitched reasonably well in his Miami debut, but the Marlins are only 6-7 in his 13 starts for a loss of 1.13 units. The 'over' is 9-4 in those starts, thanks to five runs per game from the Fish and a mediocre bullpen (4.11 FIP), although not as poor as Atlanta’s (4.43 FIP). The thing is, we’re looking at an opening total of 10 runs (!) for Friday’s game, which is a lot of runs, even with the 'under' priced at -120. 

FiveThirtyEight projects Miami to win this matchup 52 percent of the time, which translates to -108 using our SBR Betting Odds Converter, so there might be a speck of betting value on the Braves despite Miami’s hot streak. We’re more inclined to recommend the 'under' for Friday’s MLB picks. The weather forecast says it’s going to be humid and possibly rainy at the new ballpark in Atlanta, which should help keep scoring down, and Newcomb looks like the real deal after striking out 11.55 batters per nine innings at Triple-A Gwinnett. We’ll buy that for a dollar.

Free MLB Pick: 'Under' 10 (-120)Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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