Atlanta just put up a dozen runs Tuesday night, and has won twice in a row as an underdog in MLB odds. Can the Braves complete the series sweep Wednesday night? Or can Miami avoid it?
Braves-Marlins Betting Odds
As of mid-Wednesday morning a couple of books we checked with were chalking Miami and Tom Koehler as low as -120, while Pinnacle was offering Atlanta and newcomer Shelby Miller at +120.
As confirmed with SBR's live MLB odds page, every book on the market was listing the total at seven runs.
Braves-Marlins: Series Finale
Atlanta has taken the first two games of this series, after bombing Miami Tuesday night 12-2. The Braves put up a seven spot in the first inning off new Marlins starter Mat Latos, then piled on late. In the end Atlanta had racked up 14 hits, and gone nine-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
However, in our minds a performance like that sets the Braves up for a "fade" play their next time out. Clutch hits are hard to come by, and when you go 9/16 one night you're ripe to go 0/16 the next.
Atlanta starter Alex Wood gave up two runs in the fifth inning, then was wisely pulled in a 7-2 game, after 85 pitches. That's enough for the first outing of the year for a guy you're hoping starts 30-plus times.
The Braves won Tuesday as +125 dogs, so they're up $260 in this series, based on those hypothetical $100 MLB picks, after winning at +135 Monday.
Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up
Koehler went 10-10 with a 3.81 ERA last year, securing himself a spot in the Marlins rotation for the foreseeable future. Koehler posted 18 quality starts out of 32 last year, held opponents to fewer hits, 177, than innings pitched, 191, walked 71 and struck out 153. Miami went 15-17 in Koehler's starts last season, with the totals skewing toward the OVERS by a 19-11 margin, in part because it seemed the Marlins gave him some good run support.
Koehler started four times against Atlanta last season, allowing eight runs and 22 hits through 26 innings of work. Miami only managed to win one of those games, while three of those games played UNDER on the totals.
Miller will be making his first start for his new team, after coming over in an off-season trade with St. Louis. Last year he went 10-9 for the Cardinals with a 3.74 ERA. By our tough standards he only went 11-for-31 on quality starts, and while he gave up fewer hits, 160, than innings pitched, 183, his strikeouts-to-walks ratio was only 127-73. That K total was down 42 from his rookie season of 2013, and the walks total was up 16, while making the exact same number of starts. Makes us wonder what else St. Louis knew before trading him.
St. Louis went 15-16 in Miller's starts last year, with the totals going 15-16.
Miller started twice against Miami last season, allowing eight runs and 17 hits through 10 1/3 innings; his Cardinals lost both those games by identical scores of 6-5.
Braves-Marlins Betting Trends
Atlanta went 60-68 last season against right-handed starters.
Miami went 57-69 against righties last year.
The Marlins skewed toward the OVERS last year by an 83-68 margin, but the Braves skewed UNDER by an 86-63 margin.
Braves-Marlins Free Pick
Atlanta shoots for the sweep, but we give Koehler the edge in the pitching match-up. And our guess is the Braves won't go 9/16 with RISP tonight. So we like the home team to avoid the brooms Wednesday night.
Free MLB Pick: Miami -124 at The Greek