The Braves took the season opener, thanks to a strong pitching showing across the board. Will Alex Wood put Atlanta in position to make it 2 wins in a row tonight? Find inside our MLB odds preview.
The MLB odds board shows the Marlins as -120 favorites for the most part, with some sites going as high as -125. That leaves Atlanta in the +110 to +115 range to get the victory this evening.
It looks like we'll be in for another low-scoring game, as the total is currently sitting at seven runs, which is one of the lowest O/Us on tonight's slate. That shouldn't be all that surprising though, considering Mat Latos and Alex Wood have proven they're pitchers to be reckoned with when on their game.
Miami Marlins (Mat Latos)
The Marlins were able to generate eight hits, and they got a solid outing from ace Henderson Alvarez, but they still only managed one run in a 2-1 loss yesterday.
Alvarez went seven innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs while striking out two and walking none. However, he didn't get much run support whatsoever, as Julio Teheran and the Braves bullpen rose to the occasion and kept the Miami bats from inflicting too much damage. Giancarlo Stanton accounted for just a single in his four at-bats, while Christian Yelich went 0-for-3.
Despite a quiet outing on Opening Day, there's a lot to look forward to for the Marlins. They've got one of the MLB's best hitters in Stanton and have surrounded him with some nice pieces. Yelich had a breakout 2014, and now Miami has a true leadoff hitter in Dee Gordon who possesses elite speed. Throw in the likes Michael Morse and Martin Prado, and this offense could do some things if they stay healthy. The pitching also seems to be getting better, with Mat Latos set to make his Marlins debut tonight after going 5-5 with a 3.25 ERA in a shortened 2014 season. He'll be eager to make a good first impression.
Atlanta Braves (Alex Wood)
It was hardly a potent offensive display from the Braves, but they grinded out two runs and got solid pitching across the board on their way to yesterday's win. Nick Markakis provided the key hit, blasting a double that brought in the two necessary runs, and the new Brave also added a stolen base for good measure later on in the game.
The pitching was key for Atlanta, however, as Teheran allowed just one run (despite giving up eight hits) while striking out four against one walk. The bullpen came up big and Jason Grilli converted his first save opportunity, this coming just a day after one of the best closers in baseball, Craig Kimbrel, was traded to San Diego.
It's safe to assume the Braves are re-tooling and building for the future, rather than giving it a go at the World Series this season. They have two great hitters in Markakis and Freddie Freeman but have otherwise traded away their best sources of offense, and it's not like the pitching staff is glowing either. Be prepared for a long season if you're an Atlanta fan.
We were impressed by Atlanta's pitching (and grit) yesterday, but tonight we think the Marlins even the series and notch their first victory of the young season.
Getting to back Latos at home at this sort of price against an Atlanta lineup that will have its fair share of struggles this season is certainly appealing. We also like what Miami has done in general to boost its talent level, and we expect them to be much improved across the board here in 2015.
With that said, we will lay the small number on this MLB pick and back the Marlins to come out and get the W at home.
Free MLB Pick: Miami Marlins -120 at The Greek