The Braves come off a 6-4 road trip to face the Marlins at home, and while that sounds not so bad, the Marlins have beaten the Braves 7-6 this season, and thus is the self fulfilling “beat the best, lose to the rest” prophecy of the Atlanta Braves.
Tom Koehler and Nathan Eovaldi both started relatively strong for Miami, but have progressively regressed as the season has drug on. Hitters are batting .293 and .288 against Koehler and Eovaldi respectfully in August, despite very few walks between them. The Marlins pitching has come a bit undone, and now is the time to strike.
Thankfully the Braves will miss Henderson Alvarez, Miami’s best starter since the injury to Jose Fernandez. Newly acquired Jarred Cosart has been brilliant for Miami, giving up just 6 runs in 26 innings. Cosart isn’t a dominant pitcher by any stretch of the imagination (he has just 120 strikeouts in 202 career innings), so most of his success comes from making his defense work, which he has had a hard time doing in his career. Cosart was walking nearly 4.5 men per 9 on Houston, but that number has regressed t0 2.1 since joining the Marlins. Patience will be key in Saturdays game.
On the offensive, it is becoming a bit more than just the Giancarlo Stanton show. Yes, Stanton is still ridiculous and still hits moonshots, but having speedy left fielder Christian Yelich on base at a .372 clip ahead of him has done wonders for Miami’s offense. As has the Chris Johnson like comeback performance from Casey McGehee, who has luckily been productive even while losing virtually all of the power he had earlier in his career. Marcell Ozuna has helped contribute in the power department more than the on base, but his strong defensive play and 19 homers still make him part of a very good Marlins outfield that shouldn’t be underestimated.
7:35 PM EST, Friday, August 29
7:10 PM EST, Saturday, August 30
5:10 PM EST, Sunday, August 31
Tags: Atlanta Braves