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The NL East’s first-place team will host its last-place team here as the Atlanta Braves take on the Miami Marlins. Julio Teheran gets the start for Atlanta here, while Caleb Smith will be on the mound for the Marlins. Perhaps not surprisingly given these teams’ records this year, oddsmakers have the Braves as pretty large favorites.
The Marlins are in the midst of another lost season, and they’ll just be hoping to play spoiler from this point on. They have the worst record in the National League and entered Tuesday at 45-78. Things just keep on getting worse, and Miami is just 3-13 in their last 16 games. The Marlins don’t have too much to be excited about at the moment, as they’ve traded away most of their elite young talent like Christian Yelich. You could talk all day about all the various disappointments related to the Marlins, but one of the few bright spots on the team this year has been Caleb Smith, who will start here.
Smith never panned out with the Yankees and he was mediocre last year, but he enters this one with a 3.63 ERA this season and a very solid 1.09 WHIP. That doesn’t mean he’s been perfect however and he has struggled when he’s been forced to play some of the league’s top lineups. He pitched against this Braves team two starts ago and got rocked, giving up ten hits and six earned runs in 4 and 2/3 innings. In three starts against Atlanta this year, he has a 6.48 ERA. The real challenge here though will be getting the offense going, as the Marlins have scored only 453 runs this season, and no other team in the NL has scored less than 548.
Braves On Top
The Atlanta Braves won the NL East as a very young team last year, surprising everyone. As they looked to follow up on the success, they struggled a bit early on in 2019. Their exciting young core has since gotten it together though, and they’ve been one of the best teams in the league over the past few months. They’ve improved to 74-52, and they now hold a five-game lead over the Nationals for first place in the division. The Phillies and Mets are hovering in the East as well, so the Braves can’t afford to slack off at all down the stretch. As such, they need to take advantage in games like this against weaker opponents.
Julio Teheran is ready for action against the Mets. pic.twitter.com/Oz0LcNlo3s
— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) August 15, 2019
As they look to start shoring up their playoff spot, the Braves will start Julio Teheran here. Teheran has been very solid this season, entering with a 3.71 ERA. In four of his last eight starts, he’s given up one or zero earned runs. He’s been good luck for the Braves, as the team is 13-6 in his last 19 starts. He pitched against the Marlins two starts ago, and gave up only one run in seven innings of work. In four starts against the Marlins this year, Teheran has an absurdly low 0.36 ERA. That one he gave up recently was the only run he’s given up in four starts against Miami this season. Not surprisingly, the Braves won all four of those games.
- 5-0 in Teheran’s last 5 starts vs. Marlins
- 13-6 in Teheran’s last 19 starts
- 19-7 in their last 26 home games vs. Marlins
- 3-13 in their last 16 overall
- 2-6 in Smith’s last 8 starts vs. a team with a winning record
- 25-65 in their last 90 road games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I’m playing the Braves on the run line here. Atlanta has looked like one of the best teams in the league recently, while Miami has nothing to play for. The Braves are 19-7 the last 26 times they’ve hosted the Marlins, and they just pounded Smith when they faced him a couple of weeks ago. The Braves will easily win this one by multiple runs.
Prediction: Braves -1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I also like the under a lot here. Teheran has been so good against the Marlins this year that it’s absurd. In four starts against Miami he’s given up just one total run, so I wouldn’t expect the Marlins to score much at all here. Smith has been having a very promising season as well, so I don’t think we’ll see too much action here.