Friday, August 9, 2013

Weekend Series Preview: The Marlins

Are those stinky fish already back in town? Of all the teams we've played in this stretch of good baseball, this Marlins team undoubtedly has the worst record. Guess that means we need to take it to them in our town. On to the matchups!

Game 1 - Beachy (0-0) v. Turner (3-3)
Game 2 - Wood (2-2) v. Eovaldi (2-2)
Game 3 - Minor (11-5) v. Alvarez (2-1)

Most of these matchups are awful. The Braves are tossing their mid-season projects against the Marlins mid-season projects. The exception is obviously Minor in game 3, but in Game 1 you have Beachy trying to get right against Jacob Turner. Whereas Beachy is a mid-year guy, Turner has actually been around all season for the Marlins, but he's been on the receiving end of a bunch of no decisions. He's also only 22, but managed to beat Atlanta in his only appearance against them. Beachy on the other hand is 26, the Braves have won both his starts, but Beachy hasn't been a factor. The ERA is a solid 9.00 for Beachy right now. Short of him literally giving up a run every inning, he will improve that today. As for Turner, he's held a respectable 2.68 ERA on the season. Ok, that's actually really good for a pitcher on a bad team. The fact he has a 2.68 ERA and only a 3-3 record shows exactly how much of a greasefire the Marlins really are. This is exactly the type of guy that shut the Braves down when they were having hitting problems mid-season. Now? The Braves are all over the ball at the plate. Can Beachy stop the bleeding long enough for the Braves to outpace Turner? There's a streak at stake!

Wood in Game 2 could be pretty decent if he continues on his trend thus far. He's managed to win his last two outings with very effective numbers, giving up a combined 4 earned runs across 13 innings. He's also been very good about not walking people, which is going to be very key against a Marlins lineup looking for easy runners. Eovaldi has been very sharp across his last 3 outings, giving up only 3 total runs. However, the Marlins are such a disaster that the only decision he has in that same time frame is a single loss. Imagine pitching 20 innings with an ERA of 1.35, and you drop a game on your record as the only result. That's the kind of baseball these fish are playing. Their pitching actually isn't bad, but their hitting is downright offensive.

Minor v. Alvarez should be a whitewash in favor of Minor. We all know that. We expect that. The Braves are 2-1 against the Marlins this year when Minor pitches, with an ERA of 2.50. The Marlins are 1-1 against the Braves when Alvarez pitches this year, but his ERA was 5.73 against our team. While both guys can toss a clunker, the obvious advantage goes to the pitcher with the best experience on his side, and that's Minor. Also, the advantage goes to the Braves at home, who are 38-15 now on the year. I fully expect that Minor will try to pitch to contact on everyone but Stanton and Ruggiano, working those guys on the corners. That should hopefully keep his count down so that he can go deeper in this game.

The CPA is up to 60-38, even if it incorrectly guessed that the streak would be over twice by now. What about the weekend?

CPA Prediction Game 1: Braves 4 - Marlins 2
CPA Prediction Game 2: Braves 5 - Marlins 1
CPA Prediction Game 3: Braves 7 - Marlins 3

It might be wishful thinking, but the CPA thinks another sweep is possible. Given how bad the Marlins are on paper this isn't exactly rocket science, but they have shocked us a few times this year when we couldn't hit. That will not be a problem IF the lineup continues to produce like they have over the rest of this streak.


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