Thursday, October 8, 2020, Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas, 2:08 p.m. ET
Braves at Marlins Betting Preview: Braves (-140), Marlins (+126)
The second-seeded Braves have overpowered the sixth-seeded Marlins with a 5-1 advantage in home runs to move within one win of a three-game sweep in their NLDS matchup. Dansby Swanson and Travis d’Arnaud have two homers apiece — in one each game.
The Braves’ biggest advantage over the Marlins in the series has come in relief pitching. Atlanta’s bullpen has allowed just one run and three hits in 8 1/3 innings while Marlins relievers have given up four runs and five hits in five innings.
Braves manager Brian Snitker might regret using his top relievers so much over the past two days with his vulnerable No. 3 starter, Kyle Wright, scheduled for Game 3. The right-hander hasn’t pitched since the regular season, when he went 2-4 with a 5.21 ERA. He started twice against the Marlins, games Atlanta lost 8-2 and 8-0. He’s never beaten Miami in his career, going 0-2 with a 6.92 ERA in three starts.
One day of shaky pitching and one day of poor hitting have combined to put the Miami Marlins in a 2-0 hole entering Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the Braves. The Marlins have been outscored 11-5 and out-hit 16-12 in the two defeats.
Brian Anderson has been Miami’s big batter so far in the series with four hits in six at-bats. He has gone just 1-for-5 against Wright, but several other Marlins have hit the right-hander hard, including Jorge Alfaro (4-for-4 with two home runs), Matt Joyce (2-for-3 with a homer) and Garrett Cooper (1-for-2 with a homer).
Rookie right-hander Sixto Sanchez handled his postseason debut like a pro last week, shutting out the Chicago Cubs over five innings in a 2-0 win. He pitched the first six innings of an 8-0 win over the Braves on Sept. 8, and he recorded a 1-0 record with a 4.00 ERA in two starts against them this season.
Braves at Marlins Betting Pick for Game 3
A deeper rotation was seen as one advantage for the underdog Marlins in the best-of-five series with no off days, and that could start to show itself when Miami holds a huge advantage in the Game 3 matchup between Sanchez and Wright. If the Marlins need a jolt of confidence, they could get it just by looking out at the mound and seeing Wright, whom they roughed up twice during the regular season.
Sanchez is the Marlins’ answer to Atlanta Game 2 star Ian Anderson, and it’s interesting that Miami manager Don Mattingly avoided that matchup even after slotting Sanchez second last week against the Cubs. It might have contributed to the 0-2 deficit, but the good news is the Marlins should be favored in this one — and maybe the rest of the way.
Braves at Marlins Betting Pick:
Marlins 7, Braves 3
Braves at Marlins Best Bet for Game 3
When you have an underdog that you’re confident is going to win, playing parlays is a wise move. Check out the exotics in this one, everything that would be consistent with Marlins bombing Wright and the Braves choosing to rest their top relievers to fight another day.
The run total in this game is 8 1/2, which means the oddsmakers are projecting the Marlins to score four or fewer. This from a team that scored eight runs both times it saw Wright during the regular season. If you can find it, your best play is the Marlins over their run total.
Braves at Marlins Best Bet: OVER 8 1/2 total runs (-117)
–Field Level Media