MLB Betting Preview: ATL Braves @ MIA Marlins (8/14/20)

As part of their uphill climb to complete the season after their COVID-19 outbreak, the Marlins face the Braves in Miami. One Marlin who didn’t get the virus was Pablo Lopez, and he takes the mound tonight. Opposing him will be fellow youngster Kyle Wright, who hasn’t gotten off to the best start in 2020.

In this matchup, does it make sense to bet the favorite (as we did in the Padres-Diamondbacks preview) or back the underdog (as we did with the Cubs)? Let’s find out.

Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins

Marlins Park, Miami, FL – 7:10 PM ET

Game Info/Starting Pitchers:

ATL: Kyle Wright – R (Last Season: 8.69 ERA, 6.16 FIP, -0.2 WAR, 19.2 IP)

MIA: Pablo Lopez – R (Last Season: 5.09 ERA, 4.28 FIP, 1.6 WAR, 111.1 IP)

Odds & Betting lines (DraftKings)

Total: 8.5 | Over: -107 | Under: -114
ATL | Moneyline: -113 | Run Line (-1.5): +148
MIA | Moneyline: +100 | Run Line (-1.5): -177

Game Notes

Wild Thing?

After years of decent walk rates in the minor leagues, no one expected control to be a problem for Kyle Wright. Based on his first 37 MLB innings, however, it’s clear that he struggles to find the zone. Among active SP with at least 30 career innings, Wright’s 16.1% walk rate is the worst in baseball! 

If Wright is going to stick around much longer, he’s going to have to get his command under control.

Close to the Cliff?

Prior to Opening Day, no one expected the Marlins to compete for any period of time. While they have beaten the doubters for a nice 8-4 start, they appear dangerously close to collapse. For starters, their offense remains below-average, even while seemingly on a hot streak. Even worse, the team’s bullpen remains a fatal flaw–its -0.7 WAR is 3rd-worst in the league. After fighting through a major teamwide COVID outbreak, the Marlins’ solid start is commendable. Unfortunately, however, it may not last much longer. 

Betting Picks

MIA Moneyline (+100)

Much to my surprise, it seems that the Marlins may continue their strong pace for one night longer. While the Braves are clearly the better team on paper, the combination of Wright vs Lopez, the possible absence of both Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna, and the Marlins’ home field advantage leaves them at a disadvantage. 

A fully healthy Braves roster would comfortably handle a team like the Marlins, but the team’s losses make it difficult to back them tonight.