Marlins vs. Braves

Marlins vs. Braves NLDS Game 2 | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

Written by on October 6, 2020

One never knows how a young pitcher will react to the high-stress environment of the Major League Baseball playoffs, and it’s two youngsters scheduled for Game 2 of the NLDS between the Marlins and Braves on Wednesday. The Braves are the home team from Houston.

How to Bet Marlins at Braves MLB Odds & TV Info

  • When: Wednesday, 2:08 PM ET
  • Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston
  • Probable pitchers (away/home): Pablo Lopez/Ian Anderson
  • TV: MLB Network
  • Stream/gameday audio:
  • Opening MLB Lines: TBA

Why Bet on Miami? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

The Marlins have returned to the MLB postseason for the first time in 17 years, since 2003, snapping a 16-year postseason drought. The Marlins became the first team in NL history to make the playoffs the year immediately following a 100-loss season. This is a very young team as the Wild-Card roster featured seven rookies, or 25% of the total roster. Only the White Sox, who were eliminated in that round, had more.

Will the Marlins have outfielder and offseason trade acquisition Starling Marte on the NLDS roster? Manager Don Mattingly may take up to the last second before Tuesday’s Game 1 to decide. Marte suffered a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal on his left hand when he was hit by a pitch in Game 1 of the Marlins’ Wild Card Series against the Cubs last Wednesday. Marte can’t really hit with the injury but can field or pinch-run.

The Marlins have been able to come out victorious when they have the lead late in games, going 29-0 in contests in which they are up on their opponents at the end of the sixth inning. No other team had as many such wins without a loss in 2020.

It’s Pablo Lopez on the bump here. He didn’t pitch in the Wild-Card series but would have started Game 3 if necessary. In his final regular-season start on Sept. 24, Lopez pitched at the Braves and shut them out for five innings and struck out six. He finished the year 6-4 with a 3.61 ERA. He still hasn’t peaked yet, either. Not only did his strikeout rate take a nice jump in 2020 (59 K in 56 1/3 IP), but with his groundball rate improving, he allowed just four homers

Why Bet on Atlanta? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

The Braves swept the Reds in the Wild-Card round, not allowing a single run. It was the first time Atlanta advanced in the playoffs since 2001 when it swept Houston in the ALDS. Since that victory in Game 3 of the 2001 NLDS, the Braves had gone 0-7 in clinch games before beating the Reds in Game 2.

That win improved Atlanta to a stellar 26-10 all-time in playoff Game 2s. They have won 10 of their last 11 such games.

It’s top pitching prospect Ian Anderson on the mound here. He was fabulous last Thursday vs. the Reds, striking out nine batters over six scoreless innings as the Braves shut out the Reds 5-0 to win the series. Anderson tied Steve Avery, in Game 2 of the 1991 NLCS, for the most strikeouts by a Braves pitcher in his postseason debut.

Anderson was the third-younger pitcher to ever start a playoff game for the Braves. He was 22 years, 152 days last Thursday. Avery started four games at 21 years old in 1991, while RHP Mike Soroka (22 years, 63 days) threw 7.0 innings in Game 3 of the NLDS in St. Louis last season.

Anderson had just six career appearances, all starts, entering last Thursday. No Braves pitcher had ever started a postseason game with six or fewer career appearances. The last pitcher to do so for any team was Cleveland’s Ryan Merritt, who went 4.1 innings in Game 5 of the 2016 ALCS against the Yankees. Merritt had four career appearances and one start entering that game.

Including that masterful outing Thursday, Anderson has a 1.64 ERA in seven starts in 2020. His opponents have hit .162. Anderson last faced the Marlins on Sept. 24, taking a loss after giving up three unearned runs in 5 2/3 innings. All of the runs scored in the sixth, an inning that started with an Adeiny Hechavarria error. There was also a second error later in the inning.

Atlanta selected Anderson with the third overall pick in the 2016 draft. He was Atlanta’s highest draft selection since 1991, when the Braves took Mike Kelly second overall.

Expert Prediction

Braves 4, Marlins 1
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