Three Strikes: Atlanta Braves vs Miami Marlins

Well, would seem to have been right about everything but who’d ultimately win this weekend’s series.  Second time around against the Bravos coming up, so let’s once again break down why Miami will secure their first series win of the season…or why they’ll continue to break hearts and slide farther behind in the standings.

Why Miami Wins The Series

  • Strike 1- No Julio Teheran or Alex Wood.  Miami gets the back end-not the business end-of Atlanta’s flame throwing rotation this time around, while getting to fire back with their middle three in return.  Tom Koehler and Dan Haren are off to much better starts than their counterparts, and one would think Mat Latos might have a bit of a score to settle after last week’s meltdown.
  • Strike 2- Change of scenery. Overall, defense has been excellent.  Overall, starting pitching has been solid.  Offense has even showed signs of picking up, with an average of 5 runs over the last three contests.  Sounds like a reach, I know, but maybe something just that simple does the trick, and gets the focus back fully on baseball.  After all, Sunday’s loss was the first one of the five that saw mistakes across the board- batting, fielding, pitching- pile up.  Miami is due to fire on all cylinders.
  • Strike 3- Talent.  The first week of the baseball season is much like the first half of an NCAA football game between an FBS and and FCS school.  Anyone can hang with anyone for a half, but once those locker room adjustments are made, look out.Teams can play above themselves.  Miami has seen Atlanta’s best, and can adjust accordingly on a very quick turn around.

Why Atlanta Wins The Series

  • Strike 1- Bullpen.  Atlanta’s bullpen has been sterling. Toss in the fact that Marlins’ manager Mike Redmond has shown a great deal of reluctance- mostly justified on a situational basis- when it comes to allowing his starters to extend themselves past 90 pitches, count on the bullpens being a factor.  Certainly as it stands right now, and perhaps just certainly in general, Atlanta’s bullpen is better.
  • Strike 2- The mental game.  Historically, Atlanta has owned Miami. This season, Atlanta has owned Miami.  Atlanta is at home.  Miami just wrapped up a losing streak with the loss of three players to the DL.  If you’ve got an intangible reason to throw out there, excluding revenge, it’s probably on the Braves side of the scale.
  • Strike 3- Offense.  Atlanta is top 10 in almost every meaningful category, while Miami finds itself in the bottom 10 in every category.  The only “weakness” in Atlanta’s game at the plate at present would be their own lack of home run clout, but even here they enjoy a three dinger lead over Miami’s anemic output of one.  One, that’s all we got? If this frustrates you too, check out these words of wisdom from the great Harry Doyle.


Atlanta is beyond locked in, across the board, at present.   Quick turnaround should favor Miami, but it all hinges on Mat Latos’ Monday night start.  With David Phelps on paternity leave, Brad Hand out of the pen and into the rotation, and a fair amount of use over the weekend, Miami can absolutely not afford a short night from Latos.  Should another meltdown occur, the trickle down effect will sink the series at the outset for the Marlins.  An opening win and/or a quality start however might well allow the Fish to swim.


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