Atlanta Braves vs Miami Marlins: Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Aug. 17, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 7:10 p.m. EDT
Venue: loanDepot park, Miami, FL
Where to watch: Bally Sports South, Bally Sports Florida

Season-to-date
Braves: 63-56 (1st place, NL East)
Marlins: 51-68 (4th place, NL East)

Recent form
Braves: Won four straight
Marlins: Won four of five

Projected lineup


Braves:
Ozzie Albies (S) 2B
Jorge Soler (R) RF
Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
Austin Riley (R) 3B
Dansby Swanson (R) SS
Adam Duvall (R) LF
Joc Pederson (L) CF
Stephen Vogt (L) C
Huascar Ynoa (R) P

Marlins:
Miguel Rojas (R) SS
Jazz Chisholm Jr. (L) 2B
Jesus Aguilar (R) 1B
Lewis Brinson (R) LF
Brian Anderson (R) 3B
Jorge Alfaro (R) C
Bryan De La Cruz (R) RF
Magneuris Sierra (L) CF
Sandy Alcantara (R) P

Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Braves -130, Marlins +110
BetMGM: Braves -125, Marlins +105
FanDuel: Braves -126, Marlins +108

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Braves - Marlins preview


The Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins will continue their three-game series Tuesday with Game 2 at loanDepot park in Miami.

The Braves took Game 1 of the series 12-2 on Monday in Miami. Adam Duvall went 1-for-5 with his 27th home run of the season, and Dansby Swanson went 2-for-6 with two RBI.

The Braves have reeled off seven wins in their past eight games to take first place in the National League East. Atlanta leads the Philadelphia Phillies by one game for the division lead entering Monday, while the Phillies were idle.

Philadelphia will return to action on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday. The New York Mets, trailing by 2.5 games, are facing the San Francisco Giants on the road.

While the Braves have rounded into proper form, so has their reigning National League MVP.

First baseman Freddie Freeman extended his multi-hit game streak to three on Monday and has hit home runs in back-to-back games after going without one since Aug. 3.

“This is kind of what we’ve been searching for all season,” third baseman Austin Riley said, who also homered on Sunday against the Washington Nationals. “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. I know that’s a little cliché, but it’s the truth. If we can get hot and get rolling and get everyone clicking, we can put ourselves in a good spot.”

The .290 batting average is a tad lower than normal for the superstar Freeman, but he’s still raking at the right time with 26 homers and 68 RBI on the season. His performance has come at the right time during this four-game winning streak for Atlanta.

“This lineup is deep now and we’re getting contributions from a lot of guys, which is a really good thing,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Hopefully we can go for another two and half months or whatever and do that.”

The Braves are expected to send Huascar Ynoa to the mound, as the 23-year-old rookie looks to keep his hot start going. The right-hander has gone 4-2 this season with a 3.02 ERA and a WHIP of just 1.05.

This will be Ynoa’s first start since May 16 against the Milwaukee Brewers where he gave up five earned runs in 4.1 IP. That would be his last outing for the pitcher, as he got taken out of the game for his performance and then broke his hand punching the bench in the dugout.

Miami came into this series after sweeping the lowly Chicago Cubs at home. The Marlins have reached a point in the season where any win should be celebrated. Alas, due to Monday’s result, that’s a far cry for something that actually should be celebrated.

Instead, they ran into a buzzsaw that was Touki Toussaint on Monday, as the Braves pitcher had 6.1 innings of work and struck out seven.

Meanwhile, the starting pitchers carousel did not favor Braxton Garrett. The Miami starter walked six batters through three innings and allowed three runs.

The Marlins will turn to ace Sandy Alcantara, who despite a 7-10 record has a team-best 3.52 ERA. It’s been a committee running the Marlins pitching staff, using so many pitchers to get through the Cubs series last week. 

Elieser Hernandez returned from the 60-day IL and threw 5.1 innings, struck out four and had only one BB.

“You see how many different guys we've ended up using,” manager Don Mattingly said. “It's going to be a positive for some guys that have gotten opportunities and gain experience, but Elieser's solid. This is a good starter, and he's consistent pretty much every time out. So you start looking at Pablo [López], Sandy [Alcantara] and Trevor [Rogers] and him in that mix. It just would have been another consistent starter for us, where we've been [going with] bullpen games and moving starters back and forth. It just would have been a more consistent rotation for us.”

The talent discrepancy showed on Monday, and it will likely be the same on Tuesday. 

Betting trends


The Braves have now won eight straight on the road, which is a quality you want in a team entering playoff mode.

Miami, expected to be an underdog, is 1-6 in their last seven when the moneyline has a plus in their favor.

Prediction


There’s no stopping the Braves right now. The way Freeman is swinging the bat, it might be a long series for the Marlins. Braves win 10-4.

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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