June 30, 2016
One pick has been released.
Take Miami Marlins (-150) on the ML against Atlanta Braves risking 4.5% to win 3%.
(Chen and Foltynewicz must both start for wager to have action)
The Marlins are a good team this year and one that might just surprise a few and end up competing for the division crown! What is more likely and within the capabilities of this talented squad is remaining in the Wild Card hunt and securing a playoff berth via that route. The Fish have shown that they can beat some of the best teams and that includes a recent series victory over the NL-leading Chicago Cubs! They were in a bit of a 'let-down spot' after that and fell short in their interleague matchup against Detroit. Now, having lost 2 straight games, we believe they are in a prime spot to bounce back against a familiar and weak foe, in the Atlanta Braves.
It is no secret that Atlanta is in full rebuilding mode and has either already traded away or is willing to part ways with just about every talented player on its roster. This is a lost season for them and that is evident in not only they fact that they've already lost 52 games (worst in Majors) but their embarrasing 11-32 home record! Turner Field is not the intimidating place it used to be for opposing teams but has turned into a mentally tough place for the Braves players themselves to perform. Their offense has been abysmal with runners in scoring position all season and it wouldn't surprise us if Chen and company managed to strand a few more tonight. Keep in mind that ATL has been especially poor against left-handed pitching, having scored an average of only 2.9 runs against southpaws like Chen! That is partly due to the fact that a large portion of their everyday-lineup including some of their best hitters such as Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis and Ender Inciarte are all lefties.
Wei-Yin Chen may not be a household name but he's a solid veteran pro that rarely loses his composure on the mound. The same can not be said about his counterpart, Mike Foltynewicz, whom while talented lacks the big league experience of the aforementioned Chen. When his team has made a fielding error or he's allowed an opponent to cross home plate with 2-outs, he at times loses his cool and that only brings additional trouble. It should also be noted that this is his first start since returning from injury and a lengthy stint on the D/L! Given that he's had only one rehab start at Triple-A and hasn't pitched at this level for a month, it wouldn't surprise us if he was rusty and made some mistakes against a dangerous Miami lineup that features both speed and power!
The Fish have an advantage not only with their bats but in the outfield as well. Chase D'Arnaud will be getting a very rare start at CF for the Braves tonight and doesn't have the same understanding with Markakis and Francouer that the trio of Yelich, Ozuna and Stanton have for Miami. None of the 3 Atlanta outfielders are particularly blessed with pace either which makes them extra vulnerable in this big ballpark. With the pressure of the disappointed fans on them at every home game, for a team that is clearly inferior, fielding errors are an increased possibility, especially when pairing up players that haven't often played together. Look for former Brave, Martin Prado, who's one of many Marlins swinging a hot to do some damage against Atlanta and get Don Mattingly's side back to winning ways.
The visitors have the better offense, the better starting pitcher and the more reliable bullpen in this matchup. Not only that, they have revenge in mind as they have surprisingly not done well yet against Atlanta this season! Coming off a couple of defeats, expect a focused effort from them against a team that they are more than capable of beating. We believe Chen can outduel and outlast Foltynewicz tonight but even if he doesn't, the Braves' bullpen has thrown away many leads and lacks shutdown relievers.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Braves are 3-6 after getting shutout.
- Miami ranks #2 in the NL with a .272 batting average!
- Atlanta's 39 home runs is by far the worst mark in the Majors!
- Miami is a perfect 3-0 (100%) after allowing 10 or more runs!
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