Miami Marlins host Atlanta Braves to open up the season

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The Miami Marlins (0-0) open the 2015 season vs the Atlanta Braves (0-0) today at 4:10 PM at Marlins Park.

The Braves shocked the Baseball world yesterday when they traded arguably the best closer in the major leagues Craig Kimbrel and outfielder Melvin Upton to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Carlos Quentin, Cameron Maybin and prospects. The Braves finally got someone to take the contract of Melvin Upton, who is still owed a little more than $44 million. It came with a hefty price though, because they had to include Kimbrel. The trade included no cash so both teams take over the existing contracts.

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The Marlins gave Henderson Alvarez the honor to start Opening Day. Alvarez, who was an All-Star last year putting up a record of 12-7 record with a 2.65 ERA. Those wins and ERA were both career highs. He looks to be the Marlins ace until Jose Fernandez comes back from Tommy John Surgery sometime in the summer. This will be Alvarez’s first Opening Day start of his career.

Manager Mike Redmond previously announced his Opening Day lineup. It’s expected to look like this:

Dee Gordon, 2B
Christian Yelich, LF
Giancarlo Stanton, RF
Michael Morse, 1B
Martin Prado, 3B
Marcel Ozuna, CF
Jared Saltalamacchia, C
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
Henderson Alvarez, P

The Braves, who I mentioned earlier traded away Craig Kimbrel, are now in full-on rebuild mode. They’ve shed a lot of salary this off-season by trading the Upton brothers and Kimbrel. The Braves are retooling to prepare for a massive Marlins-like spending spree for when they open up their brand new stadium in 2017.

Fredi Gonzalez has not officially finalized Atlanta’s lineup for today’s game, but we do know Julio Teheran will be the starter. Teheran, like Alvarez, was an All-Star last year and posted career numbers with the stat line of 14-13 with an ERA of 2.89 and 1.08 WHIP.

The Braves 25-man roster includes four rookies and 16 players who’ve never worn a Braves jersey before.

Both teams open the season with totally different expectations. The Marlins feel like they have a team that will finally bring them back to the playoffs, a place they haven’t been since they won the World Series in 2003. The Braves expect to develop their young talent, and hope to stay afloat while building for the future.

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Next: Marlins bold predictions, part one

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