The Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves coming into the season were expected to be going in two completely different directions. However, after the first week of the season, both teams are headed in the opposite direction many anticipated they’d be going.
The Braves swept the Marlins in the opening series of the season in Miami. In that series, the Braves dropped 16 runs on the Marlins pitching staff and allowed a grand total of 3. After beating the Marlins, the Braves returned home to host an opening day and series of their own, against the New York Mets, winning 2 of three games, to improve their record to an National League East best 5-1.
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After being swept by the Braves, the Marlins welcomed their in state rival, the Tampa Bay Rays, to town. Despite scoring 10 runs and winning the opener, the Marlins dropped the two final games and lost a second series of the season.
The game was not the only thing the Marlins lost, as Henderson Alvarez, Jeff Mathis, and Don Kelly were all placed on the disabled list today with various injuries. The biggest impact being Henderson Alvarez, of course. Alvarez had an MRI on his shoulder and elbow and it’s unknown at this time how long he’ll be out. That’s a huge blow for the Fish.
With Alvarez headed to the DL, the Miami Marlins will need Mat Latos to step up in a big way, starting tonight, in his second start of the season against the Atlanta Braves. Last Tuesday, Latos surrendered 7 runs on 6 hits and walked two batters in 2/3’s of an inning last time out.
Countering Latos will be Shelby Miller for the Braves. He threw 5-shutout innings against the Marlins last Wednesday, allowing just four hits, striking out four, and walking two. He’ll look to build on his strong start today, against this Marlins lineup:
- Dee Gordon, 2B
- Christian Yelich, LF
- Giancarlo Stanton, RF
- Martin Prado, 3B
- Michael Morse, 1B
- Marcell Ozuna, CF
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
- Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
- Mat Latos, SP
Marcell Ozuna returns to the lineup for the Marlins, after being benched Sunday for being late to batting practice. Hopefully a day off giving him to think about his mistake will get him back on track, as well as the Marlins lineup. Manager Mike Redmond moves Martin Prado up from 5 to 4, swapping spots with Michael Morse, in hopes of bringing life to the lineup.
Luckily for the Marlins lineup, playing on the road will mean they will get the first at bat of the game, meaning they won’t have a chance of being down 7-0 before Dee Gordon steps up to the plate.
Here’s the lineup Mat Latos will face tonight:
Eric Young Jr, LF
Alberto Callapso, 2B
Nick Markakis, RF
Freddie Freeman, 1B
Chris Johnson, 3B
Cameron Maybin, CF
Shelby Miller, P
The Braves have a .256/.308/.397 slash line through the first 6 games of the season, with 4 home runs. Their team wRC+ of 100 is right around league average and sits 11th in the majors so far this season. Their pitching staff MLB leading ERA of 1.83 has carried them thus far.
A win tonight for the Marlins would be huge, as they need something to build on, as everything seems to be unraveling for the franchise right now.