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Sports Marlins-Braves NLDS preview: Schedule, prediction, pitchers for showdown between rivals

15:06  06 october  2020
15:06  06 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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The American League East rival Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees meet in the ALDS at Petco Park in San Diego.

Was their two-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds in the wild-card series the relief they needed to flourish?

They will find out quickly against a division nemesis they probably didn’t figure would pose problems so quickly. But the relentless Miami Marlins, something of a sentimental favorite after losing 18 players to a coronavirus outbreak three games into the season, are more than just a good story.

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Their power arms and their fleet feet will challenge a Braves team that can hammer opponents into submission with a slew of MVP-caliber bats.

Schedule

All games at Minute Maid Park in Houston (*if necessary and all times ET)

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He pitched well in Game 2, holding the Cardinals to three hits, no runs, and no walks over seven frames. Another outing like that and the Braves This has been a thrilling series , and both pitchers seem up for the challenge of delivering a big performance. We're leaning toward the Cardinals

The NLDS has shifted to St. Louis for Game 3. On paper, the pitching matchup is advantage Braves . Soroka was one of the best pitchers in baseball this season, not just one of the best rookies, but he has already thrown a career high 174 1/3 innings in 2019. Marte goes yard in Marlins debut.

Game 1, Tuesday: Marlins (Sandy Alcantara 3-2, 3.00 ERA) at Braves (Max Fried 7-0, 2.25 ERA), 2:08, FS1

Game 2, Wednesday: Marlins (Pablo Lopez 6-4, 3.61 ERA) at Braves (Ian Anderson 3-2, 1.95), 2:08, MLB Network

Game 3, Thursday: Braves (Kyle Wright 2-4, 5.21 ERA) at Marlins (Sixto Sanchez 3-2, 3.46 ERA), 2:08, FS1

Game 4*, Friday: Braves at Marlins, 2:08, FS1

Game 5*, Saturday: Marlins at Braves, 4:08, FS1

Three things to watch

Marté partake?: The Marlins received a turbo boost from the Aug. 31 trade acquisition of Starling Marté, who is probably their best position player and brings loud tools to both center field and the middle of the lineup. Marté, though, suffered a non-displaced fracture of his left pinkie in Game 1 of the wild-card series and sat out Game 2. Whether he’s on the roster and how effective he’ll be are both open questions. Reserve outfielders Magneuris Sierra, Monté Harrison and Lewis Brinson have excellent speed and are strong defenders, but can’t hit like Marté. And that’s a problem for a club that batted .203 in the wild-card series.

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The official probable pitchers page of Atlanta Braves including up to the minute stats, preview 2020 Postseason Schedule 2021 Regular Season Schedule 2021 Spring Training Schedule Sortable Fried tweaked his left ankle in his start on Wednesday against the Marlins , but he threw a successful

One and done: It should be an excellently pitched series, with Games 1-2 starters Fried, Anderson and Alcantara all coming off dominant wild-card starts. The Marlins opted to give rookie Sanchez an extra day of rest and go Game 3. But in a series where, with no off days, each starting pitcher likely only goes once, the Nos. 3-5 starters could be huge. The key for the Marlins: Can Lopez break serve and steal Game 2 against Anderson, who struck out nine in his playoff debut? That could give the Marlins momentum into a Game 3 matchup where Sanchez may hold the edge over the inconsistent Wright. Just as the Braves hope to take command behind Fried and Anderson, so, too, will the Marlins lean on Alcantara, Lopez and Sanchez so their season doesn’t hinge on Trevor Rogers or Daniel Castano.

Might vs. flight: The Braves hit 103 home runs. The Marlins hit 60. The Marlins stole 53 bases. The Braves stole 23. What matters more in this best-of-five? While Miami’s bullpen was fantastic in the regular season and the wild-card series, its relievers ranked last in baseball with 7.30 strikeouts per nine innings. That’s a dangerous way to fly against Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuña Jr., Marcell Ozuna and Adam Duvall – particularly in cozy Minute Maid Park.

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Prediction

Braves in 4.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Marlins-Braves NLDS preview: Schedule, prediction, pitchers for showdown between rivals

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