Free from Doc’s Sports. Take #901 Atlanta Braves over Florida Marlins (7:10pm ET) As good as the Atlanta Braves have been all season long, they’ve managed to fly a little beneath the radar. With the Phillies dominating the entire National League, the Braves have sat comfortably in second place in the National League East. The Braves, however, own the fourth best record in baseball at 67-49 and are well-positioned to make another playoff run. If you break down exactly how Atlanta has done it this season, you can simply look to their pitching staff. They own the second best bullpen ERA in the majors and the eighth best starting pitcher ERA. They’re pitching staff is very deep and one of the young up and coming guns in their rotation is today’s starter Brandon Beachy. The rookie right-hander has made 16 starts, going 5-2 with a 3.49 ERA and he is just starting to figure things out. He has excellent stuff and figures to be a mainstay in Atlanta’s rotation for many years to come.
The Florida Marlins counter with right-hander Clay Hensley. Hensley has bounced around between the minor leagues and the big leagues for his entire 6-year career. He’s pitched mostly out of the pen, but was recently given a chance in the rotation and this will be only his fifth start all year. He hasn’t been particularly effective with a 4.46 ERA while walking just as many batters as he strikes out. And don’t count on the Marlins offense providing much of a boost as they have struggled to put runs on the board of late, partly because they have been ravaged by injuries. Their disabled list resembles a mash unit and they’ve only managed to score 3.07 runs per game in their last 10 contests. Their latest casualty was superstar Hanley Ramirez who is questionable for this matchup. With some of the regulars banged up, Beachy should have no trouble taking care of a weak Marlins lineup.
The Marlins have been one of the worst home teams in baseball this season evidenced by their 24-36 mark in Sun Life Stadium. They’ve been even worse of late at 10-25 in their last 35 home games. The Braves, on the other hand, have one of the better records away from home at 32-27. They look to take the second straight in this series and I expect them to do it behind the powerful arm of Brandon Beachy and a maligned Florida roster. Doc’s Sports is ready to kick-off the 2011 NFL Preseason on Thursday with a weekend card of winning selections!