2020 NLDS Preview: Marlins V. Braves
Can the upstart fish do what the fish do … that is, win championships after being invisible?
They’re baaaaaacccccckkkkkk … and no, it’s not safe to go back in the water.
OK, the Miami Marlins are not sharks, but I like movie quotes so, close enough. Close enough is what most people thought would be the Marlins fate this postseason. Certainly they wouldn’t be able to take out the Chicago Cubs, right? Wrong. Chicago was out on its ear in two games and Miami looks like it could repeat 1997 and 2003’s title runs. Hopefully this run won’t be followed by the same kind of fire sale that followed those two.
Now, Miami takes on a Braves team which will also likely to be favored to advance. But, not so fast.
Miami has two key cogs in Miguel Rojas and Jon Berti who can lead off. Combined they have an on-base percentage of .390 and the two are 1-2 in stolen bases. The addition of Jesus Aguilar from the Brewers adds power, as do Brian Anderson, Corey Dickerson and Garrett Cooper, Miami was not built on a home run or bust foundation. That should serve them well.
But, they lose Starling Marte, who’s out with a broken hand.
For Atlanta, Freddie Freeman (.341 average, 1.102 on base plus slugging) and Marcell Ozuna (.337, are at the peak of their powers and Ronald Acuna Jr. is right behind them.
Out of the bullpen, A.J. Minter, Darren O’Day and Chris Martin have ERAs under 1.10.
As for starters, Atlanta’s Max Fried is a bonafide number one. I wouldn’t be shocked if they bullpen the other three games though or have very, very short leashes for their other starters. For Miami, they have an advantage with either Sixto Sanchez, Daniel Castano, or Pablo Lopez as their second and third starters.
But Fried makes a huge difference. Overall the Braves have a slight advantage in the ERA department and their OPS is 130 points higher offensively. I think it’s enough but I won’t be shocked by a fish upset. Braves in five.