Miami Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves Pick & Prediction APRIL 14th 2024

When the Atlanta Braves take the field in South Florida on Sunday, they’ll be looking not only for a series win, but for some more consistency out of their offense.

The lack of consistency is why they aren’t going for a series sweep.

After putting up an eight-spot in the run column Friday night, Atlanta’s potent lineup managed just one run on six hits against Florida Marlins pitcher Max Meyer on Saturday in a 5-1 loss.

Atlanta’s 1-4 hitters combined to hit 3-for-15.

“He pitched well. He was mixing it up,” Atlanta first baseman Matt Olson said of Meyer. “Not to discount anything he did, because he threw well, but it was not the best flow for us offensively today.”

In the rubber match Sunday afternoon, the Braves will aim to extend Miami starter Jesus Luzardo’s misery. In three starts this season, the left-hander is 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA. In six career appearances against Atlanta, Luzardo does hold a 3-3 record and a 3.52 ERA.

Atlanta will start Charlie Morton (1-0, 3.18), whose experience against the Marlins dates back to the days of the Florida Marlins. The 40-year old righty is 13-6 with a 3.92 ERA in 24 career appearances against the Marlins.

Coming off a 2023 season in which Miami finished with its most wins (84) since 2009 and made just its second postseason appearance since the 2003 World Series, the organizational direction was trending upwards.

Then, the Marlins began the year 1-11 and didn’t pick up their first home win until Saturday.

Nonetheless, Miami manager Skip Schumaker’s team has now won two of three and has a chance to get its first series win of 2024.

“It’s not like we’re going to stop playing hard or stop fighting,” Schumaker said. “I know it’s not what everybody wanted the start to be, but that’s a really good team that we have out there. If we pitch like that and don’t have self-inflicted wounds, we’re going to be OK.”

Along with Meyer’s excellent start Saturday, Miami got a lift from left fielder Bryan De La Cruz, who went 2-for-4 and cleared the bases with a three-run double off Atlanta’s Chris Sale in the fifth inning.

“It feels great,” De La Cruz said of the team’s first home win in 2024. “It’s an amazing feeling to win here at home. We play as a unit. This is what got us to the playoffs last year and that’s what we’re trying to emulate this year and try to make it happen again.”

De La Cruz is batting .270 with a home run and four RBIs this season.

Although just 11-23 against the Braves since the beginning of the 2022 season, the Marlins would get their second straight series win over their NL East rivals with a win Sunday, as they swept Atlanta at home in a three-game set from Sept. 15-17 last year.

Sunday marks the last time the Braves will play in Miami until a late-season series opening Sept. 20.

–Field Level Media

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