Game 2 of the NLCS takes place on Wednesday, as NL East foes Miami and Atlanta meet up at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The Marlins will look to even things up after dropping Game 1. First pitch for this one is scheduled for 2:08 pm ET.
The Braves took the first game, after beating the Marlins 9-5. The contest featured some fireworks, as Ronald Acuna Jr., who homered in his first at bat, was later plunked by Miami’s Sandy Alcantara. Big days from Acuna and Travis d’Arnaud, ultimately led the Braves to a win.
The pitching matchup for Wednesday’s Game 2 features Pablo Lopez (6-4, 3.61 ERA) going for Miami against the Braves’ Ian Anderson (3-2, 1.95 ERA).
According to Fanduel, the Braves are the favorites to win Game 2 with a Moneyline of -200 while the Marlins sit at +172. The over/under for total runs is 9.
If betting the series, the Braves are the overwhelming favorites with a Moneyline of -750. The Marlins are +540 underdogs to take the best of five series.
By The Numbers
Offensively, the Braves come in with the scoring advantage. Atlanta ranks 2nd overall, averaging 5.71 runs per game. The Marlins fall to 20th overall plating 4.35 runs per game.
Defensively, the Braves once again hold the advantage, although the gap is narrower. Atlanta is 15th overall in runs allowed/game with 4.65. The Marlins’ 4.92 runs allowed / game is 18th in MLB.
Marlins Hoping To Even Up Series
After going 4-6 against the Braves during the regular season, Miami knew they would have their work cut out for them this series. After dropping the opening game, the Marlins hope to even things up and not fall in a 2-0 hole heading to an elimination game.
Miami turns to Pablo Lopez on Wednesday. On the season, Lopez went 6-4 in 11 starts with a 3.61 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 59 strikeouts in 57.1 innings.
Two of Lopez’s starts were against the Braves, in one he allowed seven runs in less than two IP, but went scoreless in 5.0 IP in the other. Manager Don Mattingly is hoping for an outing like the latter in game 2.
Offensively, Brian Anderson led the way in Game 1, going 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. The outfielder was Miami’s most productive hitter during the regular season, hitting .255/.345/.465 with 11 home runs, 38 RBI and 27 runs scored.
Braves Look To Take Commanding Lead
The Braves certainly seemed energized on Monday, especially after Acuna Jr. was hit by the pitch. They will try to use that energy on Wednesday to expand this to a two-game lead.
Acuna has been one of the Braves best hitters all season. In 160 at bats, he is hitting .250/.406/.581 with 14 home runs, 29 RBI and 46 runs scored. Between Acuna, Freddie Freeman (.341 average, 13 home runs, 53 runs batted in, 51 runs scored) and Marcell Ozuna (.338 average, 18 home runs, 56 runs batted in), the Braves’ offense has the ability to put up runs in a hurry.
On the mound for the Braves will be 22-year-old Ian Anderson. The right-hander was 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and struck out 41 in 32.1 innings pitched. In the Wild Card series, Anderson went 6 innings, allowing 2 hits, 2 walks and 9 strikeouts on his way to a win over the Cincinnati Reds.
Taking the Braves In Game 2
It’s hard to bet against the Braves in this one. Anderson may be young and inexperienced, but he showed in the Wild Card series that he is capable of handling postseason pressure. Behind a potent Braves’ offense, pitchers don’t need to be great either. That makes Atlanta -200 the logical bet on Wednesday.