Miami (42-39) vs Atlanta (28-53)
When: Sunday, July 3rd 2016
Where: Fort Bragg Field, Fort Bragg, NC
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: ESPN
The Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins will be the secondary storyline tonight as the two teams finish up their four-game series in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It will be the first major-league regular-season game played on an active U.S. military base as the contest will be held at Fort Bragg Field, constructed in four months on an old golf course with a seating capacity of 12,500. Military personnel will fill the seats and from what I’ve heard, will be a Braves-heavy crowd. The Braves have turned up the offense in this series scoring 22 runs in the first three games including yesterday’s 9-1 victory. Braves 1B Freddie Freeman blasted a two-run homer among his three hits Saturday and is one of the hottest hitters in baseball, batting .394 with five homers, 15 RBIs and 13 runs scored in his past 24 games. Miami outfielder Ichiro Suzuki collected a RBI triple Saturday and needs 11 hits to reach 3,000 for his career. He got the start yesterday for the slumping Giancarlo Stanton, who is hitting a career-worst .218, striking out five times in his past seven at-bats including yesterday with the bases loaded as a pinch hitter. Miami 1B Justin Bour, who is hitting .342 with eight homers in 23 career games against the Braves, left Saturday’s game with a sprained right ankle and is day-to-day.
Pitchers: Marlins – Adam Conley (4-5, 3.90 ERA) | Braves – Matt Wisler (3-7, 4.14)
Adam Conley gets the start for Miami and he’s been very inconsistent lately. The second-year pro allowed 11 hits and six runs in Arizona on June 12th, then followed it up with two gems against Colorado and Atlanta allowing just one run combined. His last start at Detroit was one to forget, however, as he allowed five runs in 4.1 innings in a 7-5 loss. Conley is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two starts against the Braves this season.
Matt Wisler has struggled early in his last two starts coming away with a pair of no-decisions against the Mets and Indians. He started out June by allowing 13 runs in his first two starts and not reaching the fifth inning in either of them. Wisler’s lone appearance against Miami this season was a one-inning relief stint on April 17th, resulting in his first career save.
It’s hard to predict a game like this with the unprecedented surroundings, but the crowd should be behind the Braves and Atlanta is hitting the ball well this weekend. I’ll take the underdog in this one.
Pick: Braves +130