First pitch: 2:08 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network
Probable pitchers: Pablo Lopez (6-4, 3.61 ERA) vs. Ian Anderson (3-2, 1.95 ERA)
Miami Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves Predictions
A little interesting that Game 2 of this National League Division Series garnered an over/under of 8.5 instead of the expected 9. After all, with two frontline starters going yesterday in Sandy Alcantara and Max Fried, the bats on both sides managed to each uncork some damage and sail over the mere total of 8.
So now the linesmakers are saying today’s pitching matchup of Pablo Lopez vs. Ian Anderson — even with the emergence of the same exact lineups from a day ago — is just a half-run worse to its predecessor?
Apparently, the books are sensing a lower-scoring affair — as do I — in the next contest even with less star power involved regarding the two probables.
Anderson is clearly going to be a star sooner than later. Only seven starts (including his first-ever postseason assignment last week) into his Major League career, the former No. 3 overall draft pick has made it obvious, in fact, that he has an extremely high ceiling and could be on his way to multiple All-Star Game cameos in his very bright future.
Had Anderson arrived to The Show earlier, he’d no doubt be one of the leading contenders for this year’s NL Rookie of the Year Award. As it is, even with only six starts under his belt during the regular season, Anderson still managed to qualify for MLB Pipeline’s 2020 All-Rookie Team.
It’s a deserved honor for the 22-year-old. He allowed just seven earned runs total in those six assignments — good for a sparkling 1.95 ERA — and followed that up by dealings six brilliant shutout innings in his playoff debut to propel the Braves into the NLDS. I don’t see him suddenly failing.
Anderson is yet to allow more than three runs in a start, only being tagged for that many once. In other words, his likely worst-case scenario would still be very useful for this bet. And when he faced the Marlins twice this year, they were only able to claim one earned run off him total.
The key will be if Lopez can hold his end of the bargain — and there’s a lot of notable evidence to suggest he can.
First of all, while Lopez hasn’t pitched in a couple of weeks, this is actually something that may benefit him greatly.
Throughout his still-young career, the third-year right-hander has been nothing short of superb when going on six or more days of rest. He’s amassed enough of a sample size (nine starts) under the circumstances to buy into this, as he notched an outstanding 1.88 ERA and 0.80 WHIP. Compare that to his career numbers on four or five days of rest (5.26 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) and it’s a huge contrast.
Additionally, Lopez gets a boost from Chad Wallace being behind the plate. Of any catcher that Lopez has thrown to more than three times, it’s Wallach with whom he’s registered the lowest ERA (3.00) and batting average against (.178) — and by a mile. Wallach’s downgraded bat from Jorge Alfaro definitely helps, too.
Furthermore, Lopez will be working during his preferred hours, that being the afternoon. His career ERA in the day time (3.27) is significantly lower than when he’s going at night (4.94). Of note, he’s allowed only four homers in his 11 Major League assignments with the sun still out.
Though he’s not one of the flashiest names on this Marlins pitching staff, Lopez’ progress needs to be noted. I mean, in essentially just more than a third of a real season, he set career-best marks in wins (six), ERA (3.61), WHIP (1.19), BAA (.230) and strikeout rate (9.26 K/9).
With quality pitching from an unfazed Anderson, I think a game Lopez can provide the rest for a lower-scoring affair.
Bet: UNDER 8.5 (-110)
MLB Leans - October 7
TB/NYY Under 9
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*
Regular season: “19-42-4,” -28.91 units
Postseason: 4-2, +1.45 units
Last Result: Marlins-Braves Under 8 (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit (postseason 0.5 unit except first one)