Braves vs. Marlins MLB Pick For September 30th

by Kevin Roberts
on September 30, 2017

The narrative is clear heading into Saturday night. The Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins have nothing to play for and all eyes will be on Giancarlo Stanton in his pursuit for 60 home runs.

It’s not a record-breaking number, but it’s still a milestone. Stanton hitting 60+ home runs would put the Marlins on the map and give them new hope for 2018. It’d also give the Miami masher one of the best seasons ever in the majors, sliding him into elite company if he can reach the mark.

Stanton said earlier in the year that thanks to steroids, the initial record of 61 set by Yankees star Roger Maris was the number he was chasing. He just might get there on Saturday and even if he doesn’t, he has the whole weekend to try.

While Stanton’s homer plight will captivate us, casual MLB bettors still have money to make on the betting landscape. This game offers a solid chance to do just that, as rivalry games are fun to wager on and neither of these teams will want to end the year losing to the other.

Miami is at home and is guaranteed to finish with the better record, while the Braves limp in behind a 5-game skid. That helps make Miami the obvious favorite (-125 at Bovada), but is that the bet we should be taking? Let’s take a closer look to find out:

Atlanta Braves (+105)
Miami Marlins (-125)
Total: 9

This is a difficult spot, but such is life in baseball when you look at the morning lines and half of the games don’t have odds yet. For me, that makes this game stand out, as Stanton is shooting for a huge milestone and the Marlins are hoping to close out the season strong.

Miami has been doing a solid job of doing just that, as they’ve won two in a row and 6 of their last 4. With a solid 41-35 home record aiding them, they’re the understandable favorites going into this one.

The harsh reality is the Braves haven’t looked good and they probably don’t offer enough betting value to get excited about. They don’t give us nothing but +105 isn’t enough to get me to back a team that is fading into oblivion to close out the year.

Freddie Freeman has been banged up pretty much all year and Atlanta’s offense has been hit or miss. They did show up last night and very well could again tonight against Odrisamer Despaigne (1-3, 4.21 ERA), however.

Despaigne has not been a tough guy to figure out. He does a really good job against right-handed bats and gets obliterated by strong lefties. With the likes of Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Ender Inciarte and Johan Camargo lining up from the left side of the plate, I get the feeling Despaigne could be in for some trouble.

That isn’t enough to get me to take the Braves here. Miami has a strong narrative going and Atlanta is in a slump to close out a disappointing season.

Still, the Braves could chip in some solid offense in a nice rivalry game. In addition, it’s not like youngster Lucas Sims is a lock to stifle the Marlins. Stanton could very well get his tonight, while Sims has produced a nasty 6.26 ERA on the road. He’s young and inexperienced and he’ll be in a hostile environment for his last start of the year.

None of this means the Marlins wreck Sims or even win, but collectively I like what it all could mean for a pretty playable Total. Stanton’s narrative, the splits and the suspect pitching put the 9 Total very much in play tonight and it feels like one of the more attractive wagers on Saturday’s MLB betting slate.

Pick: Over 9 (-120)
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