12:40 PM ET, September 12, 2013
Marlins Park, Miami, Florida
Atlanta: Garcia (0-1, 1.17 ERA)
Miami: Flynn (0-0, 6.75 ERA)
The Atlanta Braves and their online sports betting fans may have thought a four-game set with the last-place Miami Marlins would be the perfect opportunity to move closer to an inevitable NL East title.
However, the series is a lot more spirited than anyone expected.
A day after tempers flared and the benches cleared, Atlanta will try to remain focused and impress YouWager experts on preparing for the postseason tonight in the series finale in Miami.
The Braves (87-58) own the best record in the NL, and the Marlines (54-90) have the worst. The disparity between the division foes has been evident by Atlanta winning seven of the first eight season meetings at Marlins Park, including victories in the first two of this series.
Atlanta was unable to make it three in a row Wednesday, falling 5-2. The MLB game was marred by a bench-clearing incident in the sixth, when Brian McCann confronted Marlins’ rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez after he was perceived to be showing up Mike Minor following his first home run.
Still, the Braves can take solace in their 11-game lead on second-place Washington Nationals in the division race.
That ample lead affords Atlanta to be able to rest starting pitchers in preparation for the postseason. That means rookie Alex Wood is getting a break tonight, despite only throwing 70 1/3 innings in 25 games — 10 starts.
The Braves will be sending Freddy Garcia (0-1, 1.17 ERA) to the mound for the first time.
The Venezuela native has made three appearances out of the bullpen since being recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Sept. 1.
The right-hander last start June 23 earned him a demotion to the minors, surrendering seven runs in 2 1/3 innings for the Baltimore Orioles in a 13-5 defeat versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Marlins will send Brian Flynn to the mound. The left-hander made his major league debut last Wednesday, allowing three runs and two homers with three walks in four innings while not getting a decision in a 9-7 defeat versus the Chicago Cubs.