Braves Host 2nd Game of 3 Game Home Set Against Anibal Sanchez and the Marlins

Florida Marlins (52-54) AT Atlanta Braves (62-45)

July 30, 2011 at 7:10

Opening Line:  ATL -146, FLA +136

Current Line:  ATL -141, FLA +131

Opening Total: 7

Current Tottal: 7

SP:  FLA- Anibal Sanchez, ATL- Tim Hudson

Uggla just compiled the longest Braves' hitting streak in 3 years

Atlanta has been rolling, as owners of the second best record in the National League, only behind the best team in baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies.  They will have to look to make a move to counter the Phillies’ acquisition of Hunter Pence.  The move has been lauded by experts as a great upgrade for the Phillies, who were certainly not even in need of an upgrade.

Dan Uggla realizes the task the Braves will have in getting past the Phillies en route to a pennant.

“They’re good.  They’re making move you can make to go for it….They’re a good team, but we are too, and there are a lot of other teams that are gong to make the playoffs.”
Diplomatic as that approach may be, it won’t be teams like the Marlins that the Braves are going to encounter.  The acquisition of Dan Uggla has done wonders for the offense, as he is in the midst of a 20 game hitting streak, the club’s longest since September of 2008.  He hit a three run homer in the 5-0 Braves win last night.  Over his hitting streak he is .342 with 7 HRs and 15 RBIs.

Tim Hudson will take the mound for the Braves.  He is 9-7 with a 3.42 ERA and just lost his first decision in over a month, failing to receive any run support against the Pirates, though he did pick up a quality start, allowing only 3 runs over 7 innings.  He felt “(his) stuff was really good,” but the Pirates have been one of the better teams in baseball and present more of a challenge to opposing pitchers than they did in the past.

The Marlins haven’t been struggling either though, and prior to last night’s loss, they had won 5 straight.  They’ll look to Anibal Sanchez to get them back on track, and given his 6-3 record with a 3.60 ERA, that is a distinct possibility.  However, in his last 8 starts, he has gone 0-2 with a 4.60 ERA.  In addition to that less than stellar performance, he has also only received 11 runs of support in those 8 games and received 2 or fewer runs five times.

Sunday against the Mets, Sanchez was unable to protect a two run lead and he gave up 4 runs in 7 innings of work, but did not receive a decision in the Marlins’ loss.  In his last 3 starts against Atlanta, he has compiled a 5.09 ERA.

The Braves Emilio Bonifacio ended a 26 game hitting streak on Friday, but hit .390 with 27 runs over the streak, which was the club’s longest since 2002.  Bonfiacio will have to overcome his past at Turner Field, where he has only a .220 average.

Some betting trends:

The total has gone OVER In 5 of the Marlins’ last 7 games and they are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games.  The total has gone OVER in 9 of the Marlins’ last 13 road games and they are 6-1 SU in their last 7 on the road.  The total has gone UNDER in 9 of the Marlins’ last 10 games against the Atlanta Braves and they are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games against the Braves.  The total has gone UNDER in 6 of the last 7 games on the road at Atlanta and the Marlins are 2-7 SU in their last 9 games on the road against the Braves.

The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the Braves’ last 6 games and it has gone UNDER IN 4 of their last 5 home games.  The Braves are 15-4 SU in their last 19 home games.  The total has gone UNDER in 9 of the Braves’ last 10 games against the Florida Marlins and it has also gone UNDER in 6 of the last 7 at home against the Marlins.  The Braves are 7-2 SU in their last 9 home games against the Braves.

The favored Braves seem like the appropriate choice here.  With the importance of this game, Hudson’s success on the mound, and Sanchez’ struggles at Turner Field, all indications are that the Braves will win this game and further their chances of chasing down the Phillies in the standings.

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