Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM
Thursday's NL Tip Sheet
Braves at Pirates – 12:35 PM EST
Atlanta and Pittsburgh wrap up its three-game series at PNC Park after each team picked up a high-scoring victory the last two nights. The Braves (33-28) rallied from a 4-1 deficit to pull away from the Pirates on Tuesday, 12-5 by scoring nine runs in the final four innings, highlighted by home runs from Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson, and Austin Riley to cash as a -200 favorite.
The Pirates (29-31) rebounded on Wednesday following a two-hour rain delay to beat the Braves, 7-4. Pittsburgh jumped out to a 5-1 second inning lead and never looked back as Atlanta posted three runs in the ninth inning to make the final score look closer. Catcher Elias Diaz went deep for the first time this season, while battery mate Joe Musgrove bounced back from his pitching woes at home to toss eight solid innings to help Pittsburgh cash as a +115 underdog.
The Braves head into today’s finale owning a solid 12-5 mark in Game 3’s this season as Mike Foltynewicz takes the mound. The Atlanta right-hander hasn’t had much luck this season as the Braves have compiled a dreadful 1-6 record in his seven starts. The most recent defeat came as a -195 home favorite in an 8-2 setback to Detroit last Friday, as Foltynewicz yielded five earned runs for the third time this season.
Chris Archer won for the first time since early April in a 9-4 home triumph over Milwaukee last Friday. Archer tossed seven innings, but allowed at least four runs for the fifth consecutive outing. The OVER has hit in four of Archer’s last five starts, while the Pirates and Braves cashed the OVER in each of the first two games of this series.
Marlins at Brewers – 2:10 PM EST
Which universe are we currently living in? The Marlins (23-36) have scored at least eight runs in four consecutive games (all on the road), while outscoring the Brewers (34-28) by a whopping 24-3 margin in a pair of blowout wins at Miller Park. Miami is seeking its second road sweep of the season this afternoon, while Milwaukee hasn’t been swept at home in a series of three or more games since 2016 against Pittsburgh.
To show how far along the Marlins have come recently, this team has won 13 of their last 18 games. Prior to this hot stretch, Miami suffered through a seven-game skid in which it scored a total of eight runs. The Marlins posted 11 runs alone in the fifth inning of Tuesday’s 16-0 blowout of the Brewers as a +175 underdog, while not letting up in last night’s 8-3 rout to cash as a +205 ‘dog.
Southpaw Caleb Smith was Miami’s top pitcher for the first month by posting a 3-0 mark in six starts, while giving up one earned run or less four times. However, Smith has gone backwards of late as the Marlins are 1-4 in his past five outings, including three losses away from south Florida. Smith will keep the Marlins in the game as the left-hander has allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of 11 starts, but hasn’t pitched past the fifth inning in his last three appearances.
Freddy Peralta counters for Milwaukee, as the Brewers’ pitching staff is looking for a reprieve after the last two starters haven’t pitched past the fourth inning. Peralta’s last three appearances came out of the bullpen in which he gave up four runs in 7.1 innings of work. In Peralta’s most recent start, he lasted four innings in a 7-4 defeat at Philadelphia on May 13, as the Brewers are 2-4 in his six starts this season.
Rockies at Cubs – 2:10 PM EST
It’s amazing how long winning streaks feel like they won’t end, but once that is gets snapped, you don’t know when a victory will come next. That’s the case for Colorado (31-29), who entered Chicago on an eight-game winning streak, but the Rockies are looking to avoid the sweep today after dropping the first two contests.
The Cubs (34-26) are back on the winning track after dropping three games to the rival Cardinals last weekend by beating the Angels in a make-up contest prior to capturing the first two against the Rockies. Chicago pulled away from Colorado on Tuesday night as -220 favorites, 6-3, highlighted by another solid start from right-hander Kyle Hendricks, who struck out 10 batters in seven innings. The Cubs held off the Rockies in a wild game last night, 8-7 as Chicago built a 3-0 lead before Colorado tied the game at 3-3. Chicago posted five runs in the sixth inning and picked up a late insurance win to guarantee its first home series win since mid-May.
Jose Quintana is winless in his past five starts for Chicago, as the southpaw seeks his first victory since May 5 against St. Louis. Quintana pitched well in his last outing against the Cardinals last Saturday until the rain fell at Busch Stadium, resulting in a lengthy rain delay and preventing the left-hander to continue in a 2-2 game. The Cubs ended up losing, 7-5 in a battle of the bullpens, as Quintana threw only 69 pitches. The Cubs are 4-2 in Quintana’s six starts at Wrigley Field this season, but he owns a bloated 5.60 ERA in daytime action.
The Rockies have lost their last three road series finales, while allowing 27 runs in those contests. Colorado turns to right-hander Peter Lambert this afternoon, who will be making his Major League debut. Lambert is the top pitching prospect in the Rockies’ organization, as the San Dimas, California native (home of “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure"), has compiled a 2-2 record and 5.07 ERA at Triple-A Albuquerque.
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