Miami Marlins (47-52) at Atlanta Braves (54-46)
Wednesday, July 23 - 7:10 PM EST
Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia
Buy or sell is the question facing the Miami Marlins as the July 31 trade deadline approaches, and at 6 1/2 games out of the final National League wild-card spot the next few days could determine their strategy. The Marlins visit the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, riding a three-game winning streak, and published reports Tuesday indicated Miami may have renewed interest in Oakland reliever Jim Johnson to bolster its fatigued bullpen. The Braves may stand pat at the deadline, although their feast-or-famine offensive showing of late may change that approach.
Atlanta has averaged 8.8 runs in its past four victories and 2.3 in its past three defeats, and the upcoming schedule is not kind to the Braves’ hopes of outlasting Washington in the NL East. The Braves play the Los Angeles Dodgers seven times while taking on Washington and Oakland three games each by Aug. 17. Miami’s relief corps has pitched a major-league high 119 innings since June 15, and gave up three runs in four innings Tuesday as the Marlins held on for a 6-5 victory.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), SportSouth (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Nathan Eovaldi (5-5, 4.08 ERA) vs. Braves RH Ervin Santana (8-6, 4.03)
Eovaldi started the second half with a thud, giving up a season-high eight runs on nine hits in four innings Friday against the Giants. He is 1-3 in his past seven starts with a 6.15 ERA, giving up five or more runs four times. Eovaldi is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in three starts against the Braves this season, allowing one run on three hits in seven innings to win at home April 30.
Santana has pitched well since a three-game losing streak, winning three of his past four starts while allowing only one homer in 27 innings. He beat the Phillies on Friday, allowing three earned runs on six hits in six innings despite striking out only one. Santana is 1-0 in two starts against Miami in 2014, giving up three runs on seven hits in six innings to win at Miami on May 31.
1. Miami 2B Donovan Solano is hitting .405 in his past 13 games following his career-best, four-hit performance Tuesday.
2. Atlanta LF Justin Upton homered Tuesday and is 11-for-27 during his current seven-game hitting streak.
3. Miami LF Christian Yelich has a 16-game road hitting streak, recording two or more hits in 10 of those contests.
PREDICTION: Braves 4, Marlins 3