Monday, September 25, 2023
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MLB Preview: Atlanta Braves (96-50) at Miami Marlins (75-72)


TONIGHT’S GAME: The Braves and Marlins tonight open a three-game weekend series with what is the 11th of 13 games between the teams this season… This series marks the final scheduled meetings between the two clubs this season. Atlanta is 9-1 against Miami this season, outscoring the Marlins, 83-29 (+54)…The Marlins are 1-9 with a -54 run differential against the Braves, and 74-63 with a -6 run differential against all other teams. The Braves have already won the season set with the Marlins…Atlanta has won the season set against Miami for nine consecutive years now, dating to 2015…Moreover, the Braves have won double-digit games over the Marlins in 17 of the last 19 full seasons…They went 9-10 in 2014 and 8-10 in 2009…Since 2015, the Braves are 100-52 (.658) against Miami. Atlanta is 308-202 (.604) all-time against the Marlins franchise since it was founded in 1993… The Braves’ 308 wins versus Miami since the start of 1993 are its most against any one team in baseball…Per Elias, since 1993, only one MLB club has beaten another club more times than Atlanta has beaten Miami…The New York Yankees have beaten the Baltimore Orioles 314 times since that year. RH Bryce Elder has faced Miami more than any other team in baseball, going 1-2 with a 2.83 ERA (11 ER/35.0 IP) in six career starts against them… In two turns this season, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA, allowing eight hits and four runs in 12.1 innings. RH Johnny Cueto is set to make his 11th career start against Atlanta, and is 2-5 with a 3.82 ERA (26 ER/61.1 IP) over his first 10 turns…The 5-foot-11, 229-pound native of the Dominican Republic last faced Atlanta in 2019 while with the Giants, and allowed four runs in 4.0 innings to take the loss in his lone start.

WIN: The Braves beat the Phillies, 4-1, on Wednesday night to take three-of-four from Philadelphia and clinch the NL East…Atlanta went 5-1 at Citizens Bank Park this season, its first winning season in Philadelphia since going 5-4 there in 2016. Atlanta scored two runs in the first inning, extending its single-season franchise record to 132 runs in the first this season…That total is most in the majors, 21 more than any other team…The Braves’ 132 runs in the first are also the most by any team in any inning this season. Ronald Acuna Jr. went 3-for-5 with a run and a stolen base, and he leads the majors in both categories (133 runs, 66 stolen bases)…Acuna Jr. is batting .316/.391/.702 with a 1.092 OPS in September. The Braves improved to 30-9 (.769) in games versus the N.L. East this season, and have not lost a series to a division opponent this year.

CLINCHED: Atlanta’s win on Wednesday night clinched the N.L. East division for the club, the first team in baseball this season to secure their division title. The Braves have won the N.L. East in each of the last six years dating to 2018, the longest active streak of division championships in baseball. Since joining the N.L. East in 1994, Atlanta has won 18 division titles in 30 total seasons…For reference, the Phillies and Expos/Nationals have each won the title five times, the Mets have done so twice and the Marlins have yet to win it. The Braves clinched the title in their 146th game of the season…Per Elias, that is Atlanta’s second-quickest clinch in the divisional era (since 1969) by team decisions…The 2002 Braves clinched after their 141st game. The Braves currently have a 7.5 game lead over the Dodgers for the best record in the N.L. and a 5.0 game lead over the Orioles for the best record in baseball…Atlanta currently holds home-field advantage for the duration of the postseason.

Tonight’s Starting Pitcher – #55 Bryce Elder RHP
2023 Record: 12-4, 3.38 ERA • 2022 Record: 2-4, 3.17 ERA
vs. RHB: .230 (68-296), 7 HR • vs. LHB: .240 (73-304), 9 HR
Home: 7-1, 2.99 ERA (29 ER/86.1 IP) • Away: 5-3, 3.84 ERA (32 ER/75.0 IP)

Today’s Game

  • Set to make his third start against Miami this year and 29th on the season. Held the Marlins to three hits over 7.0 scoreless innings in his last start against
    them. Elder is 4-0 with a 2.30 ERA over his last five starts. Earned his 12th win of the season in his last outing, beating Pittsburgh 8-2. Atlanta has won 20 games with Elder as the starter; tied for the third-most wins by a team in a single pitcher’s starts in 2023…Strider leads with 23. Elder’s 3.38 ERA on the season is the fourth lowest in the NL among qualifiers. Sported a 1.92 ERA in 11 starts prior to June 1. Pitching to a 4.38 ERA over his last 17 starts since the beginning of June. Teammate Charlie Morton ranks fifth; Atlanta and Arizona are the only team in the National League with multiple qualified starters ranking in the top 10. Opponents are hitting .202 against Elder with runners on base; the second lowest rate in the majors (among QS). Elder’s 6.19 ERA with ROB is the sixth lowest in the NL among qualifiers. Owns a 75.9 left-on-base percentage. His groundball rate of 51.0% of balls put in play is the fifth highest in the majors among qualified starters. Has recorded an out on 58.1% of those grounders put in play. The average launch angle of balls put in play against Elder is 8.30; fifth lowest in the National League. Elder is pitching to a 2.62 ERA while holding opponents to a .227/.296/.352 line the first two times through the lineup. Conversely, owns a 6.15 ERA and hitters have a line of .258/.325/.417 the third time through the order and on. Is 13-5 with a 3.09 ERA over his last 33 games started after being recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett, dating to August 14, 2022. He has six starts in his career of at least 6.0 innings without allowing a run the most such games in Braves franchise history (since 1900) in a player’s first 25 starts…Irv Young (1905), Clif Curtis (1909-’10) and Ian Anderson (’20-21) each had five such starts.
  • 2023 Recap Held the Yankees to one hit over 7.0 shutout innings on August 15. Became the 10th pitcher in Atlanta franchise hitsory to spin 7.0 scorless innings while limiting an opponent to one hit or less at the age of 24 or younger. Teammate Spencer Strider also did it earlier this season. Named to the 2023 National League All-Star Team, his first selection. Joined Hall-of-Famer John Smoltz and Michael Soroka as the only starters in Atlanta-franchise history to make the All-Star team in their second year playing. Joined Hall-of-Famer John Smoltz, Shelby Miller and Julio Teheran as the only Atlanta-era pitchers, age 24 or younger to post a 2.40 ERA or lower through their first 15 starts to a season. Elder has 20 games of at least 5.1 innings pitched in 25 career starts; the most in Atlanta franchise history through as many games started. Elder’s 2.30 ERA through 20 career starts is the lowest in Atlanta franchise history to begin a career. His 117.1 innings pitched through his first 20 games started were the most by an Atlanta player to begin their career since Julio Teheran in 2011-13. His 30 earned runs allowed are also the fewest during that span. Elder has held opponents to one run or less in nine games this season while pitching at least 5.0 frames in every outing. His 13 appearances of at least 5.0 innings pitched while holding opponents to one run or less are the most through a player’s first 25 outings in Atlanta franchise history


The Marlins begin the final homestand of the season, with the first game of a three-game weekend series vs. the Atlanta Braves. Following this match-up, Miami will host the New York Mets (Sept. 18-20) and Milwaukee Brewers (Sept. 22-24) for three-game sets, with an off-day on Thursday, September 21. The Marlins return home from aa 2-city, 7-game road trip, which saw Miami take 2 of 3 from the Phillies and drop 3 of 4 to the Brewers. Miami is currently in the midst of 16 straight games before the club’s next off-day on September 21.

The Marlins wrap up their season series against the Braves with a three-game weekend set at loanDepot park. Miami is currently 1-9 vs. Atlanta, suffering a four-game sweep to the Braves in their first match-up at loanDepot park. Since the ballpark opened in 2012, the Marlins are 32-67 vs. the Braves at home.

The Marlins enter today 0.5 game behind Arizona, Cincinnati and San Francisco for the final NL Wild Card spot. The club entered September with a .500 or better record for the 1st time in a full season since 2016, and 8th time overall in club history.

Through 13 games of the final month of the season, Miami (8-5) is tied with the Braves, Brewers, and Pirates for the most wins in September in the National League, and tied for the third-most in MLB.

The Marlins return home where they own a 40-32 record at loanDepot park this season. Miami’s offense at home owns a .269 AVG, which ranks 2nd in the National League and 4th in MLB. The Marlins pitching staff owns a 3.99 ERA and 1.23 WHIP at home, which rank 8th and 6th in the NL, respectively. The staff owns 707 strikeouts at loanDepot park, good for 3rd in the NL and 6th in MLB.

The Marlins are 30-12 in games decided by one run – the highest winning pct. in such games this season in MLB (.714) and second most one-run wins, behind Cincinnati (33). Miami has a 44-28 record in games decided by two runs or fewer, with the .611 winning percentage being the highest in the NL and second in MLB behind Baltimore (.656). Miami played 64 one-run games last year, going 24-40, the most one-run losses in a season since the 1975 Astros (41). Earlier this season, the Fish set an all-time record with the most consecutive wins (12) in games decided by one run to start a season (courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau). Surpassed the previous mark of 11-0 set by the 1972 New York Mets.

On Wednesday at Milwaukee, Miami recorded its ninth win of the season when scoring 2 or fewer runs, tied for the second-most such victories in MLB. Baltimore has 10 such wins to lead MLB, while the A’s, Mets, and Pirates are tied with the Marlins.

The Marlins began September with 15 home runs over the first 7 games of the month, with 4 multi-homer games, including 2 games with 4 home runs. Since that stretch, Miami has just 3 homers over its last 6 games.


  • Miami ranks 4th in the NL with a .257 batting average and ranks 3rd in the NL with 1,273 hits. With 54 games of 10+ hits, the Marlins rank 4th in the NL behind Atlanta (69), and St. Louis (56), and Philadelphia (55). The Marlins pitching staff ranks 2nd in the NL with 1,349 strikeouts (tied for 4th in Majors). Miami established a club record last year with 1,437 strikeouts. The Marlins have never led the NL in strikeouts in a season.

2B Luis Arraez, who leads MLB with his .349 average, is looking to become the 1st player in MLB history to win batting titles in two different leagues in consecutive years. Overall, only two players have won batting titles in each league – DJ LeMahieu (NL – 2016; AL – 2020) and Ed Delahanty (NL – 1899; AL – 1902). Arraez owns the second-highest average by a Marlin through his first 140 games of a season, trailing Hanley Ramirez (.353 in 2009). Is looking to record the 6th 200-hit season in franchise history (enters today’s game with 191 H).


  • Johnny Cueto, 37, will make his ninth start (10th app.) of the season today. Marks his 11th career start against the Atlanta Braves. Last faced Atlanta on Sept. 21, 2019 at Truist Park (w/ Giants). Allowed 4 runs on 2 hits and 5 walks while striking out 5. In his most recent start on Sept. 9 at Philadelphia, allowed 5 runs on 5 hits (1 home run) and 3 walks. Struck out 3. Missed 13 games from Aug. 18 – Sept. 3 on the 15-day IL with a viral infection. In 7 starts (8 apps.) since return from first IL stint (right biceps tightness), has gone 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA (40.0/24) and 33 strikeouts. Has held batters to a .233 AVG (34×146). Missed 87 games from April 4 – July 10 on the 60-day IL with right biceps tightness. Suffered a setback on May 6 with a right ankle sprain. His 144 career wins rank 6th among active MLB pitchers. Also ranks 6th among active MLB pitchers with 361 games started (behind Adam Wainwright – 410). RHB vs. Cueto in 2023: .240 AVG (18×75), .313 OBP, .846 OPS. LHB vs. Cueto: .247 AVG (19×77), .318 OBP, .812 OPS. Career, RHB vs. Cueto: .246 AVG (1082×4393), .301 OBP, .695 OPS. LHB vs. Cueto: .246 AVG (984×4002), .313 OBP, .708 OPS.
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