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Marlins vs Braves – 4/5/19 MLB Pick, Odds, and Predictions

Miami Marlins vs Atlanta Braves MLB Baseball Friday, April 5, 2019 (7:20pm et) Current Odds: Braves -153, Total Runs 8

Kevin Gausman, who played a large role in helping the Atlanta Braves win the National League East division last season, will get his first start of the season against the visiting Miami Marlins on Friday.

Gausman (10-11, 3.92 ERA in 2018) will be opposed by right-hander Pablo Lopez (1-0, 5.06) in the opener of a three-game set at SunTrust Park.

Atlanta beat the Chicago Cubs 9-4 on Thursday, sweeping the three-game series and evening their record at .500. Miami did not play Thursday. The Marlins are coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of the New York Mets.

Gausman began the season on the 10-day injured list because of right shoulder inflammation. He visited famed surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who found no structural problems and recommended a couple of weeks of rest. He has had no pain in his shoulder as he worked through extended spring training.

“I know that feeling when everything is going good in spring,” Gausman said. “I’ve had that multiple times. I wish I could have started one of the first few games, but I feel really good about where I am.”

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Gausman was acquired at the trade deadline from Baltimore last summer when the Braves were looking for a veteran starter for the pennant drive. The right-hander went 5-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 10 starts for Atlanta and went 4-1 with a 1.69 in five starts in August.

He is 2-1 with a 2.16 in three career starts against the Marlins, with 14 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings. He faced the Marlins twice last season after joining the Braves and won both times, the last one a five-inning shutout stint in which he allowed only one hit.

Lopez started two games against the Braves last year, going 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA. In his most recent start against Atlanta on Aug. 26, 2018, he allowed only one run in 5 2/3 innings, but walked a career-high five in a 4-0 loss.

Lopez made his first start of the season on Saturday against Colorado. He went 5 2/3 innings and struck out a career-high seven in Miami’s first victory. He went 2-4 with a 4.14 ERA as a rookie.

“He was aggressive,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “Out of the box, good breaking ball. His change-up was good. There was nothing really bad about it.”

Lopez had an excellent spring. He threw 20 2/3 innings with a 0.90 ERA, tops in the Grapefruit League, with a .149 average against and a 0.55 WHIP.

Lopez will be tasked with cooling down the bat of Atlanta’s Nick Markakis, who matched his career-high with five hits on Thursday. The veteran, who had three doubles and five RBIs, upped his batting average to .375.

The Braves made a roster move on Friday to bolster their bullpen. They sent rookie right-hander Bryse Wilson to Triple-A Gwinnett and reinstated left-handed reliever A.J. Minter from the 10-day injured list. Minter, who got the final two outs on Thursday, added a changeup to his repertoire in the offseason.

“I feel really confident with it,” Minter said. “I think it’s going to help me a lot this year. I’m just looking forward to breaking it out.”

411Winners Pick and Prediction: Braves -135 First 5 Innings

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