Atlanta Braves Can't Overlook Miami Marlins

By Daniel Kock
Kris Medlen Atlanta Braves
Daniel Shirey-USA Today Sports

The Atlanta Braves (48-34) begin the month of July with nine games against a divisional opponent, starting with a three-game series with the Miami Marlins (30-51) on Tuesday night.

While the Marlins own the second-worst record in the MLB and currently trail the Braves by 17.5 games in the National League East, the series may not be as easy as the first glance suggests. The Marlins have played better baseball over the past few weeks. They went 15-10 in the month of June to have the best record among NL East teams during the month, and have currently won eight of their last 10 games.

Two key members have returned to the middle of the order in Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison. Stanton had just one hit in the first series with the Braves back in April, but has swung a better bat since coming back from his hamstring injury in early June. Stanton has eight hits in his past 25 at-bats and had five home runs in the month of June.

Meanwhile, the Braves did not see Morrison who was dealing with a knee injury back in April. Morrison is hitting .320 with a .890 OPS since returning to the lineup in June.

The Braves do catch a break by missing Marlins ace Jose Ferndandez this series. The 20-year-old rookie is 5-4 with a 2.72 ERA and 94 strikeouts on the season and just pitched eight shutout innings of two-hit baseball in a win against the San Diego Padres on Monday night. The Braves will get to see plenty of him in the future, but not this series.

The Marlins have some young, developing talent on the roster which has helped them play better in recent games, but don’t get me wrong — it would be a disappointment if the Braves were unable to win a home series against the last-place team in the division. Overall depth and talent still lies with the Braves.

Just don’t think it’s out of the question and as easy as the first glance may suggest.

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