After the Braves easily defeated the Marlins in a blowout earlier today, we’ve got ourselves a quick turnaround as the Braves will participate in their second doubleheader in as many weeks — though this time, they will be heading into the nightcap with a shot to pick up two wins in one day.
The home team has to be feeling good about those chances as well, especially since they’re sending Mike Foltynewicz to the mound for the second game. While there may not be as much excitement surrounding a Folty start when compared to the spectacle that was Touki Toussaint’s MLB debut, there’s still plenty of reason to get hyped about Folty taking the bump.
Even though it’s been a while since Folty has had one of those “electric” starts, if there was ever a chance to see it again, it would be tonight. The Marlins offense currently ranks second-to-last in the NL when it comes to Baseball Prospectus’s “True Average” with a number of .254 (for reference, the Braves are currently sitting on a team TAv of .272, while the Red Sox are leading the league with a TAv of .280) and their team Isolated Power number is a putrid .119. That’s good for dead-last in all of baseball and it sure doesn’t help matters for Miami that they’ve lost Martin Prado to injury and noted Braves killer Justin Bour is now wearing the red pinstripes of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Simply put, the Marlins don’t really have anybody who can consistently put the ball in the air and over the fence, which is good news for Folty. One of Folty’s weaknesses has been the fact that his HR/FB percentage is still decently high at 12.1 percent, but that may not be too much of a concern on this night when he’s facing a team that isn’t really a threat to hit for power. If Folty’s going to struggle tonight, it’ll probably be due to the usual issue of going too deep into counts and at-bats and not being economical enough with his pitches. If Foltynewicz can manage to mow down his competition at the plate, then this really could be a big night for him and the Braves.
On the other side of things, Miami will send Merandy Gonzalez to the mound for his first career start at the major league level. I’m sure that the Braves themselves have a perfectly detailed and in-depth scouting report on Miami’s starter for the evening but if they want first-hand experience, then the man they’ll have to go to is Adam Duvall since he’s the only one who has faced Gonzalez and even then, it was only one at-bat.
This will be Gonzalez’s first appearance in the bigs since coming in for long relief duty against the Orioles back in June. He gave up five hits and four runs (including two dingers) over 4.1 innings against the 2018 Baltimore Orioles. With that being said, he’s been doing better while at Double-A Jacksonville, so clearly Miami figures that it’s time to give him another chance and they’re clearly hoping to see something better from the rookie on this go-around.
Still, with the way the Braves have been hitting in recent days, it’s hard to see a scenario where the Braves just run into a brick wall of pitching from the other side and end up getting into a struggle. It could always happen since baseball is a weird sport, but you really have to like Atlanta’s chances of taking both games of this doubleheader.
Game Date/Time: Monday, August 13, 7:35 PM ET
Location: SunTrust Park, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM, WYAY 106.7, Braves Radio Network