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Braves and Marlins both look to put controversy behind them as they begin four-game series

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Atlanta and Miami are set to lock horns tonight for the first time since last year’s NLDS matchup

Division Series - Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves - Game One Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After having their four-game winning streak snapped in very controversial fashion, the Braves are back at it again for their first four-game series of the season. They’ll be staying within the NL East, as they’ll be facing the Miami Marlins for the first time since last season’s National League Divisional Series.

The Marlins have gotten off to a pretty slow start, but they will have a pretty good reason to be optimistic about starting to get things turned around tonight. After all, they’re going to be sending Sandy Alcantara to their mound as the starter. Alcantara pitched pretty well for the Marlins last season and he’s picked up where he left off from 2020 with a pair of really good starts to start off this season. He threw six shutout innings against the Rays on Opening Day and then followed that up by only allowing two against the Cardinals in his next start. The Marlins lost both games because they scored a grand total of two runs across both of those games, so if you’re looking at someone to point the finger at for Miami’s bad start, it’s definitely not Alcantara.

Despite the fact the Braves were only playing East division teams last season and had ample opportunity to square up with the Marlins, they never faced off against Sandy Alcantara in the regular season. Instead, the only time the Braves saw Alcantara in 2020 was during the NLDS in Houston. He finished the game with five earned runs to his name — three of those were driven in while he was on the mound. One of those was Ronald Acuña Jr. sending the second pitch that he saw from him flying clear over the fence for a leadoff home run for Atlanta, and the other two came from back-to-back doubles from Marcell Ozuna and Travis d’Arnaud. So while Alcantara is a pretty tough pitcher, the Braves have proven that they can score off of him in the relatively recent past. Additionally, the Braves are coming off of a series where they really found their stroke at the plate, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Braves continue hitting against Alcantara tonight.

On the other side of things, Huascar Ynoa is getting the ball for his second start of the season. Ynoa’s first full start of the season was one to remember, since the expectations were simply for him to just eat a handful of innings and then hand it off to the bullpen. He ended up tossing five scoreless innings against the Nationals, which was crucial since he was going toe-to-toe with Steven Strasburg in that one. Ynoa basically kept the Braves in the game with his efforts in that game, so you’d have to imagine that the Braves and us fans will be thrilled if he can even come close to replicating that performance tonight against Miami. At the very least, we’re all hoping that he does better than what happened the last time he faced the Marlins. He gave up three runs in the first inning and only got through three innings before he was finished, and the Braves had to play come-from-behind baseball to pull out the win. Hopefully, we’ll see another strong performance from Ynoa. If not, then a bullpen game is probably awaiting for Atlanta this evening.

The Braves will surely be coming into this one feeling a little aggrieved after last night’s controversial ending. Meanwhile, the Marlins will be entering this game with a day’s rest after rain washed out their Sunday finale with the Mets in farcical fashion. Miami should also feel some sort of weird kinship with Atlanta, since both NL East teams were victims of some shoddy umpiring at one point or another during their respective weekend series. The kinship should quickly come to an end once it’s time to play ball and get their season series underway once again.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Monday, April 12, 7:20 p.m. ET

Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia

TV: Bally Sports South

Streaming: MLB.tv

Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network