After the Braves beat Trevor Rogers and the Marlins, while the Phillies fell to the Rockies in Philadelphia, the Braves now have a 4.5 game cushion in the NL East standings. The Braves are currently in the middle of the most generous stretch of their schedule for the remainder of the season so it is important to win as many of these games as possible. Atlanta has done well so far to take advantage of the friendly schedule to build up and maintain their division lead, winning three of the four games on their current homestand.
Saturday looks to be a favorable matchup with Charlie Morton taking the mound for Atlanta in his first game since signing an extension to stay in Atlanta. Morton has been really good for the Braves this season posting a 3.47 ERA that sells him slightly short of his peripherals which lie at a 3.32 xERA, 3.29 FIP, and 3.24 xFIP. He has a strong strikeout rate, at 10.54 K/9, and a solid walk rate at 2.91 BB/9. Overall, Morton has been worth 3.6 fWAR over 158.0 innings so far this season and could vault into the top 10 of fWAR for pitchers in the league with another strong start Saturday. Morton should be able to perform well once again as he faces off against a Miami offense that has struggled this season, posting a wRC+ of 87 as a team, which is in the bottom five of the league.
The Marlins are sending righty Elieser Hernandez out to the mound to face off against a Braves offense that has been humming along nicely of late. Hernandez has a solid 3.90 ERA on the season, but a 5.57 FIP that isn’t too far off from his career 5.28 FIP and 4.96 xFIP does not appear promising in terms of Hernandez sustaining that ERA level. With that being said, Hernandez has had solid strikeout and walk rates throughout his career, and has has some stretches of real success that have been backed up by solid peripheral stats.
While Hernandez may not be a disaster, the Braves will feel confident in getting a win against this struggling Miami team.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, September 11, 7:20 pm EDT
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network, La Mejor 1600/1460/1130 AM
XM Radio: Ch. 187