The Miami Marlins will give the ball to rookie pitcher Sixto Sanchez, on Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire)
- The Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins matchup for Game 3 of the NLDS on Thursday, October 8th
- A pair of rookies will start the game – Kyle Wright for the Braves, Sixto Sanchez for the Marlins
- Get the latest odds, betting information, and a pick for Game 3 below
Minute Maid Park plays host to Game 3 of the NLDS on Thursday, October 8th. The Miami Marlins are the nominal home team for this game, with the Atlanta Braves batting in the top half.
It’s a duel of two rookies, a rare sight in the postseason, as Kyle Wright faces off with Marlins phenom Sixto Sanchez. Wright has made 19 Major League appearances, and debuted back in 2018, making him the relative veteran of this matchup.
The oddsmakers give Wright and the Braves prolific offense a slight edge.
Atlanta Braves vs Miami Marlins Game 3 Odds
|Atlanta Braves||-138||-1.5 (+117)||O 8.5 (-125)|
|Miami Marlins||+128||+1.5 (-137)||U 8.5 (+105)|
Odds taken on October 7.
Wright Under Pressure
MLB Pipeline had Wright as the 30th-best prospect in all of baseball before the 2018 season. He’s remained on top-100 lists prior to the last two seasons, though he dropped as low as 89 with Baseball Prospectus. This is the result of struggles in the big leagues (6.22 career MLB ERA) and less than spectacular performances when he dropped back to the minors – Wright started 21 triple-A games last season, owning a 4.17 ERA.
Wright struggled in the early part of this season. He was demoted on August 20th, following a three-inning outing against the Miami Marlins. Miami got six walks off Wright and chalked up three runs. Wright’s next big-league start came almost a month later, again facing Miami.
The right-hander made it through four frames on September 8th, but the Marlins still did damage. Miami got seven hits, including three homers, and scored five runs.
— Fish On The Farm (@marlinsminors) October 2, 2020
Wright’s performances improved from there on, earning him the third spot in the Braves’ rotation for the NLDS. The turnaround has been remarkable – Wright pitched 19 innings across his final three outings of the regular season, allowing just five earned.
The 25-year-old has looked like a different pitcher since his last start against Miami, but given their success against him this season, they are far from the ideal opponent for his postseason debut.
Sixto Sanchez is so much fun to watch. Atlanta will see a near-100 mph fastball on Thursday and an arsenal of power off-speed and breaking stuff, led by his 89 mph changeup. Like every pitcher in this series, though, the Braves are not seeing anything new – they faced Sanchez twice in the regular season.
Sixto Sanchez, Unhittable 93mph Front Door Changeup. 😯 pic.twitter.com/DgkVKzHEh1
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 2, 2020
Atlanta was shutout over six innings by Miami’s top prospect on September 8th, but they blew him out the game when they faced 15 days later. Sanchez’s final start of the regular season was a mess – he lasted just three frames, walking four and allowing four earned.
Luckily for the Marlins, Sanchez bounced back from that disappointing outing immediately. His next appearance came in the Wild-Card round, and Sanchez was unfazed by the pressure of a post-season debut, striking out six in five scoreless innings.
Someone tell Sixto Sanchez kids are watching this filth pic.twitter.com/1CNvpTsxiB
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) October 2, 2020
Sanchez, despite having electric stuff, ranks in just the 37th percentile in whiff rate. Hitters make plenty of contact against him, and that could prove a risky strategy with this imposing Braves offense. His command must be near-perfect.
There are reasons to be concerned about both Sanchez and Wright. Sanchez can dominate, and Wright has got good results of late, but facing a line-up which has forced you out of games early on is a psychological challenge as much as a baseball one.
How this game swings could come down to which young starter holds their nerve best. Sanchez has already delivered on the playoff stage – does that make Miami a good bet to get the win?
The run total over appears to be the best value, but this is a very unpredictable matchup.
Pick: Run total over 8.5 (-125)
Sam Cox is a freelance writer and sports junkie, who has spent the past several years immersed in the online gaming industry. He has worked with 888sport, Oddschecker, and Colossus Bets to name a few. Based in the UK, Sam also runs Franchise Sports with his brother.