It’s been a minute since a Braves vs. Marlins series meant much. It can’t be considered a rivalry in my mind because of the Braves’ dominance. Atlanta has won 6-of-7 this year and are 19-7 the last two seasons.

Under normal circumstances, winning percentages would be the lead for tonight’s series opener. The Marlins and the Braves have each one five in a row. But when Michael Soroka was announced as tonight’s starter, the circumstances became anything but normal! I’d give anything to be on hand tonight to hear the ovation. I hope someone warns the umpires to avoid the pitch-clock violation!

The Canadian aptly dubbed Maple Maddux, will pitch in Atlanta for the first time tonight in nearly three years. Soroka carved up lineups in 2019 and 2020 before tearing his Achilles heel for the first time. He was recalled earlier this season and made two starts, neither of which was very effective. Struggling to locate resulted in a return to Gwinnett, where all he’s done is throw 19 innings with an ERA below 1.50 since.

The Marlins are 19-7 in the month of June. Somehow, they’ve still managed to fall two games further behind the Braves. Atlanta, who is 6-1 against the Feesh this season, is 20-4 this month. The Braves look to tie the franchise record for wins in June tonight.

Braves vs. Marlins Pitching matchups

• Friday, 7:20 ET, Bryan Hoeing (1-2, 2.31, 1.20 WHIP) vs. Soroka (0-1, 8.38, 1.86 WHIP) This will be an emotional start for the Braves and an interesting challenge for Miami,

• Saturday, 4:10 ET – Eury Perez (5-1, 1.34, .98 WHIP) vs. Charlie Morton (7-6, 3.81, 1.48 WHIP). Morton is nearly twice as old as Perez but will need to be doubly crafty as the 20 year-old. Perez is making his 10th appearance of the season.

• Sunday, 1:35 ET – Sandy Alcantara (3-6, 4.82, 1.25 WHIP) vs. Spencer Strider (9-2, 3.73, 1.11 WHIP) Alcantara is the reigning Cy Young Award winner and Strider is the 2023 hopeful. Strider looks to continue to right the ship, following two good starts against a Marlins offense that isn’t great.

The Braves lead the NL in virtually every statistical category when they are up to bat. Atlanta averages 5.5 runs per game and has a +117 run differential. The Marlins, on the other hand, average 4.7 runs and are 17th in MLB in run differential at 0.

I’m looking for Michael Harris II and Ronald Acuna Jr. to continue wreaking havoc in this series. Who you got? Braves vs. Marlins…Let’s go!

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