Braves go fishing for weekend series win against the Marlins

The Atlanta Braves are coming off a tough series and will look to recover against another division opponent.
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves are reeling from a tough series with the New York Mets. Atlanta dropped two of the three games that were played in the intended four-game set. They will now turn their attention to another NL East opponent, the Miami Marlins, this weekend.

3 things to watch for as the Braves and Marlins face off

1. Acuña's potential to return to MVP form

So far in 2024, Ronald Acuña Jr. has been struggling by his standards. The reigning NL MVP is currently hitting .256 with no home runs and has struck out 13 times so far in only 10 games.

He's been struggling to get the ball in the air but showed some signs of life towards the end of the Mets series. In one of those games, he was able to get on base to lead off an inning and the Braves offense exploded. It's only a matter of time before he figures things out.

If anything can get Acuña going, it's facing the Miami Marlins. There is no love lost between him and the Marlins. In 82 career games against the Fish, Acuna is a .321 hitter with 26 homers and 68 runs batted in. He has also walked 51 times and stole 22 bases in those matchups. Look for Ronald to go deep in this series and return to his old ways.

2. Max Fried and Chris Sale

Coming into the season, the starting rotation for Brian Snitker's squad looked solid. Now without Spencer Strider, every arm could be facing added pressure. Allan Winans covered Strider's slot on Thursday and the Mets rocked him. He was optioned after the game so the team will weigh their options for the next start. Darius Vines was recalled on Friday and could be a candidate to start.

With Strider's uncertainty, the struggling Max Fried could now have a higher chance of getting a contract extension from his current team. However, to get the offer he wants, he will have to pitch well. Early indications aren't great as Max has struggled and it's a slight cause for concern despite it being just two starts in the 2024 campaign.

When Chris Sale joined the Braves, he spoke about how nice it was going to be to not have the pressure of being an ace. Just ten games into the season and that pressure could be back. For Atlanta to make a run at another division title, starting pitchers will have to take care of business against division opponents, something that didn't happen against the Mets.

3. Bullpen highs and lows

The Braves bullpen has been the biggest question mark for the team over the last several seasons. 2024 is looking to be no different. Atlanta relievers will go through stretches where they are the best in baseball then turn around and blow five run leads.

Going up against a 2-11 Marlins team, this is the perfect opportunity for the Braves relief core to get some good work in and build confidence moving forward.

Starting Pitching Probables

Game 1 (Friday, April 12th, 7:10 p.m. EST): Max Fried vs. Trevor Rogers

Game 2 (Saturday, April 13th, 4:10 p.m. EST): Chris Sale vs. Max Meyer

Game 3 (Sunday, April 14th, 1:40 p.m. EST): Charlie Morton vs. Jesus Luzardo

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