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Series Preview: Braves vs. Marlins

The Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins face off in a series of struggling teams. The Braves have lost five straight.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves wrap up a nine-game home stand with a trio of contests against the Miami Marlins. The Marlins have almost struggled as much as the Braves in recent weeks. Almost.

Atlanta comes off a sound three-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees, who outscored the Braves 38-11 in the series and pegged 20 on the board in the finale. The 20-6 defeat on Sunday marked the first time the Braves had allowed 20 runs in a game since losing to these Marlins, 20-3. The losing pitcher that day: Mike Hampton. It is safe to say it has been awhile. Atlanta has now lost five in a row and 12 of the last 13 games.

Miami has lost three straight series to the Phillies, Pirates, and Nationals, and sit tied at the bottom of the National League East standings with Philadelphia. Both teams boast (if you can call it that) a 52-79 record, but are only 2.5 games behind the third-place Braves. Former Brave Martin Prado has been hot over the last week, with a .357 average (10-for-28) with two homers and four RBIs.

In the opener, Mike Foltynewicz will take the hill for the Braves. Over his last few starts, he has given the organization reason to believe that he could have a future in the rotation, despite what the numbers say. He has lost each of his past three starts, with his last win coming against these Marlins. Chris Narveson will start for Miami. Last week, Narveson made his first start since 2012 against the Pirates, as he gave up seven runs in 3.2 innings.

Shelby Miller will start game two for the Braves. His story has been well-documented, as his winless streak has reached an unfathomable 18 straight starts. He is the poster boy for why a pitcher's win-loss record is not always a great indicator of performance, as Miller has easily been Atlanta's best pitcher this season. He has a stellar 2.62 ERA this season but only a 5-11 record to show for it. Rookie Justin Nicolino will oppose Miller. He has put together a solid campaign, with a 1-1 record and a 2.66 ERA in his last three starts.

The Braves have not announced who will start the series finale, but Fredi Gonzalez has indicated that it may be a "bullpen" game, in which a reliever pitches the first few innings of the game, followed by a bunch of other pitchers from the Braves bullpen. Rosters expand Tuesday, so Gonzalez will have more arms to work with. Adam Conley will take the bump for the Marlins, as he makes his fifth start of the season.

Probable Starters

Monday, August 31, 7:10 p.m. ET

ATL: Mike Foltynewicz
2015: 15 starts (18 games), 4-6 W-L, 5.71 ERA, 5.03 FIP, 3.0 BB/9, 8.0 K/9

MIA: Chris Narveson
2015: 1 start (7 games), 1-1 W-L, 7.04 ERA, 6.57 FIP, 3.5 BB/9, 8.8 K/9

Tuesday, September 1, 7:10 p.m. ET

ATL: Shelby Miller
2015: 26 starts, 5-11 W-L, 2.62 ERA, 3.22 FIP, 3.2 BB/9, 7.8 K/9

MIA: Justin Nicolino
2015: 6 starts, 2-2 W-L, 3.65 ERA, 4.50 FIP, 2.7 BB/9, 2.5 K/9

Wednesday, September 2, 12:10 p.m. ET


MIA: Adam Conley
2015: 5 starts (9 games), 2-1 W-L, 4.96 ERA, 4.56 FIP, 3.0 BB/9, 7.4 K/9

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