The Miami Marlins played spoiler on Monday night, upsetting the Atlanta Braves by a 4-0 final score. The Marlins’ victory prevented Atlanta from clinching the NL East crown as the club’s magic number was down to just one following a weekend sweep of the rival New York Mets.
Marlins starter Jesus Luzardo was the difference-maker. The left-hander twirled six innings of shutout baseball, striking out 12 against just one walk en route to his fourth victory of the season. He surrendered just four hits and lowered his season-long ERA to a quality 3.32 mark.
Bryan De La Cruz homered and doubled as part of a three-hit night, while designated hitter Jesus Sanchez also collected three knocks, including a double on the evening.
The Marlis got to Braves starter Bryce Elder for four runs in his five innings of work, while De La Cruz and Sanchez provided the three extra-base hits off of the right-hander.
The two clubs play the middle game of their three-game set Tuesday night at Marlins Park in Miami.
Braves Remain in Divisional Control
Despite the loss, Atlanta remains heavily favored to win the division with a magic number of just one. They need to either win one of their remaining two games of the regular season or have the Mets lose one of three games against the Washington Nationals this week. The Mets and Nationals had their series-opener postponed on Monday night.
As a result, the Braves remain in firm control of their own destiny, a circumstance blatantly obvious considering their -4000 odds to win the division at FanDuel sportsbook. Conversely, the Mets are now +1700 longshots to win out and have the Braves swept at the hands of the Marlins this week.
Prior to this past weekend’s three-game set in New York, the Mets had upwards of a 79% chance to win the division prior to being dealt a sweep by the rival Braves. After the series, the Braves boasted a 98% chance to win the division, as per FanGraphs. Following their loss to the Marlins Monday, the Braves slipped slightly to a 95.1% chance to win the east. The Braves beat both Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer as part of the shocking sweep.
Mets Sweep Not Impossible Versus MLB-Worst Nationals
Of course, sweeping the Nationals is far from impossible given how the 2022 campaign has gone for the club.
The Nationals enter their final series of the season sporting a 55-104 record, good for the worst mark in baseball and a putrid .346 winning percentage. They sit two games behind the Oakland A’s for the worst record in the big leagues.
The good news for Mets backers is the fact the club went 11-5 against the Nationals this season, but the bad news is the Braves are 12-5 against the Marlins this season, including Monday’s loss.
With just a 4.9% chance to win the division, the Mets’ +1700 divisional odds made a wealth of sense.