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Braves vs. Marlins Preview: Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Reyes Arrive In Atlanta For Brief Series

The Braves host their NL East foes for the first time in 2012 this week.

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 15:  A general view of Turner Field during the game between the Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds on May 15, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 15: A general view of Turner Field during the game between the Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds on May 15, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Despite already playing nearly 40 games this season the Atlanta Braves will take on the Miami Marlins for the first time in 2012. The Marlins were big spenders in the offseason, but their record of just 19-17 has left a few surprised about their lack of success thus far. Miami appears to be hitting their stride at the right time, though, and will provide the Braves with a very tough two-game series this week.

Omar Infante has been quite the story this season. Infante, who was one of the two players dealt to Miami two years ago for Dan Uggla, is hitting .325/.350/.598 (holy slugging percentage from a second baseman!) and has been their most consistent force offensively. Giancarlo Stanton was pretty awful in April but has really turned it on in May, hitting six homers and posting an OPS of 1.130 in 14 games thus far.

Jose Reyes was the biggest free agent addition for the club and he has struggled to this point, hitting to the tune of a wOBA (read more here; think of the numbers on a scale of on-base percentage) of just .336. Emilio Bonifacio leads all of baseball with 19 steals, which is seven (seven!) more than anyone else. Keeping him off the bases is an absolute must.

The Marlins rank 10th as a team in runs scored. This isn't a great lineup, but they've been hot recently and have some very talented hitters throughout.

Start Times & Pitching Matchups:

Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. - Mike Minor (2-2, 6.59 ERA, 4.40 FIP) vs. Mark Buehrle (2-4, 2.81 ERA, 4.16 FIP)

Thursday, 7:10 p.m. - Brandon Beachy (4-1, 1.60 ERA, 2.71 FIP) vs. Ricky Nolasco (4-1, 3.65 ERA, 3.99 FIP)

Team Sites: Check out Talking Chop for Braves coverage, Fish Stripes for the Marlins.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.