MLB Picks: Dodgers at Marlins Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 8/19/2013
Monday's series opener between the Dodgers and Marlins is a total mismatch, at least on paper. Los Angeles Is unbelievably hot right now. The Dodgers entered Sunday's series finale in Philadelphia having won 19 of their past 20 road games and winners of 42 of their past 50 games overall. It's the best 50-game stretch in the majors since the 1942 Cardinals had the same record (and won the World Series). The major-league record for the best 50-game span within a single season was set in 1906, when the Chicago Cubs of Tinker, Evers and Chance fame went 45-5. The last team to win 19 of 20 on the road was the 1916 New York Giants. The Marlins stink and will finish with the worst record in the National League. So why would Monday night's series opener in south Florida between the teams be so intriguing? Here's why: Jose Fernandez pitching to Yasiel Puig.
Shoot, the Marlins might actually have a rare sellout. The Marlins rank 29th in home attendance, with only the Rays worse (shame on you Tampa Bay fans -- although I understand the stadium and location are terrible; I've been to Tropicana Field). Puig is the obvious choice for NL Rookie of the Year. Or is he? Fernandez has been incredible this season, putting up perhaps the best season for a pitcher his age (recently turned 21) since Doc Gooden. Fernandez would win ROY any other season. He might be the best pitcher in the NL right now outside of the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (he's scheduled for Thursday's series finale). Unless it was in Cuba or some exhibition game, Fernandez and Puig have never faced one another. I'll be watching.
Dodgers at Marlins Betting Story Lines
Here's an idea: Vote Puig the NL MVP -- no other NL player is all that deserving -- and have Fernandez be the ROY. Puig entered Sunday's game batting .364 with 11 homers and 27 RBI, although his power seems to have evaporated. He hadn't homered since Aug. 1. Puig had 92 hits in his first 250 big-league at-bats, the most of any player in his first 250 since Hall of Famer Wade Boggs also 92 in 1982.
How good has Fernandez been? He hasn't allowed more than three runs in a game since May 27 and hasn't allowed more than two since July 7 (his last loss). This month alone he is 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 20 innings. Batters are hitting only .157 off him. Those three starts were all against good teams: the Royals, Pirates and Indians. Get a look at Fernandez now because he will be shut down around 170 innings and is at 139.2 right now. The Marlins are really going to be good in about two years with a ton of good prospects and a true ace. Fernandez pitched in Los Angeles on May 10, before Puig was called up, allowing three runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out seven in the 5-4 win. That was back when L.A. was terrible, dropping the Dodgers to 13-21. Adrian Gonzalez hit a three-run homer off Fernandez.
The Dodgers start a pretty good rookie pitcher of their own in South Korean 26-year-old lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-3, 2.91). He would win NL ROY in most years as well. Ryu has allowed just four combined runs over 26.1 innings in his past four starts. The Dodgers haven't lost one of his since July 19. He faced the Marlins on May 11, giving up a run and five hits over 6.2 innings. Placido Polanco had two hits off Ryu in that game.
Dodgers at Marlins MLB Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, the Dodgers opened at -113 and the Marlins +103 with a total of 6.5. All trends entering Sunday: Los Angeles is 57-60-5 “over/under” (26-32-2 on road) and 67-55 on the runline. Miami is 48-63-10 O/U (27-29-4 at home) and 66-55 on the runline.
The Dodgers are 5-0 in their past five Monday games. They are 21-5 in their past 26 road games against righty starters. Los Angeles is 5-0 in Ryu's past five road starts. It is 9-0 in his past nine against teams with a losing record. Miami is 5-2 in its past seven home games against lefty starters. The Marlins are 0-4 in their past four series openers. They are 7-0 in Fernandez's past seven home starts. The under is 8-0 in Los Angeles' past nine road games. The over is 5-1 in Ryu's past six series opening starts. The under is 8-2 in Fernandez's past 10 starts.
MLB Picks: Dodgers at Marlins Betting Predictions
In the NFL, college football or basketball, the NBA or NHL, it's easy to get up for an opponent for a single game. Obviously, that's tough to do in the 162-game regular season that baseball has. However, I definitely think Monday will be one of those for the Marlins. So, yes, I'd call this a trap game for Los Angeles. Thus, I like the Miami here at that price (plus the Dodgers having to travel), although there is the potential of the Marlins getting almost too jacked up. Have to lean the under as well.
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