Every season in MLB there are teams that surprise and
teams that disappoint. Two teams that fall into those categories meet as the
Miami Marlins and New York Mets get together for a three-game series at Citi
Field starting Tuesday night.
Miami has taken the first two games of this series, winning
4-2 Tuesday then bombing Chris Young and the New York bullpen Wednesday 13-0,
getting a pair of homers from the recently returned Giancarlo Stanton.
The Marlins won Wednesday as +125 underdogs on the MLB odds boards, and the game, as we hoped it would, played 'over' its total of
eight, despite zero help from the Mets bats.
So Miami will be shooting for a series sweep Thursday
afternoon, while New York will try to break a nine-game home losing streak.
New York will send knuckleballer RA Dickey (14-3, 2.82) to
the hill to try and avoid the sweep Thursday against Josh Johnson (7-7, 3.85)
Dickey is 15-for-22 on quality starts this season, and two
for his last two. Last Friday against the Padres he gave up two ER through
seven innings, and just before that he held the Diamondbacks to zero ER through
In his two starts this season against the Marlins Dickey has
held them to three ER on 12 hits through 13 innings. The Mets won both those
Johnson, meanwhile, is 12-for-22 on quality starts this
year, and two for his last three. Most recently he limited the Nationals to one
ER through 8 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out nine. And over his last
three starts he's allowed two ER and just eight hits through 19 2/3 innings,
although he had some control problems two starts ago against the Padres,
walking six guys.
In his one start this season against the Mets Johnson gave
up one run on three hits through 6 2/3 innings of a 2-1 Miami loss back in
April, walking one and whiffing nine.
New York is 16-6 in Dickey's starts this season, while Miami
is 13-9 in Johnson's starts.
Odds and Trends
As of Thursday AM most online sportsbooks are listing New
York at around -135 for Thursday afternoon's game, with a total of 6.5.
Early betting on this game has seen about two-thirds of
action on the side go down on the Mets, while about 55 percent of play on the
total has come in on the 'over.'
Free MLB Pick
This is a tough one,
because Johnson has been pitching well lately, but we'll go the home team
trying to avoid a sweep and take Dickey and the Mets Thursday.
Miami took the first game of this series Tuesday night 4-2,
getting five innings of one-run ball from its bullpen. With the loss New York
missed out on a chance to make up a game on the NL Wild-Card leaders, as both
the Braves and Pirates also lost; instead, the Mets remain 9.5 games off the
The Marlins won as +140 MLB odds dogs on Tuesday's MLB betting
board, as we hoped they would, and the game stayed 'under' its total of 7.5.
The Mets will try to even this series with Chris Young (3-5,
4.22) taking the mound, while Miami will go with recently acquired Nathan
Eovaldi (2-7, 4.66).
Young is six-for-11 on quality starts this season, and three
for his last four. Most recently Young held San Francisco to one run and four
hits in seven innings, although that came on the heels of a bad outing against Diamondbacks.
This will be Young's first start against the Marlins this
Over in the other bullpen Eovaldi, who came over to the
Marlins in the Hanley Ramirez trade, has started twice for his new team,
holding the Padres to one run in five innings, then getting clipped for six
runs in two innings by the Braves.
Earlier this year, pitching for the Dodgers, we thought
Eovaldi threw in some tough luck. Six times he allowed three runs or fewer in a
start only to have Los Angeles lose each of those games.
In the month of July Eovaldi allowed six earned runs through
20 2/3 innings.
However, in his two starts this season against the Mets
Eovaldi has given up six ER on 14 hits in 9 2/3 innings.
As of Wednesday morning most online sportsbooks were listing
New York as a favorite of around -150 for Wednesday's game, with an
'over/under' of eight.
Early betting on this game has seen about two-thirds of play
on the side come in on the Mets, and about 55 percent of action on the total
has come down on the 'under.'
Free MLB Pick
We're not quite sure who's going to win this game, but with
two bullpens ranked in the bottom third in baseball we like the 'over' eight
Miami, with its imported talent, was supposed to be a
contender in the NL East this season. Instead the Marlins, outside of that
great month of May, have been big disappointments. The Fish just dropped three
of four games in Washington over the weekend, and are now 2-6 on their current
So Miami, at 49-60, sits 13.5 games back of Pittsburgh in
the battle for the second National League Wild-Card slot.
New York, meanwhile, was expected to bring up the rear in
the East this season. Instead, with a no-name offense, a banged-up rotation and
one of the, shall we say, more generous bullpens in the league, the Mets have
managed to keep their noses in the NL playoff picture. They've fallen way back
in the East, but haven't quite given up on the chase for one of those two
Wild-Card berths, although they now trail the Pirates by 9.5 games.
New York just completed a 6-5 West Coast road trip with a
7-3 loss in San Diego Sunday.
However, as the Mets return East, they'll be trying to break
a seven-game home losing streak Tuesday.
Southpaws square off Tuesday night as Jon Niese (8-5, 3.72)
hits the hill for New York against Wade LeBlanc (1-1, 1.35) for Miami.
Niese is 12-for-21 on quality starts this season, and three
for his last four. His last time out, he held the Giants to one run on three
hits through seven innings, and over his last eight starts, he's allowed three
runs or fewer six times. So he's been giving the Mets chances to win games.
Niese has started twice vs. the Marlins already this season,
and has held them to two ER on nine hits through 13 innings.
Over in the other bullpen, LeBlanc, who turns 28
Tuesday, has made just one start this year, last Wednesday vs. Atlanta, when he
allowed one run on five hits in 4 1/3 innings. He was taken out of that game
early mainly because he was on a pitch count.
For the season, along with 11 relief appearances, LeBlanc
has giving up just three ER on 16 hits in 20 innings.
LeBlanc started one game last year vs. the Mets, pitching
for the Padres, and limited them to two runs through six innings.
Odds and Trends
Most MLB odds makers, as of Tuesday AM, were listing New
York as a favorite of around -155 for Tuesday' game, with a total of eight.
Early betting on Tuesday's game has seen about 60 percent of
the action on the side come in on the Mets, while almost two-thirds of play on
the total has leaned toward the UNDER.
The Mets are a lopsided 62-42 on the OVERS/UNDERS this
When it comes to facing left-handed pitching New York is
only 17-24 this year vs. LH starters, while Miami, a team that's 11 games under
.500 overall, is 19-16.
After missing the last month-plus with a knee injury there's
a chance Giancarlo Stanton could return Tuesday for Miami. He'd certainly give
the Marlins lineup a boost.
Free MLB Pick
We thought the Mets
were dead going into their West Coast road trip, but they proved us wrong, for
the moment. We've also been thinking the Fish were dead for a while now, and
they showed us some give-up with their recent trades of Hanley Ramirez and
Anibal Sanchez. So one team comes into this series having played some good ball
recently, while the other comes in on the opposite end. But, in a contrarian
move, we'll go with Miami and the underdog price for Tuesday's game.