Saturday’s contest between the Marlins and Rays is a pitching rematch from last week with Anibal Sanchez facing James Shields, and the first meeting produced six total runs. Go ‘under’ again in the rematch here.
Look for another low scoring affair in a pitching rematch from last Sunday when Anibal Sanchez and the Miami Marlins (37-26 overall, 15-14 away) take on James Shields and the Tampa Bay Rays (36-28 overall, 20-14 home) as the in-state rivals play the middle game of a weekend three-game interleague series from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL at 7:15 ET in a game televised regionally on FOX.MLB Pick
The posted total at Bookmaker is 7½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under set at -105.
The Rays took the series opener in a rout here last night 11-0 as young Matt Moore allowed only one hit in seven shutout innings while Carlos Zambrano lasted only two innings in defeat. That loss kept the inconsistent Marlins reeling.
Miami got off to a slow start this year despite opening up a brand new ballpark, then caught fire to pull within one-half game of the first place Washington Nationals in the National League East, and then want into a tailspin that has seen it lose nine of its last 10 games with the only win coming vs. the Boston Red Sox this past Monday night.
Tonight’s game is a pitching rematch from last Sunday when Shields and the Rays bested Sanchez and the Marlins 4-2 in Miami, and we are anticipating a similarly low scoring game tonight.
Yes, Sanchez is only 3-5, but he has been pitching in some very hard luck as he owns a very nice 3.40 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. In fact, Anibal has cracked the top 10 in the majors in FIP several times this season, and a case can be made that the 28-year-old is pitching the best baseball of his career this year despite his record.
Sanchez has 74 strikeouts against only 21 walks in 79.1 innings, giving him a career high in strikeouts per nine innings and a career low in walks per nine innings up until this point. As you might expect with the lack of run support he has gotten, Sanchez has been a good ‘under’ pitcher as it is 8-4-1 in all of his starts.
The Rays are now in third place in the American League East, but they are only 2½ games behind the New York Yankees. The Rays were expected to compete for another American League pennant because of their pitching, and Shields was supposed to be a huge part of that, but truth be told he has been rather disappointing so far after winning 16 games, posting a 2.82 ERA and tossing 11 Complete Games last season.
Sure Shields is 7-4 this season, but he has yet to go the distance and he has a high 4.06 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. With that said, he appears to be coming around as he tossed gem at these Marlins on Sunday, allowing only one run and four hits in 6.1 innings. In fact, he loves facing the Marlins in interleague play as Miami is probably happy to have managed one run off of him after Shields tossed two Complete Game shutouts at them last season while allowing only seven hits!
Furthermore, Shields has 28 strikeouts vs. four walks in those last three starts vs. Miami, so look for another pitchers’ duel and another ‘under’ on Saturday.
: Marlins, Rays ‘under’ 7½ (-105)