The Miami Marlins quest for claiming a spot in the playoffs took a big hit as Giancarlo Stanton has been ruled out the rest of the season. In an underrated pitching matchup so we are going to take a close look at the total.
Oddsmakers have set the total for this game at 7.5 across the board with a little bit higher juice on the under. Considering the pitching matchup putting the higher juice there makes some sense and for my MLB pick, I'm going to back under the total of 7.5 like at Pinnacle Sports -110. This should be a real pitcher's duel today in Cincinnati.
José Fernandez gets the start with a 2.81 ERA and 1.09 whip but the Marlins have lost the last three games he has taken the mound. His numbers do go up quite a bit on the road but the young 24-year-old can simply be lights out at times and he is facing an offense today that lacks some punch. Although he has given up pockets of runs it is just rare for him to get knocked around consistently and in his last five games he has only given up 13 total earned runs in 30 innings of work. As well, in his one opportunity to face Cincinnati this season he was exceptional allowing zero earned runs off of six hits in seven innings while facing the same counterpart he faces today. He has had a tough slate of opponents facing three of the better hitting teams in the league in St. Louis, Chicago, and San Francisco his last three times on the mound so look for him to have a stellar performance today against a pretty weak Cincy offense. Miami has really turned things around offensively this season and they rank third in both batting average and hits per game in the major leagues. Of course losing Stanton will hurt them production-wise today and going forward, but also they are facing a pitcher who has great numbers at home.
Dan Straily gets the start with a 3.75 ERA and 1.14 whip while the Reds have 16 games in a row in which he has taken the mound. With that statistic alone you might want to take a look at backing Cincinnati today on the plus money line, but for my play today I like Straily and Fernandez to have quality starts. Straily has been fantastic in his last five starts allowing just nine total earned runs in around 30 innings of work. In the one chance earlier this season when he faced Miami and Fernandez he also pitched well allowing three earned runs on six hits in six innings. What I really like today in backing him to keep the damage to a minimum and assisting in getting us under the total is that at home he has been extremely good with a 3.19 ERA and batters hitting just .205 against him. Offensively, as mentioned, Cincinnati can struggle and they rank in the bottom part of the league in a lot of offensive categories. Currently, they rank 25th in both batting average and OPS and those averages don't change very much whether they're hitting at home or on the road.
Free MLB Pick: Under the total of 7.5 (-110)
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle