Shoddy Pitching Makes ‘Over’ The MLB Pick In D-Backs vs. Marlins

Thursday, May 5, 2016 2:11 PM GMT

Adam Conley of the Marlins comes off a career high pitch-count and Robbie Ray of the Diamondbacks has not gone past four innings his last two starts, so ‘over’ is the MLB pick.

 

MLB Record: 14-17-1, -0.96

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Miami Marlins
With one starting pitcher expected to regress and the other one flat out struggling, the ‘over' looks like the right play Thursday night in a battle of southpaws when Robbie Ray and the Arizona Diamondbacks (12-17, 7-5 away) pay a visit to Adam Conley and the Miami Marlins (14-12, 4-7 home) in the finale of a three-game series from Marlins Park in Miami, FL at 7:10 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - Florida.

The posted total at Heritage is 8 for this contest with the current MLB odds on the ‘over' set at +105.

Marlins Making a Move
These are two team going in totally opposite directions on the field. The Marlins got off to a 5-11 start this season that had them buried in the National League East basement, but they have caught fire winning nine of their last 10 games to move to two games over .500 as they now look to complete this three-game sweep, with the offense averaging 5.11 runs per game over those 10 contests.

The Diamondbacks meanwhile have been floundering as the losing MLB picks in seven of their last eight games to drop to 12-17, just one-half game ahead of the last-place 11-17 San Diego Padres in the National League West. Arizona thought that it fortified its starting pitching during the off-season with the additions of Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller, but instead the starting rotation hold a ghastly cumulative ERA of 5.67!

No-Hitter through 7.2 Innings
Conley pitched 7.2 innings of no-hit ball vs. the Brewers in Milwaukee in his last start last Friday, but he was pulled by Manager Don Mattingly as four walks along with seven strikeouts ran his pitch count to a career high 116. He did get the win though despite the bullpen allowing three runs and four hits over 1.1 innings following his departure in the 6-3 victory. Conley came up as a hyped prospect last season, but that last start still seemed to come out of nowhere.

That outing marked his first win of the season while lowering his ERA to 3.67, but the four walks were a bigger concern as it continued the disturbing pattern of exactly matching Conley's 4.00 walks per nine innings this season. Yes, he has compensated for that with a great strikeout rate of 9.33 per nine over 27 total innings, but nonetheless that has led to large pitch counts with the 116 last outing being his most yet.

On top of that, he has benefitted so far from allowing a low .269 BABIP, and when you combine that figure starting to stabilize with a potential tired arm following that pitch-count, Conley may not be nearly as effective tonight as last time out. Remember too that the Diamondback are batting 40 points higher vs. left-handed pitchers s far this young season (.265) than vs. right-handers (.225), averaging a nice 4.93 runs per nine innings vs. southpaws.

Ray Taking a Pounding Lately
Now, Ray may have a fresher arm than Conley for this start, but it is for all of the wrong reasons as the fellow southpaw has failed to last more than four innings while getting pounded in each of his last two starts, first surrendering five earned runs on eight hits plus two walks in just three innings vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates and then allowing five earned runs again on seven hits plus two walks vs. the Colorado Rockies last Friday.

Yes Ray had been pitching reasonably well before his last two shellings, although those efforts have skewed his ERA to 4.97 and his WHIP to 1.70. However, we are more inclined to see the two bad starts as the start of his regression, as Rays has a career 4.20 xFIP since first coming up with the Detroit Tigers in 2014 and he has always had control issues walking 3.72 batters per nine innings over his brief career, a figure that as ballooned to 5.33 this season.

Now he must contend with a Miami offense that has been punishing left-handed pitching all season to the tune of a .283 batting average and a whopping 6.83 runs per nine innings.

Trending the ‘over'
Finally, as you might expect with the hot Miami offense, the ‘over' is 5-1 in the Marlins' last six games overall, 4-1 in their last five games vs. left-handed starters and also 19-7 in their last 26 home games vs. teams with losing records. Additionally the ‘over' is 21-8-2 in the Diamondbacks' last 31 games vs. left-handed starters.

It seems that all of the ingredients are in place for another relative high scoring affair here, so go ‘over' this total when Arizona visits Miami for the finale of a three-game series on Thursday.

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Free MLB Pick: Over 7.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker