Arizona Diamondbacks are the MLB Pick vs. Marlins in Miami

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, May 18, 2015 2:20 PM GMT

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Playing under a new manager for the first time may not help the home team Monday night when Rubby De La Rosa and the Arizona Diamondbacks (15-21, 6-0 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Dan Haren and those Miami Marlins (16-22, 8-10 home) in the first game of a four-game series from Marlins Park in Miami, FL at 7:10 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - Florida.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Arizona as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +115.


Marlins Fired Redmond
The Marlins certainly have some good young pieces in place, but many felt that they have underachieved with their 16-22 start and apparently Miami management agrees, as they fired Manager Mike Redmond yesterday after the Atlanta Braves finished off a three-game sweep of the Marlins with Shelby Miller nearly no-hitting Miami, as both hits by the Fish came after there were two outs in the ninth inning!

In a surprising move, General Manager Dan Jennings will take over as the Marlins’ manager, although it is unclear at this time whether or not Jennings will pull double duty or if Miami will search for a new general manager.

The Diamondbacks were also swept three games over the weekend by the Philadelphia Phillies and they have now been the losing MLB picks in four straight games and in five of their last six. Arizona is in fourth place in the National League West 8½ games behind the first place Los Angeles Dodgers and only one game ahead of the last place Colorado Rockies.


Smoke and Mirrors for Haren
Miami starter Dan Haren has good numbers on the surface as the 34-year-old veteran is 4-2 with a 3.70 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, although he does come off of his worst start of the season as he was lit up for six earned runs on 11 hits in just 4.1 innings vs. the Dodgers in Los Angeles last Tuesday. That snapped a string of allowing two earned runs or less in three straight starts.

However, the crafty veteran is getting outs with smoke and mirrors these days as Haren has yet to top 88 MPH on any pitch this season and had benefitted from allowing a low .240 BABIP and getting away with a high 83.3 percent strand rate, a couple of “luck” factors that do not figure to continue. His ERA actually stood at 2.68 before going up more than a full run with that atrocious outing in Los Angeles, but unfortunately that start may have marked the beginning of regression.

Haren has had a good career that could have been better if not for injuries, but his best days are behind him and he has had an ERA of 4.02 or worse over each of the past three years, and he figures to go over that 4.00 plateau again sooner rather than later with his inability to break a pane of glass with his fastball nowadays. And he is facing an Arizona lineup ranked fifth in the Major Leagues in runs scored at 4.69 per game and batting .277 vs. right-handers on the road.


Serviceable De La Rosa
Now, De La Rosa will never be confused with Cy Young or anything like that but he has been proven to be very serviceable during his brief Major League career and he appears to have more upside between these two starters. De La Rosa showed some brief glimpses of brilliance in what was otherwise a miserable season for the Boston Red Sox last year, and he figured to improve with the shift over to the National League this season.

Well, that is not apparent yet as he is only 4-2 with a 4.50 ERA, but that ERA is a tad deceptive as he was hit hard for six earned runs in 5.1 innings in his Arizona debut, but has since recorded four Quality Starts in his last six outings including allowing one run or less in two of them.

De La Rosa also has excellent command numbers with 42 strikeouts vs. just 12 walks in 44 innings, and he pitches half of his games in a hitters’ part at Chase Field in Phoenix. Those factors have helped lead to a good 3.49 xFIP, and also keep in mind that this is De La Rosa’s first ever start vs. Miami, which should work to his advantage.


Near No-Hitter the Final Straw
While the near no-hitter was the final straw for Redmond’s stay in Miami, the Marlins scored a total of six runs in the series vs. Atlanta and have now scored three runs or less in six of their lasts seven games. Moreover they are averaging just 2.70 runs per game vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games.

Thus look for De La Rose and the Diamondbacks to ruin Jennings’ managerial debut as Arizona emerges victorious in Miami on Monday.

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MLB Pick: Diamondbacks +115