Marlins Pipeline Keeps Re-Stocking
This is the 21st season of big league baseball in Miami and much like the city itself, change has been a constant for the Marlins franchise in its relatively short history compared to too others and it has been nothing short of astonishing.
On three different occasions, this was arguably the absolute worst team in baseball in various years yet they rose from the ashes to win two World Series (Cubs fans stop gnashing your teeth). They have had some of the worst ownership, yet through it all the personnel and scouting departments have continued to find first-rate prospects.
It would seem the betting odds would be against this happening, yet a look the current roster has studs like Giancarlo Stanton hitting prodigious home runs and driving in runs.
What baseball franchise would not like to have starters Jose Fernandez, Henderson Alvarez, Jacob Turner and Nate Eovaldi, who are all under the age of 25, and “veteran” Tom Koehler actually leads the team in ERA and the elderly age of 27.
While many other teams are always short on talent, the Marlins hit rock bottom only to resurface quickly because how they continually fill the pipeline.
Padres Hope Prayers are Answered with more Runs
Though Chase Headley has only played 21 games and hit an undesirable .192, he’s welcome sight to skipper Bud Black and the fans of San Diego.
Even in ringing up an unanticipated 19 runs the last two nights, the Padres are still comfortably the worst offensive team in the majors at 2.9 runs a contest. And if you are making sports picks, don’t be fooled by the baseball talking heads bemoaning the heavy air and spacious Petco Park, San Diego tallies the fewest runs in baseball on the road also (2.4).
The fact is this franchise suffered through ownership problems in the past decade and spent little money to develop a quality farm system and anyone that has come up through the chain has been overhyped compared to their actual ability most of the time.
The Friars will start scoring more runs (how can they help but not) but being in a division with three other teams what generate and manufacture runs, they stand like Carrot Top with their inability to push runs across with weak personnel.
Pitching Matchup for Sunday
While Jose Fernandez receives many of the accolades for Miami pitchers, here is a little-known fact on today’s starter Henderson Alvarez (2-2, 2.62 ERA). He is one of five active pitchers to have thrown at least four complete game shutouts before turning 25 and seeing Alvarez just turned 24 years old less than a month ago, he will have several more chances.
The Padres will counter with Robbie Erlin (1-4, 4.95) and he’s coming off his best start of the year, seven innings of three-hit baseball against Kansas City. Erlin is a fly-ball pitcher who benefits greatly from Petco Park and when his command is off, he will get blasted. Fortunately this does not occur often, but when it does, his ERA explodes like a firecracker.
For better or worse, the pensters from Miami have been involved in the decision in 18 of the Marlins 37 contests. The five blown saves have played as part in this as has the offense being fantastic at home and mediocre on the road. One aspect that hurts this group is the poor efforts to hold runners on, having the most stolen bases allowed in the National League.
MLB baseball handicappers are well aware the San Diego bullpen gets a lot work and invariably it is in tight games because the offense is horrible. To this point this contingent has been brilliant with an ERA 1.87 and holding opposing teams is a paltry .203 batting average, best in the NL. Their save rate of 92% is also the finest in the senior circuit.
Head to Head Combat and Betting Odds
Miami is 4-5 when in downtown San Diego the last three seasons and to the surprise of nobody watching the MLB odds, the UNDER is 5-4.
Sportsbooks pushed the Marlins out as -115 favorites, however, because of dominate the Padres have been in this series and the fact Miami is 3-12 (-8.8 units) on the road, San Diego is now a -110 choice with a total of 7.
My initial thought was to take Miami, but after finding the Marlins are 5-20 with Alvarez after they have lost a game and the Padres oddly are 21-9 at home on Sunday’s the past three years, I’ll lend my support to them.
MLB Free Picks: San Diego wins