Two pitchers coming off of the DL make their 2015 debut early on Thursday. Our MLB handicapper digs deep to find the stats that matter while giving his MLB Pick.
Breakfast and baseball for us on the West Coast as the San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins play the last game of their three game series in Miami. It has been all Miami so far with the Marlins taking the first two games in this series including a dramatic walk-off home run win last night off the bat of Justin Bour. San Francisco needed that game too, as they fell 2 games behind the NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers. Miami won’t need to concern themselves with a division race just yet as they are still 13 games under .500 with that win.
Interestingly enough, this game features two pitchers making their season debut after missing the first half of the season due to injury. The first is 2013 NL Rookie of the Year, Jose Fernandez, who is coming off of Tommy John surgery. Missing almost all of 2014 as well, Fernandez has been starting in A+ and AA ball for the last month and a half. Although Fernandez must have been working on some pitches over his rehab starts and has an elevated ERA, the Marlins have to be excited that he is striking out batters at a rate of over 12 K/9 in his minor league stint.
Matt Cain is also making his season debut and is dealing with a strained flexor tendon in his elbow. Like Fernandez, I’m sure he has been tuning some pitches up and has an elevated ERA in his rehab starts, but his control is still there as he is sporting a 15/3 K/BB ratio. Cain didn’t make it through last year either, and in 2012 he posted the highest ERA he’s had since 2006. At 31, Cain might have some miles left in the tank, but it is important to realize he has been pitching in the MLB since age 22 and has pitched over 200 innings in six seasons since. Luckily for Cain, he gets paid a lot and could have retired 5 years ago.
The opening lines have Jose Fernandez and the Marlins heavily favored on the money line at -142 at 5Dimes, with the O/U total listed at 6.5 at the same book. The weather will be in the 80’s F at game time with a breeze blowing in from the outfield at around 10 MPH.
The MLB Pick
Following a great 'Over' MLB pick last night on this series by a fellow SBR handicapper so we will hope to keep the ball rolling here. Since we don’t have much for recent stats on these pitchers, I’m turning to career split stats for direction. In this case, Jose Fernandez has the upper hand in spades as he holds a career 12-0 record, 1.05 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and .161 BAA at home in Miami. I mean, he’s literally only given up 16 runs in 132.2 IP at home in his career. Wow. While the public piles on the Over after last nights final score, eat the chalk and take Miami on the money line at -142 as your Thursday night MLB Pick.
MLB Pick: Marlins -142 at 5Dimes