Contrary to Popular Belief, Marlins Are Wednesday's Best Bet

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 2:00 PM GMT

Our Top MLB Pick of the day is on a home underdog that shouldn’t be, based on a pair of 70% situations which coincide to produce this underdog winner. Read our analysis to find out why you will win this game.

 

Washington Nationals (Fister) vs. Miami Marlins (Koehler)  7:10 ET
Washington and Miami continue their early week set, after the Marlins took Game 1 Tuesday night behind yet another strong home outing from Jose Fernandez.  That Washington defeat, coupled with the Mets’ victory, trimmed the Nationals’ division lead to a single game against New York.  Now, this 24-27 Washington road team hopes to even things up against the Miami team who, as an also ran, is enjoying the role of a spoiler.  This can work for the Marlins again tonight, who are 25-23 at home, but on a 7-1 run.  

Streaky Washington has sandwiched their 39-23 May/June burst between a 7-13 start and a 6-10 current run.  Today’s starter, Fister, was expected to provide a far better season.  But, the Nationals have won just 4 of 13 Fister starts in a season where he has a 4.50 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP.  That is worse recently, as in his previous 4 starts, Fister is 0-3 with a 5.32 ERA.  This includes a 7-3 loss to Pittsburgh in his previous outing, in which he worked 5 IP, allowing 4 runs on 9 hits.  Even worse for Fister has been his performance on the road!  Washington has won just 1 of 6 Fister road starts, in which he has a play AGAINST 1.66 road WHIP.  

Though the Marlins are going nowhere at 42-58, they have undergone a home revival winning 7 of 8 recent games on this field.  Miami has played well in 7 home starts by Koehler, going 5-2, games in which Koehler has a play ON 1.02 home WHIP.  Koehler has stepped up his game in recent weeks.  In his most recent 6 starts, Koehler has a 1.62 ERA.  He should be additionally motivated by following Fernandez in the rotation.  

This is a bit of a contrary spot from which many baseball handicappers will shy away.  It is never easy for the public to fade a division leader with an also ran team.  But, the Nationals, in no small part due to injuries, have underperformed their expectations this season.  After nearly 100 games, expectations need to be adjusted.  The return of Fernandez to the rotation has given a bit of a spark to Miami.  Their play at home has been stellar in the month of July.  Finally, we cannot ignore the strongest factor in this game.  That is the divergent home/away WHIPS of Koehler and Fister, each of which individually provides a near 70% opportunity for victory.    

MLB Picks: Take Miami Marlins (Koehler) +103 at 5Dimes