Double Play: Two Underdog Pitchers (Garcia, Ross) to Back Monday

Monday, May 7, 2018 2:05 PM UTC

Monday, May. 7, 2018 2:05 PM UTC

Our expert MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, finds two plus-money underdogs to wager on in Monday night MLB action. Because of the odds, even a split decision will net us a gain with his MLB picks.

2018 MLB Record: 50-33-4, +17.01u

Miami Marlins (12-20 SU) @ Chicago Cubs (16-14 SU)Free MLB Pick: Marlins MLBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Miami Marlins have won eight of their last 11 games on the backs of stellar pitching, as they have held opponents to 2.3 runs per game and .207 batting over the last seven. They’ve won four series in a row as well against the Dodgers, Rockies, Phillies and Reds. The Marlins will face a Chicago Cubs team off the ESPN Sunday Night game played in St. Louis, so the travel schedule actually favors them here, and Cubs players will have had a very late night to get their personal affairs in order before coming out to the ballpark. They’ll face one of the hottest pitchers in baseball in Jarlin Garcia, who has a 1.09 ERA and 3.74 FIP and hasn’t allowed more than one earned run in any of his 4 starts since joining the Marlins rotation. That includes facing offenses like the Dodgers and Yankees as well.

The Cubs will counter the budding Marlins ace with Kyle Hendricks, who has put up a 5.32 FIP over 36.2 innings pitched this year. Hendricks is trying to emulate the career path of Jamie Moyer, as his fastball currently sits around 86 mph and he pairs it with a change-up. He faced the Marlins on March 30 and pitched well in a 2-1 Marlins win. Hendricks doesn’t exactly have overpowering stuff. This pitching matchup doesn’t scream a blowout, especially given the travel spot with the Cubs, but the oddsmakers are putting a ridiculous price on Chicago here. I can’t pass up a play on the Marlins paying +225 to keep things rolling and pull off a minor upset.

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Cameron Maybin speaks after a BIG night at the plate. @Marlins take their 4th straight series! #JuntosMiami #MLB

— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) May 7, 2018

Washington Nationals (17-17 SU) @ San Diego Padres (12-22 SU)Free MLB Pick: Padres MLBest Line Offered: BetPhoenix

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Another upset could be in store in San Diego, as the Nationals travel cross country to face Tyson Ross of the Padres. Ross has found his 2013-2015 form again and has put up a stellar 2.83 FIP and 10.09 K/9 rate over his first six starts. His luck rates are all in check so there is no reason to believe that he can’t continue his success going forward. Ross has an excellent slider, and that is where he will need to stay if he is to win this game against the Nationals. This Washington lineup can destroy fastballs but doesn’t hit the slider very well.

Stephen Strasburg gets the start for the Nationals and brings in a 3.90 FIP and 20.5% HR/FB rate into this matchup. He has a nifty K/BB split of 54/11, but the recent home run issues are new for Strasburg. Now, a 3.90 FIP is above average in the league, although it is over one run worse than any mark Strasburg has put up before. He has faced stiff competition, though, and a stretch against the Rockies, Dodgers and Diamondbacks was not a dominant one. San Diego hasn’t hit particularly well this season, so he will get some reprieve here, but they have been hitting better lately in putting up 4.7 runs per game over their last seven games. In a starting pitching matchup that looks to be competitive I’m going to side with the better bullpen, as the Nationals bullpen pitches to a 6.26 ERA on the road vs. the Padres 3.33 ERA at home. I’ll be taking the Padres on the moneyline as one of my Monday MLB Picks.

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