How To Fade The Most Profitable Team In Baseball & Still Cash A Winning Ticket

Jason Lake

Friday, July 22, 2016 1:44 PM UTC

Friday, Jul. 22, 2016 1:44 PM UTC

Don't look now, but the Miami Marlins have turned into one of the better teams in baseball. They're also the home faves on Friday's MLB odds board versus the New York Mets.

Let's pump the brakes just a little on the Miami Marlins. Yes, they're currently in a Wild Card spot at 52-43, and yes, they've become one of the most profitable teams in the National League at +8.46 betting units. But after beating the Philadelphia Phillies (–118 at home) 9-3 Thursday night, the Marlins have a run differential of +5 on the season. That's a .500 ball club dressed up as a contender.

Compare and contrast with the New York Mets (50-44, –5.88 units). Last year's NL pennant winners are having a difficult time getting back to the top of the mountain. Now they've been passed by Miami in the standings, despite owning a +18 run differential. And at press time, New York is a +125 road dog on the MLB odds board for Friday's matchup (7:10 p.m. ET) with the Marlins. Hardly seems fair.

OPS Upside Your Head
All that being said, Miami should have a pretty big edge in the pitching department. Sophomore lefty Adam Conley (3.91 FIP) is due to throw for the Marlins; he's up 2.69 units this year on a team record of 11-8, including five wins in Conley's last six games. For the Mets, it'll be another second-year starter, northpaw Logan Verrett (5.37 FIP). Actually, Verrett is a spot starter. This will be his eighth of the season, after the Mets went 2-5 in his first seven for a loss of 3.45 units.

Looks bad for New York, right? Well, FiveThirtyEight projects Miami to win 56 percent of the time, the equivalent of –127 using our SBR Betting Odds Converter. The lowest price I can find on the Marlins is –135. Drat. And while Verrett has been roughed up this year, current Miami batters have a combined .529 OPS against the former Baylor Bear, with nine hits and zero home runs in 42 at-bats. Verrett even burned us back in April by throwing six shutout innings against Miami in a 2-1 win for New York (–115 at home).


Fantasy Corner
Fair enough, but Conley also shut out the Mets over six innings in that matchup. New York has a collective .442 OPS against Conley, going 8-for-46 at the plate with no homers. These aren't massive sample sizes, but they're enough for us to go scurrying into the welcome arms of the UNDER for our MLB picks. That 8.5-run total looks safe from where we're standing.

For your fantasy team? Go out and grab Marlins OF Ichiro Suzuki (.818 OPS). Ichiro doesn't start every day, and might not start Friday after going 2-for-5 against the Phillies to bring his MLB hit total to 2,956. However, Ichiro is only owned in 3.5 percent of ESPN leagues at press time, and when he does start, he's been golden. Stash him away on your roster, enjoy the Chase for 3,000, and may the sphere be with you.

Free MLB Pick: Under 8.5 -105
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
Record: 18-16 ML, 6-3-1 Totals (+5.47 units)

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