Is It Time to Bet on Marlins Yet? Not on Wednesday's Game 3 vs. Astros

Jason Lake

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 11:07 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 16, 2017 11:07 PM UTC

The Miami Marlins are one of the worst teams in the majors. But are they the right baseball pick for Wednesday’s nooner with the American League-leading Houston Astros?

Nobody’s shedding a tear for the Miami Marlins. This abomination of a baseball franchise (Ichiro notwithstanding) is dead last in the majors as we go to press at 14-23 and 9.90 betting units in the red. Their pitching is horrible. Their hitting is mediocre. Don’t get me started on their front office.

The Houston Astros, on the other hand, are on top of the world at 27-12, racking up 11.32 units in profit for their supporters. They’ve already won the first game of their three-game set in Miami; the finale is Wednesday at 12:10 p.m. and Houston has opened as a -142 favorite on the MLB odds board. Is that a good price for the Astros? Or is it time to buy low with the Marlins?

Lance Make ‘Em Dance

The baseball scientists at FiveThirtyEight have Houston winning this game 61 percent of the time, which translates to –156 on our glorious SBR Betting Odds Converter, so it looks like there still might be a smidge of value on the ‘Stros. Nobody’s really paying much attention to either “small-market” team. Bettors aren’t fully aware just how good Houston is, or just how poorly Miami has played.

Let’s take a closer look at the pitching matchup first. Lance McCullers Jr. (2.93 FIP) is scheduled to throw for Houston against Jose Urena (4.30 FIP), who’ll be making his third start for the Marlins this year. McCullers has been brilliant thus far, earning 3.84 units on a team record of 6-2 with the 'under' at 5-3. Urena delivered a pair of quality starts for Miami, but it was against the sub-.500 New York Mets and Atlanta Braves, and the Marlins split the pair.

#IAlwaysCryWhen David Phelps, Junichi Tazawa, Jose Urena, Tom Koehler, Dustin McGowan, or really any Marlins pitcher takes the mound.

— Travis. (@TheSteroidEra) May 14, 2017

Eventually, it’s going to be time to flip the script and start putting Miami in our MLB picks. Urena’s an intriguing prospect who’s cranking out fastballs at a career-high 96 mph. But he’s also allowed a tiny .259 BABIP this year with 93.8 percent of base -unners stranded (!). McCullers’ performance looks a lot more sustainable, and the projections are on Houston’s side so let’s stick with the favorites for now.

Free MLB Pick: Astros -148Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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