MLB Preview and Free Pick: Marlins vs. Mets
The Miami Marlins had a terrible 2012 season, and they're off to an 0-3 start to this season.
The New York Mets got off to a surprisingly good start last season, and they've won two of their first three games this season.
The Mets and Marlins begin a three-game series at Citi Field Friday night (7:10 pm ET).
Can New York continue along with its good early start with a victory? Can Miami get off the schnide? And how might we profit from betting on Friday's game?
This Week's MLB Picks Record: 2-0 (+ $207)
Marlins-Mets Betting Lines
Most baseball books opened their MLB odds for Friday's game with New York and starting pitcher Jeremy Hefner as -170 favorites over Miami and Alex Sanabia. But most books also then dropped the line on the Mets to around -160.
Also, the OVER/UNDER on Friday's game sits at 7.5.
The Mets were also listed as -240 favorites to win this series, with the Marlins getting +200.
Marlins-Mets: The Situation
New York opened this season by taking two of three games this week from San Diego. The Mets won Monday 11-2 and Wednesday 8-4 but missed out on the sweep by losing Thursday 2-1, wasting a quality outing from starter Dillon Gee.
Miami, meanwhile, just got swept three games in Washington, scoring a total of one run in the series. The Marlins lost to Stephen Strasburg Monday 2-0, to Gio Gonzalez Wednesday 3-0 and Thursday to Jordan Zimmerman 6-1.
Two of Miami's first three games have played UNDER on the totals, while Thursday's game pushed on seven.
New York began this season getting 15/1 to win the NL East, with a wins OVER/UNDER of 75.
Miami began this season getting upwards of 100/1 to win the NL East, with a wins O/U of 63.
Last year the Mets took the season series from the Marlins 12 games to six, with the totals leaning toward the UNDERS by a 9-7-2 margin.
Check out our picks on the Cubbies vs. Braves here!
Hefner went 4-7 with a 5.09 ERA as a rookie last year, with 18 walks and 62 strikeouts over 94 innings. But he had success against Miami, allowing just four ER and 11 hits through 14 1/3 innings in three appearances vs. the Fish.
This Spring Hefner gave up 13 ER and 26 hits through 25 1/3 innings of work, walking seven and whiffing 21.
Sanabia didn't even pitch in the Majors last season, instead going 6-7 with a 3.93 ERA at AAA New Orleans. He “earned” a spot on the Miami roster by allowing four runs in seven innings of work this Spring, and because of injuries to a couple other Marlins pitchers.
For his ML career, comprised of 18 appearances for Miami in 2010-11, Sanabia owns a 3.67 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP, with 19 walks and 55 Ks in 83 innings of work.
In three career appearances vs. the Mets Sanabia has given up six ER and 13 hits through 13 1/3 innings.
Last year New York's bullpen ranked second-worst in ERA at 4.65, while Miami's pen ranked 23rd at 4.06. And from what we can tell neither of those units are any better this season.
Free MLB Pick
Miami, at the moment, is an embarrassment of a franchise. At this time last season the Marlins were a hip pick to make the playoffs and maybe even do some post-season damage. One year later it looks like the Fish might give Houston a run as the worst team in baseball.
But -160 is just too steep a price for us to give on New York.
So instead, we'll look toward the total for our free MLB pick for Friday night. Miami has scored one run in three games so far, but that was against some pretty stiff pitching. And Hefner doesn't compare with Strasburg, Gonzalez or Zimmerman.
Also, either of these bullpens could get lit up at any moment. So, we'll go with the OVER 7.5 runs on Friday's game at Bookmaker.eu.