Pick Marlins as Sizable Money Line Underdog vs. Nationals

Ross Benjamin

Monday, May 4, 2015 12:39 PM GMT

Take advantage of this MLB handicapping professional's insight as he breaks down Monday’s game between the Miami Marlins and the Washington Nationals, sharing a money line pick.

NL East Rivals open Series in Washington
The Washington Nationals will host the Miami Marlins on Monday at 7:05 PM ET. According to the MLB Odds at Wagerweb, Washington is a -160 money line favorite, and the posted total is 7.0. This will be the second series of the season between these NL East rivals. The Marlins swept the Nationals at home in a three game series in April, and outscored them by a decisive cumulative score of 17-4. However, Washington is 15-4 at home versus Miami since the start of the 2013 MLB campaign.

 

Starting Pitcher Matchup
The Marlins will send right-hander David Phelps to the mound on Monday. Phelps has displayed very good form over his last three starts, posting a 1.53 ERA, and a 0.91 WHIP. This will be his first career start versus the Washington Nationals.

The Nationals will counter with right-hander Jordan Zimmerman on the hill. Zimmerman has gone 2-3 in his team starts this season with a lofty 4.88 ERA. On a more positive note, he’s displayed better form during his last three starts, posting a 3.26 ERA, and a 1.19 WHIP. He’s made one start versus the Marlins this season, pitched 6.0 innings, and allowed two earned runs on six hits during a 3-2 Nationals loss. Zimmerman tossed a no hitter versus Miami last September. However, that was a depleted Miami Marlins lineup that was notably missing Giancarlo Stanton. Nonetheless, any no hitter on the Major League level is a monumental accomplishment.

 

Surging Fish
After a horrible 3-11 start to the season, Miami has rebounded and won nine of their last eleven games. The Marlins had their four game win streak halted on Sunday in a 6-2 loss to the Phillies. Miami has amassed twelve hits or more in three of the last four, and five of their previous eight games. They enter this three game series versus the Nationals tied for second in the NL East with Atlanta, and 3.5 games behind the first place New York Mets.

 

Winning Ways on the Rise
The Washington Nationals were far and away the consensus choice to win the NL East prior to the start of the 2015 season. They looked anything but the part to start the year by going 7-13 in their first twenty games. They’ve began to get back on the right track by winning five of their last six heading into today. The Nationals hitting continues to be a mystifying problem. Washington enters today with a poor .236 team batting average on the season, and had ten hits or more in just six of their first twenty-five games.

 

Final Analysis
I like the way David Phelps has pitched to start the season, and he may be catching a potentially dangerous but struggling Washington batting order at the right time. The Marlins are clearly hitting much better as a team than the Nationals over the past couple of weeks. I like Jordan Zimmerman an awful lot, but he’s been a bit too inconsistent for my liking to start the year. I’m going to lean toward the sizable road underdog for one of my MLB Picks on Monday.

MLB Picks: Play Miami +148 on the money line over Washington at WagerWeb