I almost feel like I should apologize for this pick because it is between two of the worst teams in major league baseball. But whether a game is a marquee matchup or a battle between cellar dwellers value is value and today the value is with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Phillies vs. Marlins Odds
Oddsmakers came out making the Phillies around a +130 underdog and the line has not moved very much across the board. The best MLB odds right now to grab them is at +134 at Pinnacle. When we get into the numbers any kind of plus money is good value on a game that essentially is a coin flip at worst.
Jerome Williams gets the start for Philadelphia with a 5.47 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 59 strikeouts, and a 4-8 record. The nine-year veteran most likely won't make anybody's roster next year, but he has pitched pretty well recently, which gives him some good value today. In his last three starts, two of them on the road, he has only allowed three total earned runs in 18 innings with just 17 hits. As well, he has only had one really bad start in his last 10 games at Baltimore where he got thumped for six earned runs in under an inning. Besides that he has been pretty steady and is facing one of the worst offenses in the league today in the Marlins.
Philadelphia ranks last in runs per game at 3.68, 26th in OPS at .681, and respectable 16th in team batting average hitting .253. They actually rank 10th on the road and team batting average hitting .252. They had a great day at the plate yesterday against the Blue Jays so they should come in of this game with just a little bit of momentum and have enough quality at-bats to give themselves a chance to win.
Brad Hand takes the mound for Miami with a 4.74 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and 41 strikeouts, and a 2-3 record. He has mostly been used out of the pen this season but he has started for the Marlins his last three times on the mound. He looked pretty good in his first two games, allowing just one earned run combined between the Mets and the Braves, but in his last outing he got thumped in St. Louis allowing six earned runs off of 11 hits. He is not a big strikeout pitcher and does a decent job inducing ground balls. I am sure today he will probably be okay against the Phillies, but in my opinion he has no business being this big of a favorite against anybody.
Miami ranks 28th in runs scored per game at 3.72, 27th in OPS at .681, and respectable 12th in team batting average at .255. There is no big home and away disparity with these guys and their averages stay pretty consistent wherever they play. Much like the Phillies the Marlins are a really weak hitting team across the board, which again gets me back to my point, at worse this game is a coin flip. They are ranked in the bottom of the league in most offensive categories and this number simply does not reflect how poor of a team they are.
I understand Philadelphia's not good, but neither is Miami. In a game like this, one that is well under the radar of most sports bettors, I think it's a good spot to grab some value on a game that could go either way. Williams has pitched well recently and Hand is only an okay major league pitcher at best. At +130 or more why not take a shot with the Phillies to continue their offensive momentum from yesterday, back the underdog.
MLB Pick: Phillies +140 at 5Dimes