Tigers vs. Marlins MLB Picks: Fernandez To Stay Perfect At Home

Mark Lathrop

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 12:09 AM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2016 12:09 AM UTC

Our MLB handicapper explains that now is not the time to suggest that Jose Fernandez will lose a game at home. Read on as he breaks down the Tigers vs. Marlins game and offers his MLB pick.

In this second game of their season opening series, the Detroit Tigers and Anibal Sanchez match up with the Miami Marlins and Jose Fernandez. The opening odds have the Marlins favored at home on the moneyline at -153 at Pinnacle, while the run line giving the Tigers 1.5 runs pays out at -164 at the same book. The O/U total has opened up at 7 runs across the board.

The big intrigue in this game is if the Marlins’ starting pitcher, Jose Fernandez, can stay unbeaten at home. Fernandez currently owns a 17-0 record at Marlins Park, although the park is different this year as Miami has brought the fences in and lowered them. Hernandez has pitched just a half season with his new elbow after going under Tommy John surgery in 2014. He was successful in the last half of last season, but only pitched past the sixth inning twice in 11 starts. An innings limit may be in the cards in 2016 for Fernandez although that shouldn’t come into play in his first start of the season. More of a risk of being pulled for a double switch than anything in the National League.

This being an interleague matchup, Fernandez is seeing most of the Detroit lineup for the first time with the exception of some National League transplants, such as Justin Upton. Upton is 0-10 against Fernandez with 7 strikeouts, so not much help for the Tigers there. Fernandez’s peripherals have always been excellent, such as a 10.99 K/9 rate in 2015 and an ultra-low 7.7% HR/FB rate over his career. His career batting average allowed is under .200, and he carries with him a career WHIP of 1.01. Fernandez is an elite pitcher when his on the mound and healthy, which he will be on Wednesday night. He has faced Detroit just once in his career, giving up just 2 hits while striking out 8 over 5.0 IP.

As an opposing pitcher, the Tigers present a starter that could not be more different in Anibal Sanchez. That is evident in one statistic, allowing the long ball. After putting up a 3.1% HR/FB rate in an injury shortened 2014 season, Sanchez led the MLB in allowing home runs in 2015 by compiling a 16.0% HR/FB rate over 157 innings. This is a great way to put up a high 4.99 ERA and a 5.19 ERA on the road. Sanchez hasn’t pitched very well this spring, and has been slowed by shoulder tendinitis and bronchitis. In his last start in the spring he gave up 4 runs in 4.2 IP against the Tampa Bay Rays.

This is a homecoming of sorts for Anibal Sanchez, as he pitched for the Marlins from 2006 through half of the 2012 season. He hasn’t faced many players on the current Miami roster, such as Giancarlo Stanton, who is 0-2 against him.


Betting Analysis
The moneyline in this matchup had moved towards Detroit, before snapping back in favor of the Marlins. After opening at -150 at Heritage in favor of the Tigers, the line was bet down to -135. Since that move in the opening hours of it being available, the line has moved back to as high as -154 MLB odds at 5Dimes. I am fully in favor of the second wave of bettors in this one, and think this is a great matchup for Jose Fernandez. I’m inclined to take the run line in favor of Miami here, and have no problem laying 1.5 runs in getting +151 back at Pinnacle as my MLB pick.

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Free MLB Pick: Marlins -1.5 (+151)
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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