Tonight's MLB Pick Is On The Total On Marlins vs. Giants

Doug Upstone

Friday, April 22, 2016 4:00 PM UTC

Friday, Apr. 22, 2016 4:00 PM UTC

When it came to betting baseball, the San Francisco Giants were one of the strongest preseason plays to win the NL West and be the team to challenge the Chicago Cubs in the National League.

MLB record: 5-3, +1.7

Similar to last year, San Francisco has gotten off to a slow start at 7-10 and has lost five in a row. Miami is in even worse shape at 5-9, but at least split a four-game home series with a hot Washington squad after dismal 3-0 sweep to Atlanta, who up to that point had not won a game.

The betting odds favor San Francisco and the total is about average for a contest at AT&T Park, so let's break it down for best value.


Pitching Matchup - Cosart vs. Samardzija
Miami's Jarred Cosart is known for a mid-90's fastball that has good movement whether he throws it high or low in the zone and a curve that has excellent downward movement. Thus far in 2016, we have not seen evidence of either. Last year Marlins coaches adjusted Cosart's delivery to make it simpler and he became more effective. To date, the right-hander has no command and his 6.09 ERA is a direct reflection to nine walks in 10 2/3 innings. Cosart has been a favorite among those making MLB picks with an 11-3 (+13.5 Units) mark as a road underdog of +125 to +175 (Marlins Record), but in current state, that may be hard to support.

Saw Jeff Samardzija twice in spring training and he was pitiful both times, but he was intent on preparing for the regular season and he's been much better with a 3.72 ERA, though the WHIP is high at 1.44 because of eight free passes in 19 1/3 innings. This will Samardzija's first home start in the Giants whites, showcasing his four-pitch repertoire.


Offensive Overlook
The Marlins are averaging 3.9 runs a game and have tended to be on or off with the bats. Of Miami's 14 contests, six times they have tallied three or fewer runs and plated five runs or more on a half dozen occasions. Though he is not playing every day, 42-year old Ichiro Suzuki has been in vintage form with a .389 batting average. Christian Yelich (.370 BA) and Marin Prado (.340 BA) have been a force at the dish and NL batting champion Dee Gordon is rounding into form with .290 mark. Giancarlo Stanton (.224 BA) has not found a groove yet when working with new hitting instructor Barry Bonds, but will have a power burst in the not too distant future.

After starting the season hot, the San Francisco offense has gotten cooler than a chilly breeze coming off the bay. The Giants in their past seven starts are at only 2.6 RPG. This has been a team slump for San Fran as only Angel Pagan (.328 BA) is among manager Bruce Boche's regulars to be batting over .265, with an on-base percentage of .350 or higher. Exhibiting a bit more patience at the plate would help this team collectively.


Betting Odds and History
The MLB odds at BetonLine have San Francisco as a -170 favorite with the total at Ov.7.5 (-120). The Giants are only 4-4 at home against Miami in their last eight visits, despite being the favorite six times, with two Pick's tossed in. These two National League clubs are also .500 when breaking down the totals.


Game Outcome
In truth, not much to like on side action. Though Cosart and Miami have excellent live underdog tendencies, not sure if he stays in present form if that is possible. Rather, the total catches this baseball handicappers eye.

The Marlins since 2014 are 47-25 Over after batting .225 or worse over a five-game span and Samardzija has 5.08 ERA against them, with a 4-2 Over mark. The Giants righty has not pitched that well into seemingly winnable situations as a -150 or higher favorite with an 11-2 Over record.

Though the San Francisco offense has been tamed of late, they are 56-30 Over versus NL teams scoring 4.3 or less runs a game, leading me to take the Over 7.5.

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Free MLB Pick:  Marlins Over 7.5 -125
Best Line Offered:  at YouWager

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