With Injuries on Both Sides to Hitters, ‘Under’ Is Play in Cardinals-Marlins

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 10:32 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 9, 2017 10:32 PM UTC

The St. Louis Cardinals complete their lone trip of the season to Miami on Wednesday night – at least we know it can’t be rained out -- by closing a three-game series with the Marlins. It’s an ESPN national TV game (7 p.m. ET).

MLB Season Record: 12-6

St. Louis Cardinals at Miami Marlins (-115, 8.5)

It’s the finale of a three-games series between the Cards and Marlins on ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball. Both teams have some injury concerns you will want to monitor here.

For the Cardinals, it’s to center fielder, leadoff hitter and big offseason acquisition Dexter Fowler. He has been nursing a sore shoulder for a few days. He was hurt diving for a fly ball last Thursday and hasn’t started since. Fowler has disappointed thus far in batting .221 with a .299 on-base percentage. Fowler was so crucial to the Cubs’ World Series run in 2016. Fellow Cards outfielders Jose Martinez (strained left groin) and Stephen Piscotty (strained right hamstring) are both on the 10-day DL.

Miami has had a rough few days and is thin at third base. On Sunday, the team put backup third baseman/utility man Miguel Rojas on the DL with a broken right thumb that could cost him anywhere from six weeks to the entire season if it requires surgery. Rojas leads the team with a .338 average in 65 at-bats. On Monday, starting third baseman Martin Prado joined him on the DL. He originally suffered a hamstring injury playing for his native Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic and then reaggravated the problem on Sunday. Prado was hitting .290 with two homers in 69 at-bats. Derek Dietrich figures to play third most games, and the team recalled JT Riddle from Triple-A New Orleans to serve as his backup.

The Marlins lost the series opener Monday 9-4 to the Cardinals despite two homers from outfielder Marcell Ozuna. He grabbed his upper right hamstring and limped off after lining out to right field in the ninth inning. Ozuna didn’t think it was serious and was in Tuesday’s lineup, but it could flare up again. Entering Tuesday, Ozuna was hitting .325 with 11 homers and 29 RBIs, the latter two team bests. In addition, the Marlins have starting pitchers Edinson Volquez and Wei-Yin Chen on the DL.


Wednesday’s Probable Pitchers

St. Louis goes with right-hander Lance Lynn. He has bounced back nicely after missing the entire 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery. Lynn is 4-1 with a 2.04 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in his six starts. The ERA is second in the National League and on the Cardinals to Mike Leake. Lynn has allowed one earned run or fewer in four straight starts while seeing an increase in velocity. He shut out the Braves in Atlanta on Friday on four hits over six innings last time out.

Lynn hasn’t faced the Marlins or pitched at Marlins Park since 2015 when he threw six shutout innings and allowed two hits in a victory. The Cards are 4-0 in MLB betting in his past four vs. Miami. Ozuna is just 1-for-11 off him with four strikeouts so maybe he gets the game off regardless. Giancarlo Stanton is 2-for-12 with a homer and six strikeouts. Adeiny Hechavarria is 4-for-8.

Miami’s Tom Koehler (1-1, 5.40) has allowed exactly three earned runs in three straight starts and four of his six this season. His problem is going deep into games as Koehler has gone longer than five innings just twice. Koehler has allowed at least one homer in each start and nine total.

Last year, Koehler lost his lone start vs. St. Louis, allowing four runs and seven hits in four innings. Fowler, if he can play, is 0-for-13 off him career. Randal Grichuk is 3-for-5 with two doubles. No current Cardinal has homered off him.

While I favor St. Louis on the side here, I’m rolling with six straight wins on totals. The ‘under’ thus will be my MLB pick. The ‘under’ is 15-6-1 in Lynn’s past 21 road starts. Alan Porter is the home plate umpire and the ‘under’ has hit in 12 of his past 17 games there.

MLB Free Pick: ‘Under’ 8.5Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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