Home run (Safe bet)
Take the Miami Marlins - on at 1.61 - to win at home against the Texas Rangers.
This Tuesday contest pits a really bad Rangers club against a surprisingly average Marlins team. Considering the pitching matchups and the location of this game, there is good reason to expect a Marlins win.
Let’s start with the pitchers. Miami gives Jarred Cosart the starting assignment. Traded from the Houston Astros at the end of July, Cosart logged eleven quality starts for the struggling Astros and now has renewed life with a better Marlins club. This was evident in his last outing when he twirled seven innings of three-hit, shutout baseball. It’s also worth noting that even when he was with the offensively challenged Astros, he was able to tally a 2-0 record against these Rangers earlier this season.
As for Texas’ pitching choice, it’s not a good one. Miles Mikolas is 1-5 with a 7.71 ERA. Most troubling is he’s coming off a game against the Tampa Bay Rays in which he gave up nine hits and ten runs in just six innings of work. More of that type of performance is quite possible against a Marlins lineup that hits much better across the board at home than on the road. In fact, in general, the Marlins are an above-average home team – in terms of winning percentage – so that doesn’t portend well for Texas.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
In Colorado, look for the Rockies and the Kansas City Royals to combine for more than 9.5 runs; take it at 1.83.
Coors Fields’ reputation as an easy venue to score runs is well-deserved. With its broad outfield and Denver’s thin air, it’s not surprising that no stadium in baseball gives up more runs per game than Coors. So from a general standpoint, a high-scoring affair is always possible.
But there are a number of factors why this one will exceed the over-under line. The first are the combined offensive power in this game. Colorado is ranked third in the Major Leagues (out of thirty teams) in runs scored per game and the Royals are also an above-average run-producing club. Clearly, the loss of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez from the Rockies’ lineup weakens their hitting, but the team did get back Michael Cuddyer and there remains a number of players like Corey Dickerson, Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon who have put up strong numbers.
While the Royals’ starter James Shields is his team’s ace, he struggled in his only previous appearance in Colorado, giving up five runs in six innings of work. Admittedly, that occurred early in Shields’ career, but Coors can be a struggle for even good pitchers so expecting a repeat of his poor work there is legitimate.
As for the Rockies’ starter, Tyler Matzek, this year has been horrible. He’s 2-8 with a 5.50 ERA. In his past five games, he owns an even worse 6.75 ERA.
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