Pitching Change Sends Dodgers-Marlins Line Soaring

Pitching Change Sends Dodgers-Marlins Line Soaring article feature image

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Caleb Smith (31) Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Highlights

  • Miami scratched starting pitcher Caleb Smith for Wednesday’s game against the Dodgers (7:10 p.m. ET).
  • Elieser Hernandez, who has thrown just three MLB innings, will start in his place.
  • The Dodgers jumped from -160 to -190 following the change.

At about 2 p.m. ET, the Marlins announced that Elieser Hernandez would start tonight instead of Caleb Smith, who is putting together the best season of his young career. Smith will be bumped back tomorrow and start instead of Dan Straily.


If you’ve never heard of Hernandez, I don’t blame you. The 23-year-old right-hander has just three innings of major-league experience, all of which have come out of Miami’s bullpen this year.

There aren’t too many nice things to say about Miami’s rookie. My mom always says, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Well, Ma, how do I write an article without saying anything at all? Didn’t think about that, did you?

Hernandez, selected in the Rule 5 Draft last year from the Astros, is not in the Marlins’ top 30 prospects per MLB.com. Before this season, he had never pitched above high-A ball, which is not a great sign.

In his limited work since being activated from the DL last week, Hernandez has featured a fastball right around 91 mph, a changeup around 84 mph, as well as a slider he’s mixed in sparingly. Opponents are whiffing on just about 10% of their swings, which is terrible, but once again, we’re working with a small sample.

As for the line movement, the Dodgers, who were -160 when Smith was scratched, reopened at -190 while Miami moved from +144 to +160. This corresponds with about a 4% swing in implied probability.

Anyone who bet on the total will receive their money back with the pitching change and may be interested to know that the total went from 7 to 7.5 following the move.