Jasen Vinlove, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Trevor Richards
Betting Odds: Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins
- Marlins: +179 (Trevor Richards)
- Braves: -200 (Anibal Sanchez)
- Total: 8.5 (-115/-105)
- First pitch: 7:35 p.m. ET
>> All odds as of 11 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets
After an evening spent in Contrarian Town, I’ve decided to extend my visit.
Monday’s “Bet to Watch” was the Mets First-5-innnings, which ended up being more of a sweat than the game itself when everything was settled. I immediately connected on a higher plane with how Mets fans feel when they watch their team play on a nightly basis. Errors, seeing-eye singles, constant pessimism. The Mets and their fans have it all. Thankfully, though, that bet ended up being a winner, another feather in the cap of the First 5 model, which then was immediately removed by the Padres later in the evening.
Anyway, after viewing life through the prism of the Mets fan, I figured what better way to really outdo myself than to immediately turn around and view life through the prism of a Marlins fan. That’s right, folks, value on the Marlins tonight! Who’s with me? Looks around in an empty auditorium
I don’t know how you could support the Marlins in any current situation without mathematical evidence to trump your emotion. They got completely dominated in a doubleheader yesterday, outscored 15-2 and showed essentially no pulse offensively. That market pessimism has carried over to today’s game, as Atlanta is receiving 85% of the money-line tickets in the early betting markets (per SportsInsights).
The Marlins can now be had for about +175 to +180 in a couple offshore markets, and (unfortunately, perhaps) that’s a price that may need to be taken.
Richards, Miami’s starter, is at least reason for a little optimism. Through July and August he’s actually been very good, and in 23.1 innings since the All-Star break he’s allowed just five earned runs with a .175 BAA. He gave up only four hits against the Cardinals last time out, but two were home runs, which pretty much doomed all of his metrics from that start. Richards actually gives the Fish a decent chance to get a rare victory.
On the other side, Sanchez has been consistently good all season, too, but there’s concern recently: he took a liner off his calf early in his last start — and was limping around the clubhouse afterward — but now we are told he is fine and with treatment will make this start. That at least should give a little pause, even if the injury (to his front foot when pitching) doesn’t cause that much of a difference in mechanics.
His metrics also indicate he could be due for some regression, including a BABIP that is well below average. The Marlins are never going to wow anyone offensively, but at least as a silver lining, J.T. Realmuto — their best player in terms of WAR — has excellent splits vs. righties. In fact, none of Miami’s best hitters has any real drop-off in terms of left vs. right (this is where the snarky part of us says, “yep no drop-off, they’re equally awful against everyone!”). Look, they’re a huge underdog, it’s never going to look THAT appealing.
With the Marlins bullpen now steadily progressing closer to being the worst unit in the league, I’ll once again look to a first 5 innings moneyline, and take the Marlins. Hopefully it’s just as fun as it was being a Mets fan last night.
The Bet: Marlins F5 +175