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Marlins vs. Cardinals Odds, Preview, Prediction: How To Bet Afternoon Finale in St. Louis (Wednesday, June 16)

Marlins vs. Cardinals Odds, Preview, Prediction: How To Bet Afternoon Finale in St. Louis (Wednesday, June 16) article feature image

Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler O’Neill.

  • The Marlins and Cardinals close a three-game series on Wednesday afternoon in St. Louis.
  • Former Cardinals farmhand Sandy Alcantara starts for Miami opposite struggling rookie Johan Oviedo.
  • Kevin Davis breaks down which side he's backing in the game, delivering his betting analysis and pick below.

Marlins vs. Cardinals Odds

Marlins Odds -111
Cardinals Odds +101
Over/Under 8
Time Wednesday, 1:15 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Tuesday and via William Hill

The Cardinals and Marlins close a three-game series at Busch Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Based on the National League standings, the Cardinals should be favored with a 34-33 record. St. Louis entered the season as the favorite in the NL Central, but it has lost eight of its last 11 games, even after taking the first two games of this series against Miami.

The Marlins are playing how you would expect them to play, with a 29-38 record and in last place in the NL East. While Miami is on track to win about 71 games, it should beat a .500-level team like St. Louis 44% of the time. However, the Marlins have an edge on the mound in this one.

Let’s see if that starting-pitching advantage is enough for the Marlins to earn our bet.

Miami Marlins

In 14 starts this season, former Cardinals farmhand Sandy Alcantara has a 4-5 record with a 3.39 ERA and 3.64 xFIP. If Alcantara played for a team like the Dodgers or Padres, his team would be a heavy favorite every time he stepped on the rubber. Alcantara has had an ERA below 4.00 every year since he was acquired by Miami before the 2018 season.

Backing up Alcantara is a Miami bullpen that entered Tuesday night’s game with a 3.44 ERA, the second lowest in the league. Alcantara averages a strong six innings per start, which means Miami only needs to cover the remaining three innings most of the time when he starts.

The only issue for the Marlins is even though they have strong pitchers like Alcantara, Trevor Rodgers and Pablo López, they lack the run support that they need to win. The average MLB team is scoring 4.40 runs per game this season, while the Marlins entered Tuesday averaging only 3.92, which is the seventh fewest in the league.

With the exception of Jesús Aguilar, every position player in Miami’s regular lineup is below average offensively.

St. Louis Cardinals

While pitching is a strength for the Marlins, it is a weakness for the Cardinals.

St. Louis is relying on rookie Johan Oviedo for Wednesday’s game. Oviedo has only 53 career innings, and he has been awful in that action. This season, he has pitched 28 1/3 innings and has an 0-2 record with a 5.72 ERA and 5.17 xFIP, topped off by a -0.3 WAR.

Making matters worse for the Cards is their bullpen has an xFIP of 4.95, the highest in the league. Typically, if you want to bet on St. Louis, you are better off betting on the first five innings moneyline. However, in Oviedo’s starts you are better off betting on the full game St. Louis moneyline as their bullpen is slightly better than Oviedo.

Backing up Oviedo and the Cardinals bullpen is a lineup that is averaging 4.15 runs per game this season. However, with the Cardinals back at full strength, my model projects the Cardinals to score 4.33 runs in a typical game this season. With Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill, the Cardinals have a competitive lineup.

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Marlins-Cardinals Pick

In general, I am bearish on both the Marlins and the Cardinals for the reasons listed above.

However, Miami’s lineup is so bad that it is conceivable for Oviedo and the St. Louis’ bullpen can string together a victory. The Cardinals have a decent lineup and are at home, so they earn my pick.

Pick: Cardinals +101 (play to -115)

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