MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions for Marlins vs. Dodgers: Can LA Get Right With Kershaw Against Miami? (Friday, May 14)
Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images. Pictured: Clayton Kershaw.
- Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers will face Sandy Alcantara and the Miami Marlins on Friday night in Los Angeles.
- LA struggled last week, but it has improved significantly over its past couple of games.
- Check out Kenny Ducey's betting guide for updated odds and a pick based on his analysis below.
Marlins vs. Dodgers Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (-118 / -104)|
|Time||10:10 p.m. ET|
The Marlins and Dodgers aren’t two teams that have been synonymous with offensive explosions lately, but there’s hope for at least one of those teams tonight.
With a great pitching matchup, we have a respectably low total, but there should be value here in taking an offense very much on the rise. I’ll explain what I mean as we dig into the numbers below.
Marlins Still Face Injury Concerns
It’s been a constant struggle at the plate for the Marlins, who showed some signs of life for two games in Arizona earlier this month before reverting back to the lackluster offense we’ve seen all season. Miami ranks 21st in the bigs with a 92 wRC+ to this point, hitting .234 with the sixth-worst Isolated Power in baseball at .142.
There have been no redeeming qualities about this lineup except for NL RBI leader Jesus Aguilar, who has been hitting the yarn out of the baseball.
This team’s also had to deal with several injuries, and though the Marlins have returned players like Brian Anderson back to the order, they’re still without Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Jorge Alfaro. So, it may be partly due to health that the team’s in this spot, but for the purposes of rating this offense for Friday, it’s grim.
One promising thing we can say about the Marlins is they’ve gotten a real boost from their rotation, and Sandy Alcantara will be here to make things better for Miami on Friday.
His 2.3% barrel rate to this point is elite, and he’s posted an impressive 2.72 ERA in eight starts against some very solid lineups. If he can get any run support at all, he’s got a real chance at winning his second start of the year, which is unbelievable considering how solid he’s been. That speaks to how weak Miami’s offense has been.
Alcantara Presents Great Matchup for Dodgers
Believe it or not, Clayton Kershaw’s numbers aren’t all that different from Alcantara’s.
He’s stumbled out of the gate a bit this year, posting a 2.62 ERA with slight declines in hard-hit, strikeout and walk rates. He’s been roughed up twice already this year, at home on Opening Day against the Rockies and two starts ago at Wrigley Field. He’s also coming off an outing where he threw just 71 pitches over five innings, so in that sense, he should be rearing to go here against a weak Miami team.
Pitching really isn’t — and never has been — an issue for the Dodgers. What’s lost games has been their bats, though over the course of the past two weeks, they’ve enjoyed some positive regression to rank fourth with a 115 wRC+. Interestingly enough, the Dodgers have been the fifth-best team against changeups this year with 0.83 weighted runs per 100 pitches, and that’s what Alcantara leans on.
It’s hard to figure out what’s going on with this offense, considering the Dodgers were slumping hard before exploding against Dylan Bundy and the Angels and beating up on some bad pitchers in Seattle, but if you choose to buy into three of the past four games, perhaps there’s something here for you.
The Dodgers have proven capable against changeups and sinkers — ranking in the top five in weighted runs per 100 pitches for each — which is almost the entire extent of Alcantara’s arsenal.
The Los Angeles offense has also come to life in recent games, and momentum could be huge here. A run of lefties — a split which has never been kind to L.A. — sent this lineup in a downward spiral, and perhaps a run of bad pitching will lead to more confidence against a great hurler here in Alcantara.
I’m taking the run line here because I’m supremely confident the Marlins will score two or fewer runs off of Kershaw, and the Dodgers lineup should stay hot.
Pick: Dodgers -1.5 (-105)