MLB Odds & Picks for Marlins vs. Giants: Expect a Pitcher’s Duel in San Francisco (Sunday, April 25)
Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured: Pabloe Lopez
- Pablo Lopez looks to pitch yet another gem against the Giants this season but hopefully get some run support this time.
- Kevin Gausman is just an average starter, but Giants pitching has been one of MLB's best this year.
- See why Kenny Ducey doesn't expect much scoring, below.
Marlins vs. Giants Odds
|Time||Saturday, 9:05 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday and via PointsBet|
A surprisingly rock-steady Giants rotation will turn to Kevin Gausman on Saturday to keep things going against the Marlins and secure a fifth series win on the young season.
The Marlins have now lost four of five, dating back to a 1-0 defeat to San Francisco in López’s last start on Sunday. Aside from getting five runs across against Matt Harvey in a loss to Baltimore, this offense has been sleepwalking. Friday was yet another example, with a meaningless two-run homer off the bat of Jesús Aguilar putting makeup on yet another disappointing night.
Miami now sits in 26th against right-handers with a miserable 80 wRC+. There’s still time for things to turn, and it should be noted that starters Jorge Alfaro, Brian Anderson and Starling Marte are all currently on the shelf. That helps us feel a little bit better about the long-term prospects for this lineup, but it does nothing to inspire confidence for Saturday’s game.
López may, however. The righty has been solid yet again this season with a 3.32 ERA in his first four starts of the year, coming against some decent competition in the Braves, Cardinals, Rays and Giants. His average exit velocity of 85.3 ranks in the top 12% of all pitchers, and he’s flashed great strikeout and walk rates. That’s despite seeing lower whiff rates across the board, so if he saw some positive regression in those numbers then he might really be on to something special this year.
Also of note, Miami stands 4-4 on the road this year and just 4-7 at home, so in theory they’ll be feeling a bit better about their chances playing in the cool San Francisco air.
San Francisco Giants
The names don’t blow you away in this Giants rotation, but the numbers certainly do. San Francisco’s starters have ranked third in baseball so far this year with a 2.48 ERA, second in homers allowed per nine (0.72) and fifth in walks per nine (2.48). It hasn’t been due to a bevy of swings and misses, it’s been all about inducing soft contact, which is precisely what Saturday’s starter, Kevin Gausman, has done all year.
Gausman has always been a middling starter, but the one thing you can give him credit for is his consistency in the exit velocity department. He’s hovered right around 88 MPH for his entire career, a mark which is ever so slightly above average. He’s also been very adept at limiting walks over his career, though his walk rate has shot up to 8.8% this season, but he’s never flashed anything special in the strikeout department. That said, the Marlins are 13th in strikeout rate this year against righties, so perhaps there’s an opportunity for some success there.
As for the bats, well they have done just about what they’ve needed to so far this year. They rank 20th in wRC+ against righties, with few bats up and down the order that scare you. Tommy La Stella has been a great addition with his .343 expected batting average, Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt have been themselves, and Buster Posey is back from injury. After that, though, it’s pretty bleak. There’s certainly enough here to scratch across a few runs to support what’s been an outstanding pitching staff, but offensive explosions are few and far between.
Both offenses have struggled to hit right-handed pitching, and both of these pitchers have really turned it up a notch so far in 2021. López’s swing-and-miss stuff should play up against a Giants team that ranks second in strikeout rate against righties, while Gausman shouldn’t have any issue facing an already-bad Marlins lineup that’s now down three key players.
This total is hard to stomach given the unappealing names involved, but they’ve been solid this year, and the offenses behind them have not been.
Pick: Under 7 (-110)