MLB Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Cardinals vs. Marlins Preview (April 7)

MLB Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Cardinals vs. Marlins Preview (April 7) article feature image
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Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured: Pablo Lopez #49 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in a spring training game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on March 02, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida.

  • The St. Louis Cardinals are a short favorite over the Miami Marlins with ace Jack Flaherty on the mound against Miami's Pablo Lopez.
  • The Marlins haven't mustered much offense in this series, but are due for some better fortune in the finale.
  • Get Michael Arinze's Cardinals vs. Marlins pick and preview below.

Cardinals vs. Marlins Odds

Cardinals Odds -120
Marlins Odds +100
Over/Under 7 (-120/+100)
Time 4:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Wednesday morning and via PointsBet.

After a 4-2 loss on Tuesday, the Miami Marlins will now try to avoid a series sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Marlins will send Pablo López to the mound, and Jack Flaherty of the Cardinals will oppose him.

You could argue that Miami has pitched well enough in the two games to win, but the offense hasn’t been there — just three runs in 18 innings.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly doesn’t think the offense is that far off, and I agree.

“The positive is we are getting guys on base … We’re getting chances. Each hitter has to do his part and pass (the baton) to the next guy,” Mattingly said.

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St. Louis Cardinals

Despite their winning record at 3-2, the St. Louis Cardinals actually have a -4 run differential. That’s one run worse than the Marlins, who are 1-4 on the season with a -3 run differential.

The Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) metric also suggests that both teams are not that far apart in a small sample despite their records, as Miami has a wRC+ value of 89 compared to St. Louis at 80.

As far as the pitching is concerned, the Cardinals will hope Jack Flaherty can rebound from a disastrous start his last time out.

After being staked to a 6-0 lead, he allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Reds but was bailed out by the offense again.

One thing to pay attention to for Flaherty this season is home runs allowed. Last season in 40 1/3 innings, his HR/FB was the highest of his career at 23.1%. He gave up two more in his debut last week.

Miami Marlins

Pablo López will hope to continue to build off last season’s performance where he went 6-4 with a 1.19 WHIP and 3.61 ERA. López even finished with a 3.09 FIP, which suggests that he was due for even more positive regression by at least a half run.

The 25-year-old could really be at the start of his prime as a pitcher when you consider some of the improvements he made from 2019 to 2020:

  • K/9 increased from 7.68 to 9.26.
  • Ground ball percentage increased from 47.6% to 52.2%.
  • López slashed his HR/9 from 1.21 to 0.63.

In his first start of the season, López gave up two hits and didn’t allow a run in five innings of work against the Rays. On Wednesday, he’ll face the Cardinals for the second time in his career. He allowed two runs on four hits in the first meeting.

That game took place at Marlins Park, and at home is where López has been the most successful in his career. He has a 3.16 ERA at home vs. 6.11 on the road, a 0.66 HR/9 ratio at home vs. 1.60 on the road, and a .278 wOBA at home vs. .338 the road.

Cardinals-Marlins Pick

If you’re going to fade Flaherty and the Cardinals, it would be best to do so on the road. Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that the poor outing in his last start also took place on the road.

If you look at Flaherty’s splits, his ERA jumps from 2.78 to 4.12 as soon as he steps out of Busch Stadium. And when he’s on the road, the Cardinals are 20-26 in those outings for a loss of 9.55 units.

If you think Flaherty is due for a bounceback in a game he started where the opponent scored six or more runs, you would be mistaken. The Cardinals are only 4-15 in this spot for a loss of 15.47 units.

It’s only a matter of time before Miami will get its offense cooking, and I like this spot with López on the mound for them.

PointsBet has the best price on the board for the home team, with Miami at +100. I think they’ll get the job done here behind what is hopefully another quality outing from López.

Pick: Marlins (+100)

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