Nationals vs. Marlins MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back the Bats in Miami (Thursday, June 9)

Nationals vs. Marlins MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back the Bats in Miami (Thursday, June 9) article feature image

G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Jazz Chisholm Jr.

  • The Marlins host the Nationals for the finale of their mid-week series.
  • Stephen Strasburg is making his first start of the year, but our analyst is targeting the total.
  • Mike Ianniello previews the game and offers up a best bet below.

Nationals vs. Marlins Odds

Nationals Odds+120
Marlins Odds-145
Over/Under8.5 (-110/-110)
Time6:40 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

With expectations of taking a big step forward this season, the Miami Marlins have gotten off to just a 24-30 start, sitting 12 games back in the NL East.

Since the beginning of May, Miami is just 12-22. The rough start caused a closed-door meeting with the team Monday.

Don Mattingly said it was a difficult meeting and that he wouldn’t be surprised if his team came out flat that next day. Well they came out and thumped the Nationals, 12-2. The Fish followed that up with a trilling 2-1 walk-off win in the bottom of the 10th on Wednesday.

So did this team meeting work and galvanize the Marlins to go on a run? Or are they just playing the worst team in the National League?

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Washington Nationals: Strasburg to Make Season Debut

Thursday will mark the season debut for Stephen Strasburg (RHP). The former World Series MVP has not pitched since June 1, 2021, after undergoing thoracic outlet surgery. It has been a rough road since that 2019 World Series. Strasburg has made just seven starts over two years, going 1-3 with a 5.74 ERA and 5.21 xFIP.

He made three minor league rehab appearances, most recently on Friday with Triple-A Rochester. He threw 83 pitches in six scoreless innings, allowing one hit while striking out four. Over 12 seasons, the former number one overall pick has a 3.21 ERA and 3.00 xFIP. He has one of the best curveballs in the game and has thrown it over 30% of the time in the past three years.

As bad at the Nationals have been, the offense is not completely incompetent. They sit around middle of the back in wOBA and wRC+. Over the past two weeks they rank top 10 in both categories.

The crazy thing about Washington’s offense is they’ve been keeping afloat with Juan Soto really struggling. Over the past month, he is batting just .192 and in the past two weeks has more strikeouts than hits.

Miami Marlins: Offense Playing Well

Miami has recently proven to be one of the best organizations at developing young pitchers. However, Trevor Rogers (LHP) is one of the few who has disappointed this year. The 24-year-old was named an All-Star least season and finished with a terrific 2.64 ERA. He also ended the season second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.

This year Rogers is just 2-5 through 10 starts with a 5.80 ERA and 5.28 xERA. He ranks in the bottom 20% of the league in xERA and xwOBA. He has nearly doubled his barrel rate and his K/9 has dropped from 10.62 down to 7.80.

Miami’s offense has been middle of the pack as well — although relatively better than the Nats. They rank 14th in wOBa and 12th in wRC+. Despite the struggles, the Marlins have actually been even better at the plate over the past month.

Superstar Jazz Chisholm has been slumping, but Garrett Cooper and Jorge Soler are mashing the ball. Cooper is batting .440 with a 1.152 OPS over the last two weeks.

Nationals-Marlins Pick

While Strasburg is a former three-time All-Star and World Series MVP, he is making his first start in over a year. It will be just his eighth start since that World Series win.

I’m still a big fan of Rogers, but he has really looked off this year. His xERA is at 5.28, he is struggling to miss bats and teams have a .372 xwOBA against him. Teams are crushing his fastball as he’s allowing a .461 xwOBA against his four-seamer this year and the Washington offense has the sixth highest run value against fastballs.

These are two pitchers with good reputations, so we are getting a better number than we probably should. The over is 16-11 for Miami at home, while 19-9-3 for Washington on the road. It’s 6-4 in Rogers starts this year.

Let’s hope that aforementioned team meeting continues to light a fire under the Fish and both offenses shine in the getaway game on Thursday.

Pick: Over 8 (-113) (Play to -120)

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