Padres vs. Marlins Odds, Preview, Prediction: Joe Musgrove Faces Awful Miami Lineup (July 23)

Padres vs. Marlins Odds, Preview, Prediction: Joe Musgrove Faces Awful Miami Lineup (July 23) article feature image
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Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Musgrove.a

  • The Padres continue their East Coast road trip at Marlins Park on Friday night.
  • San Diego hopes Joe Musgrove is due for some positive regression against a Marlins lineup that has been awful of late.
  • Tanner McGrath breaks down the matchup and whether there's betting value anywhere.

Padres vs. Marlins Odds

Padres Odds -165
Marlins Odds +140
Over/Under 7.5
Time Friday, 7:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Friday and via BetMGM

After losing to San Diego 3-2 last night, Miami opens as a huge home underdog for Friday’s matchup against Joe Musgrove.

However, is it fair for the Marlins to be priced as such? Musgrove has been on a tough streak recently and hasn’t been quite the same since his April no-hitter.

To be fair, neither of these teams should really be trusted from a betting standpoint. If you had bet $100 on every one of San Diego and Miami’s moneylines in 2021, you’d be down well over $1,000.

Let’s take a dive into this matchup and see if we can uncover any profitable plays.

Musgrove Could Bounce Back vs. Lowly Marlins Lineup

Following a lackluster June, during which the Padres finished 15-12 with a -1 run differential, it was good to see the Padres bats light up the Nationals last week before heading to Atlanta and now Miami.

The Padres took two of three from the Nats but scored 41 runs in the process, reminding the league of what San Diego is capable of when playing well. However, they shouldn’t have to remind anyone. Over the last 30 days, the Padres rank third in MLB in OPS (.839), wOBA (.359) and wRC+ (127).

Instead, the pitching has been a slight issue. The whole staff ranks just 20th in FIP (4.65) during this 30-day stretch, with the starting rotation ranking 25th (5.03).

Lucky for them, Musgrove hits the mound today, and he is having a career year, posting career lows in both ERA (3.14) and WHIP (1.00).

However, he’s in a bit of a funk lately. Musgrove has posted a 7.36 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP over his past four starts, and the Padres have lost three consecutive Musgrove starts. This could be a get-right spot against an awful Marlins offense.

Musgrove’s improvement from being a replacement-level starter to a top-of-the-rotation guy directly corresponds with his increase in slider use. At the expense of his four-seam fastball, Musgrove now throws the slider about 30% of the time while allowing just a .142 BA on the pitch.

The heavy slider use has helped Musgrove keep his average exit velocity down around 86 mph over the past few seasons. Which, in turn, has really helped his performance.


Marlins Hope Thompson Stays Hot

The Marlins are the most frustrating team in the league.

Behind just a -3 run differential, Miami’s expected record is 48-49, which would put them in second place in the National League East. Instead, the Marlins have finished 9-21 in one-run games this season and behind a 3-2 loss to the Padres on Thursday, they have fallen 15 games under .500 and 11 games out of first place.

The Marlins’ pitching and defense is great, as they allow just 3.50 runs per game at home this season, which is good for fifth in MLB. Guys like Sandy Alcantara, Pablo López and Trevor Rogers have become some of the better arms in baseball.

If only they could get any run support. Over the past 30 days, the Marlins have posted the third worst OPS (.670) and the second worst wOBA (.293) in baseball, dropping Miami’s season-long wRC+ to 87, which is fifth worst in MLB.

The Marlins’ starter on Friday night is Zach Thompson, who has been nails since getting called up from Triple-A Jacksonville in June. In six career starts, Thompson has posted a 1.93 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP, but the Marlins are just 2-4 in his starts because of a typically subpar 3.14 support runs per game.

Of course, this is a small sample size, and Thompson’s 3.55 xERA and 3.82 xFIP suggest he might not hold a sub-2.00 ERA for the whole season. Thompson has posted an absurdly low .246 BABIP in his young career, and that’ll certainly regress at some point.

Thompson’s fastball-cutter mix accounts for about two-thirds of pitches thrown, and he also throws a decent number of curveballs. He doesn’t throw too hard, but his fastball spin rate ranks in the 89th percentile among qualified pitchers. As such, Thompson is striking out 10.69 batters per nine innings so far this year.

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Padres-Marlins Pick

This is most likely a stay-away game from me.

Considering Thompson is due for regression and Musgrove’s ERA has risen in each month (1.24 in April, 2.84 in May, 3.81 in June, 6.28 in July), the over could be a smart play. However, the Marlins’ offense can’t be trusted in any capacity, and over bettors will be reliant on the Padres plating seven runs or more. Given San Diego’s recent performance at the plate, that’s not an unlikely outcome.

There’s most likely value on Miami here, where our Action PRO projections have their ML around +125, rather than where it’s listed around +140. But the Marlins are just 3-7 in their last 10 and their bullpen has pitched a whopping 16 innings in the last three games.

The best bet would be to find a way to back Miami in the first five innings. If I could somehow find Miami at +150 on the first-five ML, I’d make that play. As of Friday morning, the best number is +145 on BetMGM.

Otherwise, I’ll pass on this matchup.

Pick: Marlins F5 ML (+150 or better)

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