Phillies vs. Marlins Odds, Preview, Prediction: Wrong Team Is Favored in Monday’s Series Opener (May 24)
G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Bryce Harper.
- Zach Eflin starts the Phillies' series opener on Monday night at Marlins Park opposite Trevor Rogers.
- Both starters have started the season in fine form, although Rogers has struggled to pitch deep into games, unlike Eflin.
- Kevin Davis breaks down the betting value in this NL East matchup below, delivering his best bet for the game.
Phillies vs. Marlins Odds
|Time||Monday, 6:40 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Monday and via William Hill|
After about 30% of games have been played, the National League East race is still wide open. The New York Mets are in first place with a 21-19 record, and the last place Washington Nationals are only 2 1/2 games behind.
Sandwiched between those two are the Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins, who open a four-game series on Monday night in Miami.
The Phillies begin play on Monday just one-half game ahead of the Marlins, but Miami has played better this season. The Fish have a +9 run differential compared to the Phils’ -19. Miami should have a winning record while Philadelphia should have a losing record.
The question for Monday night’s game is if Miami deserves to be favored at Marlins Park.
Phillies Send Dependable Eflin to the Mound
In a league in which start pitchers typically pitch for only five innings per game, Phillies starting pitcher Zach Eflin is an outlier. This season, the right-hander is averaging more than 6 1/3 innings per outing.
Eflin isn’t just eating innings, but he is devouring his competition this season. His 2-3 record isn’t indicative of his success so far in 2021, as he has a 3.77 ERA and 3.16 xFIP. Against a weak Marlins lineup, Eflin should have a big game against the Fish.
Backing up Eflin is a talented Phillies lineup that has been mediocre this season. Philadelphia enters the series averaging only 4.02 runs per game, which is the 10th lowest in the league.
Making matters worse for the Phillies is that catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Didi Gregorious are out injured, while Bryce Harper is in the middle of a slump. However, with a lineup featuring the likes of Andrew McCutchen, Rhys Hoskins and Jean Segura, the Phillies’ bats should wake up as the season progresses.
Marlins Hope for Deep Start From Rogers
Opposing Eflin for Miami is left-hander Trevor Rogers, who has been a pleasant surprise this season.
Rogers has a 6-2 record and 1.74 ERA, although there are two problems with him that are not easy for the average eye to see. One is that his xFIP of 3.34, while excellent, is not nearly as great as his ERA. The other more important problem is that Rogers has struggled to pitch deep into games.
Rogers is averaging 5 2/3 innings per start, which is more innings than the average starting pitcher. However, his numbers are inflated by his last two starts, in which he pitched for 7 2/3 innings and six innings. In four of his starts, despite pitching well, the Marlins only used Rogers for five innings or less. If Rogers cannot at least hit that five-inning threshold, the Marlins are going to have trouble on Monday night.
Backing up Rogers is a Marlins lineup that is averaging only 3.96 runs per game, the sixth lowest in the league. Over the course of a full season in a neutral ballpark, Miami should average only 3.75 runs per game, according to my model.
Unless you are a baseball nerd like me or a Miami native, you probably can’t name a single player on the Miami lineup other than maybe shortstop Jazz Chisholm Jr., and that is only because of his blue hair. Outside of 1B Jesús Aguilar, my model does not view any Marlins player as above average offensively.
The NL East may be competitive this season with everyone separated by just three games entering this week. However, the Marlins are overperforming and should regress to finish in the cellar as the season progresses.
Miami is favored on Monday night because of Rogers, but its lineup is so bad that it should be the underdog.
The Phillies have opened as road dogs, although I suspect that they might close at minus odds for Monday’s game. I like Philadelphia at +115 underdogs, but I would only bet them up to -105.
Pick: Phillies Moneyline +115 (play up to -105)