MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Pirates vs. Marlins Betting Preview (Thursday, July 14)
(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) Pictured: Oneil Cruz.
- The Pirates travel to Miami to take on the Marlins in a Thursday afternoon matinee.
- These teams have a similar profile and the starting pitching matchup is about even, but our analyst has found some value.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting pick.
Pirates vs. Marlins Odds
|Time||12:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Neither the Pittsburgh Pirates nor the Miami Marlins have been a juggernaut at the plate this season. Lately, the Pirates have struggled against lefties, while the Pirates can barely hit righties. This will be the case in their matchup on Thursday afternoon. Zach Thompson will throw for the Bucs against Braxton Garrett of the Marlins. Thompson has been a bit up-and-down, but in the past three months of ball (beginning in May), he has a sub-4.00 ERA. This is about all you can ask for from a starter on the Pirates. He walks people nearly 10% of the time, which is not strong, considering his strikeout rate is 16.9%. He does induce some weak contact, though.
Garrett is similar, except he also limits barrels and rarely walks anyone. That said, he is just as volatile as Thompson, though a bit younger.
The play here is taking the Pirates with a little value. There is not enough of a discrepancy in how these teams hit to back the Marlins with a juiced moneyline.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Pitching Staff Should Fare Well
As mentioned above, Thompson will limit the damage by not giving up hard contact. He is above average in Average Exit Velocity at 88.5 mph, so this should assist him in mowing down Miami hitters. In addition, Jorge Soler and Jazz Chisholm, Jr. are both on the sidelines. This leaves Miami with only five hitters who have a xwOBA over .330. The bottom of the lineup is pretty brutal.
Now, the Pirates totalxFIP in the past month is not overwhelming, but everyone besides Chris Stratton has a sub-4.00 xFIP in the that same timeframe and his has only been 4.03. This says there are enough formidable arms to eat innings when Thompson’s inevitable pitch count issues come into play. This is a massive piece in this handicap, so expect the Pittsburgh bullpen to take care of business with the Miami lineup missing two huge bats.
Miami Marlins: Bullpen Could be Downfall
Garrett is likely a bit better of a starter than Thompson, but the Miami bats have been useless against righties lately. That said, Garrett does own a better xERA (4.23) than Thompson (5.15). Much of that is inflated for Thompson from the first month of the season.
Garrett will be up against five bats (like Thompson) with a xwOBA over .330 in the past month off of lefties. This is not an edge for either side. Every other game this season, though, Garrett has allowed at least three earned runs. He has had a few outings shy of five innings of work, as well. This is an edge to Pittsburgh because the Miami bullpen does not have quite as many useful pieces to throw at the Bucs.
The Marlins have two arms over a 4.00 xFIP and a combined 4.12 xFIP. This is inflated by those two arms, but they just have fewer viable options if Garrett struggles with the top of the Pittsburgh lineup. This number does jump to six bats over a .350 xwOBA against righties. Bear in mind, Steven Okert has been a brutal bullpen piece for manager Don Mattingly and Richard Bleier is the only other southpaw for the Marlins out of the ‘pen. The Pirates should take care of business late in the game.
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This is where the edge lies. The Pirates have a better bullpen, based on who is available, and they will hit the Miami righties when they enter the game. Thompson is about even with Garrett in terms of starting this game, but expect the Pittsburgh lineup to triumph late with Chisholm and Soler sidelined. Take the Pirates from +138 to +110. Miami ain’t that good.
Pick: Miami Marlins +138 | play to +110