After splitting a 4-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals in their last series, the Arizona Diamondbacks will continue their road trip as they head to Miami for game 1 of a scheduled 3-game series with the Marlins. Coming into this season, the expectations on the DBacks were very limited, and while Arizona has played a bit better than expected, they are still sitting in dead last place in the loaded NL West Division. Arizona’s 13 losses are tied for the 3rd most in the league, with only the Reds and Nationals having more losses right now than the DBacks.
Do you have any losses? Go Fish!
— MLB (@MLB) May 1, 2022
For Miami, the Marlins finished the month of April as the hottest team in the National League, closing out the month with wins in 8 of their last 9 games. May didn’t start out as well as April ended for Miami though, as the Marlins dropped their series finale game with the Seattle Mariners yesterday to pick up just their 2nd loss in their last 10 games. Miami has been one of the most overachieving teams in the game through the month of April, as they have played quality baseball and their 12-9 record is good for 2nd place in the NL East Division.
The Marlins are (-155) home field favorites in tonight’s series opener against Arizona. The game total is just 6.5 runs in this matchup between a couple of red-hot starters in Arizona’s Zac Gallen and Miami’s Pablo Lopez. First pitch is scheduled for 3:40 PM PST from LoanDepot Park in Miami.
Arizona Diamondbacks (10-13)
The Arizona Diamondbacks are in the early stages of what should be a multi-year rebuild. Arizona decided to blow things up after narrowly missing the postseason in 2019, and while DBacks fans would have hoped that 3 years later they would be much further along in this rebuilding process than they are now, but that just isn’t the case, as this team continues to struggle to stay competitive.
The DBacks finished last in the COVID-19 shortened season in 2020, they lost an NL high 110 games last year, and while they haven’t been dreadful so far this season, they are in last place again, with basically zero chance of ever digging out of the cellar. There is a lot of baseball still to play, but the NL West is uber-competitive, and when I look up and down this DBack’s roster, I don’t see much that has me feeling optimistic about Arizona’s chances of turning things around.
This has our whole heart. pic.twitter.com/yzQN6megXq
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 30, 2022
There aren’t many established stars on this Arizona roster and even the guys that they have that are supposed to be good, aren’t playing well. Ketel Marte is suffering through his worst season as a pro, as through 23 games he is hitting an abysmal .151 with just 1 home run and 6 RBI in 86 plate appearances.
The heart of this lineup has been embarrassing as well, as number 3 hitter David Peralta is hitting .197, and cleanup man Christian Walker has been even worse, slashing just .152. The DBacks are hitting .181 as a team, and I am going to be honest here, I can’t remember the last time that a team was hitting this bad, this deep into the season. It is tough to win games if you can’t pick up hits, and the DBacks team batting average is a full 20 points lower than the next worse team, the Cincinnati Reds.
In a perfect world, Zac Gallen would be one of the main building blocks for Arizona as they attempt to rebuild this roster. Gallen is still just 26-years-old, and if he could ever stay healthy, he could be amongst the top starters in the National League. Since breaking into the Big Leagues back in 2019 with the Miami Marlins, Gallen has been outstanding.
Gallen has a career ERA of 3.31 in 46 career starts and his strikeout rate of 10.3 K/9 is elite for a starting pitcher. But his average of just 14 starts per season has me doubting whether or not he will ever be a guy that can stay on the field all season long and make 30+ starts.
This year, he has been tremendous, as he has made 3 starts and has allowed just a single earned run in 15 innings worked. Teams have barely been able to get a hit off of Gallen, let alone any runs, as he has allowed only 6 total base hits across those 3 starts. The fact that those starts came against the Mets (twice) and Dodgers, the teams with the best records in the National League, only makes Gallen’s results that much more impressive.
Today’s Starting Pitching Matchup
Miami Marlins (12-9)
My gut tells me that the Marlins are still another year or two away from truly contending in the NL East Division. But if the season were to end today, Miami would be in the postseason, as they caught fire at the end of last month and the wins are starting to pile up.
If you are a believer in the sabermetrics, the data might lead you to believe that Miami has gotten a bit “lucky” to have as many wins as they have right now, as their +6-run differential is the 2nd lowest of any NL team that has a winning record. But when you see how this roster is constructed, all of these close wins make sense as this team was built on pitching, timely hitting, and getting guys on base.
.@pablojoselopez breaks down the 10-year evolution of his changeup and how it has helped him on the mound.#MLBNOffBase | @Marlins | @LGRed | @Xavier_Scruggs | @Keith_McPherson | @Jared_Carrabis pic.twitter.com/93FrzwnpNU
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) May 2, 2022
Miami is hitting a respectable, at least these days, .237 as a team, but where they separate themselves is their ability to make productive outs and to get on base. The Marlins draw nearly 4 walks per game, a W/9 ratio that is 3rd best in the NL. Their team on-base percentage is .325, which is good for 8th best in the majors. This is an old school team where they get ‘em on, get ‘em over, and get ‘em in!
The Marlins are able to get away with having limited power and run production as they have studs like Pablo Lopez in their starting rotation. Lopez has been a big part of the Marlin’s rebuild, going back to 2108, when he first got a chance to pitch in the show. After spending his first couple of seasons learning the lay of the land in the majors, Lopez had a breakout season in 20220, posting a solid 3.61 ERA in 11 starts.
Last year, Lopez took another major step forward, as he made 20 starts and was excellent, with a 3.07 ERA and a K/9 ratio of double digits. Coming into this season, many felt that Lopez could be even better, as he is still only 26 years old, and his prime years should be ahead of him. And while Lopez was on my list of sleepers coming into this year, I am not sure that anybody could have expected him to be as sharp as he has been here in the early goings of the season.
Pablo Lopez has made 4 starts so far this season and you can make a case that he has been the top pitcher in the National League. His ERA of 0.39 leads all of baseball and he hasn’t allowed an earned run since his first start of the year and rides an impressive 18.1 inning scoreless streak into play tonight.
Last year, Lopez was nearly impossible to barrel up in Miami, as his home field ERA was 2.34, 2 full runs lower than his road splits. This year, he has continued to be stellar at home, as he has made 2 home starts, and is 2-0 with an ERA of 0.00. It doesn’t get any better than 0.00 and Miami won those starts by a combined score of 12-1, with blowout victories over the Phillies and the Cardinals.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs Miami Marlins Betting Odds And Team Statistics
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|Teams||Money line||Total||Run Line|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||(+140)||Over 6.5 (-110)||+1.5 (-170)|
|Miami Marlins||(-155)||Under 6.5 (-110)||-1.5 (+140)|
|Team Data||Arizona Diamondbacks||Miami Marlins|
|Runs Per Game||4.10||5.40|
|Earned Runs Against Per Game||3.37||3.29|
|Hits Per Game||8.50||9.90|
|K’s Per Game||8.40||7.60|
Arizona Diamondbacks vs Miami Marlins Prediction:
There is a lot of chatter going around the baseball world right now as to why the hitters just aren’t hitting. We are seeing record low scoring and hitting pretty much across the board and people are pointing to everything from humidors, PitchCom (a system that is designed to stop sign stealing), cold weather, and even the baseball itself, as to why we are seeing so few runs hit the board.
And while I think that the real answer is likely a combination of a bunch of different factors, one factor might just be that we are in a golden age for pitching right now. The game is full of bright young pitchers making names for themselves, and we see a couple of those in this game with Zac Gallen and Pablo Lopez both emerging as potential superstars.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs Miami Marlins Betting Trends:
- Arizona is 4-2 SU in their last 6 games.
- Arizona is 2-5 SU in their last 7 games against Miami.
- Arizona is 6-14 SU in their last 20 games on the road.
- Arizona is 0-5 SU in their last 5 games when playing on the road against Miami.
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Arizona’s last 5 games played in May.
- The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Miami’s last 12 games.
- Miami is 7-1 SU in their last 8 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Miami’s last 5 games against Arizona.
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Miami’s last 6 games at home.
- Miami is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games when playing at home against Arizona.
Run totals of 6.5 runs used to be reserved for just the best of the best starting pitching matchups. But we saw a 6.5 total yesterday in the game between Miami and Seattle, with Sandy Alcantara and Logan Gilbert squaring off, and we see it again today with Gallen and Lopez on the bump. I would expect to see both guys pitch well, as they are currently 1st and 2nd in MLB in ERA, and neither of these teams score very many runs, no matter who is on the opposing mound.
This is going to be one of those 3-1 types of games, where the team that wins is able to come up with the big hit when it matters the most. It would be hard to have too strong of an opinion on which starter is better in this game, as they both are pitching their brains out right now. But it is still early in the year, which tells me that neither of these guys are going to get more than 6, or maybe 7 innings at the most, of work in tonight.
As May ⚾️ starts, check out the best of April. pic.twitter.com/zvq1fQ6zcV
— MLB (@MLB) May 1, 2022
That means the bullpens are going to have to take this one home and when I see that Miami has a solid bullpen and that Arizona has the 22nd worst relief staff ERA in the game, it makes a play on the Marlins one that shows high value. Miami has made a living this season by having a strong outing from their starter, some timely hitting that gets them the lead, and a bullpen that can slam the door shut and lock down the win.
It will be low scoring and we are going to have to sweat it out some, but at the end of the day, Miami is going to find a way to win this game. You can pencil Lopez in for 6+ quality innings of work and even if Zac Gallen stays hot, his bullen is sure to let him down late in the game. Give me the Miami Marlins as small home field favorites today in the series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks!