Miami Marlins -160 at Houston Astros +150 (Total: 8.5)
Anibal Sanchez (2-0, 2.43 ERA) vs. Aneury Rodriguez (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Controversy? What controversy? The Marlins seem to have put the whole “Ozzie Guillen – Castro” dustup in the rearview mirror and are finally playing like the team many expected and many predicted would win the deep and competitive National League East (in my opinion, the best division in baseball this season). They have won seven straight games and nine of ten to climb back to a game over .500 and back into the NL East race.
The main reason for the Marlins resurgence has been the awakening of the bats. Their lineup, and new acquisition Jose Reyes, struggled mightily the first few weeks of the season, but over their last seven games they have scored thirty seen runs; an average of close to five and a half a game. In the meantime, they have gotten excellent pitching, limiting their opponents to just 19 runs and if you throw out a wacky 9-8 game in San Fran, just 11 runs over six games.
All that said, the Marlins still have an even run differential for the season, while the better-than-you-think Astros are sitting at +10 despite a losing record. They certainly don’t have the name recognition that the Marlins lineups has, but they have been getting the job done with the bats down in Houston. Tonight they throw recent AAA-callup Aneury Rodriguez. The Astros are still high on the 24-year old prospect, but his limited MLB samples don’t inspire much confidence that they will be able to cool off the red-hot Marlins lineup. Last season he was 1-6 with a 5.27 ERA in 41 appearances, including 0-4 with a 5.80 ERA in eight starts.
It’s hard to see the Marlins losing streak ending tonight to a guy who was pitching at a 4.97 ERA clip in the minors before tonight. He was just 1-3 against AAA competition; tonight he gets to face the hottest lineup in the National League. Good luck kid!
I like the Marlins to stretch their win streak to eight games tonight, but the real question is do you settle for the slim line at -160 (which seems like a good wager given the pitching matchup – Anibal Sanchez has been excellent as well), or do you get a little more greedy/savvy and take the -1.5 runline?
Tonight, I’m taking both. I like the Marlins at -160 to WIN, but will be taking the -1.5 runline as well at -115.