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Marlins vs Brewers Pick MLB – July 20th

A pair of West Coast teams that are looking to get back into their divisional races started the second half of the season with resounding statements last night.  The Angels easily handled the Oakland A’s behind a fantastic no-run outing by Jered Weaver, and the Giants did the same to their division leader Arizona, blanking them 2-0 behind yet another strong start from Chad Gaudin.  Both teams are still pretty far removed from contention, ten and five and a half games respectively; but starting the second half with a sweep of their division leaders could be the shot in the arm they and their fan bases need for a second-half charge.

Meanwhile, I dropped my first pick of the second half thanks to the mercurial Tigers throwing up an offensive goose egg.  Anabal Sanchez did his job, and was a tough-luck loser in a 1-0 nothing shutout to the Royals (who are now only seven games out themselves).  A team as good as Detroit shouldn’t get shutout on two hits by Ervin Santana… and I awake kicking kicking kicking myself for not playing the UNDER as I originally intended.  Uggh.

Let’s get back on track today with a good weekend winner.

Miami Marlins +155 at Milwaukee Brewers -165 (Total: 8.5)

Nathan Eovaldi (2-0, 2.93 ERA) vs. Yovani Gallaro (7-8, 4.83 ERA)

OK, it’s not often that a line jumps out and screams “the Marlins are a great value tonight” but today could be one of those rare occasions.  They are sending Nathan Eovaldi to the mound for just his sixth start, but in limited action this season, he has been very good.  He has yet to lose, is sporting an ERA under three, and perhaps most impressively, enters tonight with a WHIP of 1.04.  Compare that to the more celebrated Yovani Gallardo’s 4.83 and 1.41 respectively, and the Marlins are at a clear pitching advantage tonight.

Let’s be clear –the Marlins are still the underdog tonight.  There’s a reason they are getting +155 on the moneyline, but I think they are an intriguing value.  They are a horrendous road team, just 14-32 on the season, which is a cause for pause, but if they are going to win a road game, facing the second-worst team in the National League is a good place to do it.

I am not so naïve as to think the Marlins are a decent ballclub; they are not.  But they will be an interesting team to watch some a wagering perspective in the second half of the season, especially because some of their young arms like Eovaldi and Fernandez.  The won three of four heading into the break, notching wins against the Nats and Braves, and they could very well be a pest for division foes needing three wins in a series to sneak back into the wildcard race.

I’ll take a flyer on the fish tonight with the big +155 juice driving the willingness to roll the dice.

Free Pick:  Miami Marlins to WIN +155