Sometimes in baseball all signs point one way and the results go the other way, and that’s what took place with last night’s pick between the Indians and Twins.
Carlos Carrasco had been brilliant on the road this season, however he ran into trouble from the get go, allowing three runs in the first inning. The Indians right-hander would last just 3.1 innings and gave up six earned runs in the process, all but ensuring the UNDER would not hit. Some offense from the Indians later in the game would sink the pick for good as the two teams combined for 11 runs in a 7-4 Twins win.
I’ll look to get back in the win column in a matchup between the lowly Miami Marlins as they take on the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight at Chase Field in Phoenix.
The D-backs got the sticks going last night as they erupted for nine runs against starter Elieser Hernandez and the Marlins bullpen while Clay Buchholz continued his resurgence with seven frames of one-run ball to go along with nine strikeouts.
With the win and the Rockies’ loss, Arizona moved to within a half game of the NL West lead while the Marlins enter tonight’s contest sitting in last-place by an eight-game margin in the NL East.
Miami Marlins @ Arizona Diamondbacks
Caleb Smith (3.51 ERA, 3.21 FIP, 1.15 WHIP) vs. Zack Greinke (3.65 ERA, 3.65 FIP, 1.04 WHIP)
He wasn’t all that great for most of April, but Caleb Smith has been pitching very well for the Marlins over his last several starts. Over his last seven starts, Smith has yielded two runs or less six times while yielding one run or less four times. The hard-throwing left-hander doesn’t pitch in much traffic at all as evidenced by that real nice 1.15 WHIP number, and he keeps batters off the bases thanks to elite strikeout numbers. Smith brings a big-time 29.9% strikeout clip into action tonight, although I’d like to see his 11.3% walk rate come down a little bit.
Based on their projected lineup, it looks like Smith will face at least six right-handed bats tonight as is usually the case when a lefty takes the hill. However, stacking righties against Smith isn’t a great idea as the southpaw has allowed just a .153 batting average and a .250 wOBA to right-handed hitters this season as he owns some pretty drastic reverse splits on the year.
Looking at the Marlins offense, there isn’t much to write home about here. Their team OPS against right-handed pitching sits at .638 which ranks them 29th league-wide. Miami has scored just six runs over their last three games and have scored two runs or less in four of their last eight. Suffice to say they will have their hands full tonight against D-backs righty Zack Greinke.
Greinke enters play with that respectable 3.65 ERA on the season, but he’s been dominant at home. He will take the hill tonight sporting a sparkling 1.69 ERA at Chase Field while holding opposing hitters to a .184 average and .237 wOBA at home as well. In six home starts this season, Greinke has held the opposition to one run or less five times and two runs or less in all six.
Overall, Greinke sports an impressive 27.1% strikeout clip and his tiny 3.8% walk rate is a big reason why you see that elite 1.04 WHIP figure above. His only issue this season has been with the long ball with a 1.49 HR/9 mark, however that shouldn’t be an issue tonight as the Marlins’ 31 homers against right-handers are the second fewest in baseball this season.
The D-backs offense perks up agianst left-handed bats, but their All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is still not hitting. Even in last night’s route Goldschmidt had just one hit and has only two multi-hit games since April 26th. Without their leader hitting, this Diamondbacks offense is a shell of its former self.
With Smith pitching very well as of late and Greinke allowing next to nothing at home, I am liking the chances of a low-scoring affair tonight from Chase Field.
The Bet: UNDER 7.5 (-130)