Phillies vs. Marlins MLB Pick – August 31st

The Dodgers lost their fourth straight game last night, effectively killing the “winningest season in history” dream, but more importantly, raising some questions if this team might have peaked too soon and if injuries and fatigue are finally starting to catch up with them. Arizona won their sixth straight in the process and look like reasonable contender. Washington is obviously tough as well, even tougher now that Strasburg is back in the fold, and last night’s 17-3 romp was a reminder that the Cubs still have another gear they could finally hit…

So is there trouble in Los Angeles? Before overreacting, it is also worth remembering it is the FIRST TIME ALL YEAR they have lost four in a row, a pretty remarkable accomplishment in and of itself.

We need a slump buster tonight. It’s been my worst month in seven years of covering baseball, and you guys deserve better results. No excuses, but man, you know things aren’t going your way when a pitcher with a 2-9 record throws a three-hit shutout in one of the most offense-friendly parks in baseball… when it’s going bad, man… sheesh.

OK – back on the hustle. And time to cash in some winners.

Today’s MLB Pick:

Philadelphia Phillies +140 at Miami Marlins -150 (Total: 9)
Ben Lively (1-5, 4.36 ERA) vs. Odrisamer Despaigne (0-1, 3.70 ERA)

The Marlins were playing really good baseball until they ran into the Washington Nationals buzz saw this week. The three game sweep was an absolute gut-punch to the Marlins already teetering postseason hopes, but there is no recipe to get back on track quite like a four game set at home against the worst team in baseball, the 49-83 Philadelphia Phillies.

The Phillies are throwing Ben Lively, who enters with a 1-5 record and a .282 opponent batting average. He allowed four homeruns in his last start against Chicago, so you can bet the homer-happy Marlins led by Giancarlo Stanton will be chomping at the bit tonight. Philly is 6-12 SU in their last 18 games and has lost seven of their last ten in Miami.

Miami will counter with Despaigne, in just his third start of the season. A pitcher with an 8.28 ERA in limited relief appearances against the Phillies making a rare start would normally be reason to look at the OVER, but the Phillies offense ranks 28th in MLB for a reason – it isn’t very good. Instead, I’ll take the Fish to snap out of their slump and enjoy the home ballpark in a win against the scuffling Phillies. Philadelphia is just 21-46 away from home this season. Look for that number to get even worse this week in Miami.


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