After a lighter slate in the MLB yesterday, 15 games will be played today, with one of them being the start of the series between the Diamondbacks and Marlins in Miami. We’ll preview the game before going over which side I’ll be backing in this one.
The Diamondbacks started their season by splitting their first two series, but since then, they have won two straight over the Dodgers and Brewers. Arizona will come into today after their off-day with an 8-5 record and ranking 8th in the league in batting average and 3rd in stolen bases.
In their most recent win over Milwaukee, Corbin Carrol continued to have a solid start to his first full season in the big leagues by hitting his third homer of the year. The Arizona lineup will need supply run support today as the D-Backs call on struggling veteran Madison Bumgarner to start for them.
Bumgarner has made two starts up to this point, and in those 8.7 innings, he has pitched to a 7.27 ERA with ten walks and seven strikeouts. The lefty looked a bit better in his most recent start over the Dodgers, in which he got the no-decision, but he still walked six batters in 4 ⅔ innings while allowing two home runs.
The former World Series champion will take on a Marlins team today that has won two straight games and is fresh off a rest day. As a team, Miami is 18th in batting average and 22nd in OPS. Still, they have one of the hottest hitters in baseball in their lineup with Luis Arraez, who followed up his cycle with another hit while Miami took the series over the Phillies.
On the mound today for the Marlins will be lefthander Trevor Rodgers, who has also gotten off to a slow start to the year. Through two starts, Rodgers is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in nine innings of work. The lefty is averaging a strikeout per inning, but he has also allowed a homer in each of his starts with four total walks.
The Marlins are listed as favorites today at (-152), and I’ll be backing them for my play in this one. Miami has hit lefties exceptionally well this season, with a .282 batting average and a .769 OPS. To make things even better for Miami backers, the lefty they're facing today is in the bottom part of the league in a lot of statistical categories.
Entering tonight, Madison Bumgarner is in the third percentile for walk percentage, 17th percentile for barrel percentage, and first percentile in chase rate. Bumgarner also has a 40.7% fly ball rate, which, mixed with the hard contact he is allowing and the Marlins being ranked 13th in home runs, I like Miami’s chances to put runs on the board early and give Rodgers some needed run support.
Trevor Rogers’ numbers in the newspaper may not look strong, but he places well in some essential advanced metrics. For example, Rodgers is 95th percentile in chase rate, 88th percentile in average exit velocity, and 59th percentile in xBA. The lefty is not giving up a lot of hard contact and has been a heavy ground ball pitcher this season, so overall, I think he’s due for better numbers, and with some run support, I like Miami to take game one of the series.
Miami Marlins (-152)