The Marlins just finished their stretch of playing three out of the four California teams, and they came out on the other side with a 7-3 record over their past ten games. Tonight the Royals will be in town to start a three-game set, and we’ll preview game one before going over which side I’ll be backing in this one.
Kansas City is 4-6 over their recent ten-game stretch, but they will enter tonight off a win, as they were able to avoid getting swept by the Rockies. After allowing 13 runs in the first two games of the series, Kansas City responded by holding Colorado scoreless yesterday with a phenomenal start by Brady Singer and strong innings by the bullpen. Between the Royals' pitching staff, Maikel Garcia’s home run, and a Michael Massey RBI, the Royals boarded their flight to Miami with a 2-0 victory.
In what appears to be a bullpen game, Kansas City will hand the ball to Carlos Hernández to at least start the game. The right-hander has predominately been a reliever this season, but he did get two starts in which he went just two innings in each. Across 28.3 innings of work, Hernández has pitched to a 4.76 ERA with 38 strikeouts and eight walks.
Hernández will face a Marlins lineup that is fresh off taking advantage of a lackluster Oakland A’s pitching staff. In their sweep of the A’s, the Marlins scored 23 runs across three games, including seven in yesterday’s 7-5 win. Miami overcame an early 5-1 deficit by scoring three in the fifth and two in the eighth, headlined by a Garrett Cooper three-run home run and a Luis Arreaz RBI infield single.
Taking the mound for Miami tonight will be lefty Braxton Garrett to make his 11th start of the year. In 53.3 innings, Garrett has a 4.22 ERA with 54 strikeouts and 12 walks. The lefty was impressive his last time out as he went 5 ⅓ innings with seven strikeouts and one earned run allowed against the Padres.
The Miami Marlins run-line of (-1.5) is currently priced at (+128), and I’ll be backing them for my play in this one. Miami is 7-3 ATS over their past ten games and has the advantage of remaining at home, in which they are 18-13 overall this season. Kansas City has struggled to hit lefties this season and is 6-22 in their last 28 opening games of series, so Miami has advantages all over the board.
The Royals are ranked 29th in wRC+, 29th in wOBA, and 30th in BAbip against left-handed pitching on the road over the past month. With the 4th highest strikeout percentage in this spot at 28.3%, Kansas City faces a tough matchup with Braxton Garrett. The lefty has recorded six or more strikeouts in four of his last five games and two or fewer earned runs in four out of five as well.
It may be a bullpen game for Kansas City, but I still trust Miami can do the job offensively. The Marlins are 4th in wRC+, 4th in wOBA, and 4th in OPS against right-handed pitching at home over the past month. Hernández is in the 26th percentile in barrel percentage and 38th percentile in hard hit percentage, and he’ll give way to a Royals bullpen with the 3rd highest ERA in the league.
Miami Marlins (-1.5)(+128)