One of the best stories of the first half of the season was the success of the Miami Marlins, and now, with a real opportunity to play their way into the playoffs, the question remains whether they can maintain their winning ways. After a break, the Marlins will resume action tonight in Baltimore against the Orioles, and we’ll preview the game before going over my best prop play for the action.
There aren’t many better ways to go into the All-Star break than after a sweep, and the Orioles were able to do that. After sweeping the Twins in Minnesota to give them five straight wins before the break, the Orioles will enter the second half of the season with a 54-35 record. Baltimore and their exciting young roster sit two games out of first place in the AL East while holding a five-game lead for the first AL Wild Card spot.
Taking the mound for them tonight will be right-hander Dean Kremer, who is set to make his 19th start of the season. Despite pitching to a 4.78 ERA in 98 innings of work, Kremer will enter tonight off his best start of the year, as he was able to go into Yankee Stadium and go seven innings with two runs (one earned) and ten strikeouts.
The Marlins team that Kremer will take on tonight was able to go into the break with a big divisional series win over the Phillies. After taking two out of three from Philadelphia, the Marlins are 3.5 games ahead of them in the NL East and hold sole possession of the top Wild Card spot. With All-Star Luis Arreaz leading the charge at the plate, the Marlins have the third-best team batting average in baseball entering tonight.
Miami’s success has also stemmed from their young arms on the mound taking form for them. However, one arm they are still waiting to return to his CY Young caliber is Sandy Alcantara, who will be getting the start for them tonight. In his 18 starts, the right-hander has put up a 4.72 ERA in 114.3 innings.
Dean Kremer’s strikeout prop is currently set at 4.5, and for my play, I’ll be taking the over, which is priced at (-135) on BetMGM. The Orioles right-hander is averaging 5.11 K’s per game this season and six per game over his last ten starts, so he has gone over four punchouts in nine of his last ten outings. Not only has he seen an improvement in his strikeout numbers and overall stuff, but he has a solid matchup tonight with the Marlins.
Over the past month, across 326 at-bats, the Marlins' offense has a 23.6% strikeout percentage against right-handed pitching on the road. In the last six games, the Marlins have faced a right-hander on the road, the opposing starter has recorded at least five strikeouts in five of those games.
It looks as if Kremer has figured some things out with the pitches in his repertoire, as his strikeout percentage on his cutter went from 12.9% in May up to 27.3% in June. The right-hander’s stuff looked as sharp as it ever has in his last start against the Yankees, and I think he can continue to rack up the punchouts tonight.
Dean Kremer Over 5.5 K’s (-135)