By picking up a win in game two of their doubleheader yesterday, the Marlins are now tied with the Cubs for the final NL Wild Card spot. With a chance to either have sole possession of that spot or, at the very least, remain tied, the Marlins will need a win over the Mets tonight and we’ll preview the game before going over which side I’ll be backing.
The Marlins could have made things easier for themselves by winning both games of their doubleheader yesterday, but they dropped the ball in the opening game, losing 11-2. With more pressure on them in game two, Miami came up big in the 9th inning by scoring two runs to give them a 4-2 win. Both teams were held scoreless after the 4th inning in the game until a Brett Baty error and Bryan De La Cruz single in the top of the 9th gave the Marlins a 4-2 lead.
Now, with more control over their destiny, the Marlins will send lefty Jesús Luzardo to the mound in the series finale. The young lefty has had some rough patches in the season, but overall, he’s performed well, and he will enter tonight after allowing three earned runs over five innings to the Brewers. After that outing, Luzardo is pitching to a 3.73 ERA in 171.3 innings of work.
Luzardo will take on a Mets lineup tonight that could not carry their momentum from game one of the doubleheader into the second. New York had 12 hits and three home runs in the opener, but they followed that up with just six hits and 12 strikeouts in the nightcap. Francisco Lindor’s two home runs in the second game would be the team’s lone offense while also giving him a 30-30 season.
Closing out the series on the bump for New York will be left-hander David Peterson. The lefty has allowed three or more earned runs in three of his last four starts, as he is fresh off a four-inning outing against the Phillies in which he struck out seven but allowed three earned runs to bring his ERA to a 5.37 in 104 innings.
Miami is currently listed at (-135) on the moneyline, and I’ll be backing them for my play. As much as I’m sure the Mets would like to play spoiler to a divisional rival, they don’t have the right man on the mound to do so. With Miami in a must-win situation, I think they can come out and carry the momentum from last night’s win into today.
Over the last 30 days, the Marlins rank 13th in wRC+ and 10th in wOBA and OPS against left-handed pitching. They will also be taking on a starter in David Peterson, who is in the 22nd percentile in xBA, 17th percentile in xERA, and 8th percentile in hard-hit percentage. Peterson will then give way to a Mets bullpen with the 7th highest xFIP in the league over the past month.
Offensively, the Mets lineup ranks 16th in wOBA and wRC+ and 15th in OPS against lefties since August 28th. Marlins starter Jesús Luzardo enters the game in the 63rd percentile in xBA, 56th percentile in xERA, and a 3.85 xFIP on the road. With the playoffs within reach for Miami, I think they leave New York with a big win.
Miami Marlins (-135)