Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies
First pitch: 3:05 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Caleb Smith (10-10, 4.31 ERA) vs. Zach Eflin (9-13, 4.16 ERA)
As always, caution needs to be expressed when approaching a game in the season’s final weekend involving two teams that are already eliminated.
This Marlins-Phillies series fits that bill, especially with Philadelphia’s rough patch as of late that did them in. The Fightin’ Phils didn’t really do much fighting in the end, losing eight of their last 10, a streak that also included a six-game skid that snapped last night after a 15-inning win.
From that, we can gather the Phillies are mailing it in. But don’t look for that to be contagious to the starting pitcher tonight, Eflin, who has been closing out his season strong. In fact, since being re-inserted into the rotation in the middle of August — which he’s on record of saying he prefers — the four-year veteran had not allowed more than three runs in any start up until his most recent turn, which was a tough road assignment against the Nationals.
During this span, Eflin has registered a 3.13 ERA in reminding people that he belongs on the starting pitching staff. Will we get this version of the right-hander?
I like him to churn out at least another decent outing, facing baseball’s lowest-scoring team — and an opponent Eflin has mostly been good against this season. He’s produced three quality starts in four tries opposite the Marlins, including one of his two complete games on the year.
His counterpart, Smith, has also etched excellent work against today’s opponent. In two starts, the former New York Yankee farmhand yielded only a single run and four hits across 12 innings while striking out 14 batters.
Smith has been very steady, pitching Miami into the sixth frame in all but three of his 27 starts. He’s also consistent with the finished product, as he was tagged for more than four runs in a start only five times. More steady pitching and eating up the majority of innings is what we want. Play: UNDER 9 (-110)
Yesterday’s Result: Rays-Blue Jays Under 9.5 (WIN)
2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 89-77-12, +2.15 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit