Baseball Betting Preview & Free Sports Pick for Wednesday, May 14

May 14, 2014

Miami Marlins at Los Angeles Dodgers (-140)

Analysis: The Marlins could be the most deflated team in baseball right now after learning that Jose Fernandez has been lost for the season with a right elbow sprain.  Team physician Lee Kaplan has recommended season-ending Tommy John surgery for the reigning National League Rookie of the Year, who was 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA in eight starts this season.  Miami now turns to 24-year-old Anthony DeSclafani, the club;’s sixth-best prospect, to fill the void left by Fernandez.  “People ask, is this a guy a starter or reliever?” Miami manager Mike Redmond said.  “He’s a guy who pounds the strike zone.  Hopefully, he does that Wednesday. This is a big test for him.”

The former University of Florida standout went 3-4 with a 4.19 ERA and 1.28 WHIP over eight starts at Double-A Jacksonville.  In three seasons in the Minors, DeSclafani is 23-13 with a 3.17 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, including posting a 245/58 K/BB rate in 295 innings pitched.  “He’s a guy that’s done well in the minor leagues and we felt like he was probably the most ready to make the start,” manager Mike Redmond said of the 24-year-old right-hander.  “Out of all of our younger guys, he’s probably a little more polished because he’s a college guy and he’s got a few more innings under his belt, as far as experience.  There’s no doubt that losing Jose is a big blow, but it’s also an opportunity for guys to step up and show what they can do.”

Miami has dropped five straight on its current road trip and stand at an alarming 3-15 away from Marlins Park. Miami has been outscored 37-14 during its five-game skid and has failed to slow down the Dodgers, who are 9-for-21 with runners in scoring position.  Los Angeles sensation Yasiel Puig is batting .423 with four home runs and 16 RBIs during a career-best thirteen game hitting streak (.368 with nine RBIS vs. Miami this season).  Another issue facing DeSclafani is a struggling Miami bullpen that owns a 5.62 ERA and 1.59 WHIP on the road, a 4.40 ERA and 1.44 WHIP at night and a 5.87 ERA and 1.73 WHIP over the last seven games.

The Marlins are also  scuffling at the plate where they are batting .211 with a .277 on base percentage on the road (2.7 runs per game) and .195 with a .262 on base percentage over the last ten days (2.6 runs per game).  Now, Miami has to face Los Angeles southpaw Paul Maholm, who is 3-1 with a 2.33 ERA in his last six starts against the Marlins. Maholm is also supported by a solid Los Angeles bullpen that owns a 3.25 ERA and 1.15 WHIP at home in 2014.  I like the Dodgers tonight at a very affordable price.