Game: Miami Marlins @ Philadelphia Phillies
Time: 6:45 p.m. ET
Odds: Blue Jays -145, Orioles +125
Before they play each other again next week, the Marlins and Phillies wrap up their current series tonight. Given that the Marlins are all but out of the playoff picture, Miami doesn’t have much to play for. That does not mean that this will be a one-sided contest. About every five days or so, Miami has a great chance to win. That’s because Sandy Alcantara, the NL Cy Young frontrunner, will start the game.
Alcantara, who is 12-7 with a 2.36 ERA this season, just defeated the league-best Dodgers by a score of 2-1. The Marlins ace was brilliant. He pitched a complete game, allowing just one earned run while striking out 10 Dodgers. In his last start against Atlanta came down off of his high and was roughed up for six earned runs in five innings of work. Still, there is good reason to believe Alcantara will have success against the Phillies.
This will be Alcantara’s fifth start against the Phillies this season. In two of his previous outings, he pitched 7.2 and 8.0 innings. In three of the starts, he allowed just two earned runs. The problem was that he didn’t get the run support he needed. The Marlins have lost three of Alcantara’s starts against Philadelphia. Miami has struggled offensively since the All-Star break.
Kyle Gibson, the Phillies’ starter, has defeated the Marlins once this season, but he has been wildly inconsistent. The Giants just hit him for seven runs before the second inning ended. Even better, the Marlins defeated him in his most recent start. Gibson was able to earn three of his nine victories last month by taking on the Pirates, Reds, and Nationals, three of baseball’s poorest clubs.
The Marlins have already shown they can defeat Gibson, even though they may not be headed to the postseason this year. If the Marlins are going to win this game, it’s probably going to have to be a low-scoring affair. That’s because Alcantara has been the team’s sole offensive threat due to their lackluster offense. Alcantara’s wins last month were all by scores of 3-0. Don’t forget the win over the Dodgers – 2-1.
Alcantara’s four starts against the Phillies this year were all low-scoring games. Two of them ended with seven runs and the other two produced five and three runs. Gibson’s last few starts have produced similar results. He lost to the Marlins 3-0 and his most recent win over them was by a score of 2-1.
Miami has five hitters with a .320 xwOBA against right-handed pitchers over the past month. Considering Gibson’s ERA is 4.78 for the season, the Marlins might be able to break out of their nine-game losing streak. The Marlins are 0-6 SU in their last six road games and have just one win against Philadelphia in the last nine attempts. The Phillies haven’t done much better recently with just three wins in their last nine games. They have, however, won eight of their last nine home games.
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