Miami right-hander Tom Koehler has done a remarkable job following the injury to ace Jose Fernandez, who was lost for the year with an elbow injury. Indeed, Koehler is 4-3 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.11 WHIP this season, including going a perfect 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 0.79 WHIP at Marlins Park. Let’s also note that Koehler is 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA and 1.11 WHIP at night and takes the mound in excellent form with a 1.93 ERA and 1.07 WHIP over his last three starts. “You can’t replace Fernandez,” Koehler said. “So the key is really to go out there and do what I’m capable of doing, and for each of us individually, do what they’re capable of doing and take it game by game.” Koehler is also supported by a solid Miami bullpen that owns a 3.18 ERA at home and a 2.79 ERA over the last seven games.
Koehler should have success against a scuffling Milwaukee lineup that is batting just .241 with a .300 on base percentage this season, including hitting .245 with a .306 on base percentage versus right-handed starters and .250 with a .311 on base percentage over the last five games. After a strong start to the 2014 campaign, Milwaukee owns a pedestrian 8-12 record in May and has plated just 68 runs while collectively batting .233 over the last month. Meanwhile, Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada toes the rubber in poor form with a 4.76 ERA and 1.35 WHIP over his last three outings. Overall, Estrada is 3-2 with a 3.64 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 2014, although he has never been able to pitch deep into games. Of his last nine starts, only one has lasted longer than six innings, and he is coming off a game in which he yielded 4 earned runs on seven hits in just five innings of work against the Cubs.
Believe it or not, Miami has the best home winning percentage (.760) in baseball, and its 19-6 mark through 25 games is the best in franchise history. The Marlins are batting .286 with a .361 on base percentage at home (6.3 runs per game), including hitting .281 with a .363 on base percentage versus right-handed starters (6.5 runs per game). This investment is also enhanced by the fact that Milwaukee right fielder Ryan Braun left Thursday’s game due to tightness on his right side and is expected to miss tonight’s game. Milwaukee is already without third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained hamstring. In addition, center fielder Carlos Gomez is dealing with a nagging lower back issue and did not play Thursday. Gomez is questionable tonight against the Marlins.
From a technical standpoint, Miami is 9-1 in its last ten home games versus right-handed starters, 23-6 in its last 29 home games and 20-7 at home versus teams with a winning record, whereas the Brewers are 1-6 in their last seven road games and 2-6 in their last eight games as underdogs. Take the best home team in the Majors and invest with confidence.
Technician’s Corner: Milwaukee is 14-34 (-22.8 units) in the month of May over the last two seasons.