Miami arrives in town having won five its last 7 games behind a surging offense that is averaging 7.3 runs per game over that span (.343 OBP; .851 OPS). The Marlins are batting .282 with a .774 OPS versus left-handed starters this season and are 8-3 in their last eleven games following a win and 7-2 in their last nine games versus .499 or worse opposition. Miami right-hander Dan Straily toes the rubber with a 3.89 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 4.01 FIP and a 4.20 SIERA over thirteen starts.
The 28-year-old compensates for a lack of velocity with elite movement on his three plus-pitches, including one of the best sliders in the game. Straily is tied for second among MLB pitchers (minimum 200 at-bats) with a .194 expected batting average allowed, based on the quality of contact made against him according to Statcast.
Straily’s 24.2% strikeout rate is a career-best in the Majors and he should improve upon those numbers against an Atlanta lineup that is averaging just 4.2 runs per game at home.
I also like the fact that Miami’s bullpen owns a 3.39 ERA and 1.17 WHIP versus division foes and a 3.46 ERA in its last seven games. In contrast, the Braves’ crumbling bullpen enters tonight’s game with a 4.92 ERA and 1.37 WHIP at home, a 5.75 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in divisional affairs and a 5.90 ERA and 1.59 WHIP over the last seven games. Atlanta sends 24-year-old rookie Sean Newcomb to the hill for his second career major league start.
Newcomb was the No. 15 overall pick in the 2014 Draft and allowed one unearned run and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings against the Mets in his MLB debut. He is the Braves’ No. 5 prospect according to MLBPipeline.
The young southpaw posted a 2.97 ERA, 3.23 FIP and 3.49 xFIP in Triple-A this season despite garnering a subpar 13.3% walk rate across 57.2 innings. Newcomb also compiled a 29.7% strikeout rate over that span so he’s clearly capable of missing near-big-league bats.
From a technical standpoint, Atlanta is a money-burning 3-7 in its last ten home games, 30-52 in evening home games and 25-49 at home in the first half of the season over the last two seasons. With Miami standing at 30-21 (+14.9 units) as road underdogs of +150 or less and 27-17 versus left-handed starters, take the Marlins as Oskeim Sports’ Best Bet for Friday and invest with confidence.
Oskeim Sports’ MLB Best Bet for Friday, June 16: Miami Marlins (+100)