MLB Baseball Betting: Miami Marlins at Pittsburgh Pirates

MLB Baseball Betting:  Miami Marlins at Pittsburgh Pirates

The Miami Marlins struck the opening blow in their weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates as they took a narrow 6-5 victory in Friday’s first game. The second game of the three game set is set for Saturday night and both teams need to win to start cutting into a big deficit in their respective divisions. The Marlins are 9.5 games behind the NL East leading Washington Nationals and have to keep an eye on the teams behind them as well. The New York Mets are 3 games back of Miami while the Philadelphia Phillies are still technically ‘in the hunt’ 6.5 games back. The Pirates situation is a bit more dire. They’re 14 games behind the Chicago Cubs and two back of the second place St. Louis Cardinals who are in good form at the moment (5 straight wins 7-3 L10). With the Cubs back in high gear they could be out of contention before they know it.

Miami will start right hander David Phelps who has been in very good form since rejoining the Marlins’ rotation. Phelps has started three games putting up a 1.84 ERA and a 1.160 WHIP from 14 2/3 innings pitched in which he’s allowed just 3 earned runs while striking out 17 and walking only 5. Phelps has worked hard to increase his velocity and combined with his already solid control has made him a very dangerous pitcher. He could be especially effective against a Pirates’ team that has struggled to hit right handed pitching this year and put up a 44-49 -11.4 unit record against them.

Pittsburgh will counter with right hander Chad Kuhl who has started 6 games this year–all Pittsburgh victories. Worth nothing that only two of these starts have come since July 17. Kuhl has a 3.73 ERA overall with a 1.245 WHIP, a 6.08 ERA at home with a 1.875 WHIP and a 2.00 ERA in his last three starts with a 0.889 WHIP. And although Miami has a better batting average against RHP than Pittsburgh they’re 42-51 -16.9 units.

This game looks like a ‘coin flip’ so we’ll take the Marlins at the plus money price. Phelps has morphed into a solid pitcher while Kuhl is still very erratic. Miami has a better shot at running down their divisional leader.