MLB Regular Season

Matchup: Miami Marlins at Arizona Diamondbacks

Date/Time: July 22, 9:40 p.m. ET

Pitching Matchup: Jose Fernandez (2-0, 2.37) vs. Robbie Ray (3-4, 2.29)

MLB Betting Odds From BetDSI Sportsbook

Moneyline: Miami -125

Total: 7.5

Every Jose Fernandez start is required viewing for any baseball fan. One of the best arms in baseball will make his fourth MLB start of the season on Wednesday when the Miami Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks continue their series in the desert. Robbie Ray will be tasked with keeping the Marlins offense at bay. These two teams are going in very different directions right now. The Marlins and notorious cheapskate owner Jeffrey Loria have been a bit of a disaster this season, while the Diamondbacks have new leadership with Tony La Russa in the front office and a new manger.

The Marlins could be sellers at the trade deadline yet again this season. With some veteran players like Dan Haren, Mat Latos, and Martin Prado very much available on the market, things in the clubhouse for the Marlins are likely unsettled. Veteran players know how to handle the deadline, but these guys are mentors to some of the younger players and that creates an uncomfortable dynamic. Of course, having Jose Fernandez on the bump trumps all of that.

The Diamondbacks are neither sellers nor buyers this July, and that’s perfectly fine. The Diamondbacks don’t have many pieces of value for teams around the league and they are busy trying to figure out the pitchers that they have in the organization that can be effective, dependable Major League starters. Robbie Ray is certainly one of those guys under the microscope, along with guys like Rubby de la Rosa and Allen Webster.

There’s no question that Jose Fernandez is a quality Major League starter. He has come back from Tommy John surgery like it never even happened. Fernandez has a 21/1 K/BB ratio over 19 innings with five runs allowed on 17 hits. Usually command is the last thing to come back, but Fernandez has allowed one home run to 73 batters faced. The velocity is there and Fernandez seems to have refined his changeup a little bit more during his rehab. A fourth plus offering for Fernandez will make his arsenal unhittable and that’s terrifying considering how good he was prior to the surgery.

This is a good test for Robbie Ray, even though the Marlins are hardly viewed as a good offensive team. With Giancarlo Stanton out of the lineup, Miami has no hitters to fear. Nevertheless, Ray takes on a Marlins offense that entered play on Tuesday second in batting average and third in wOBA against left-handed pitchers this season. Ray has been very effective in his 55 Major League innings this season, posting a 2.29 ERA with a 2.57 FIP and a 3.82 xFIP. There are some concerns, however. Ray’s 5.4 percent walk rate is a number that he never flirted with at any level in the minor leagues. He has flashed much better command than expected and he doesn’t really have the stuff it takes to face a lineup two or three times and continue to have success.

MLB Prediction: Miami Marlins

For that reason and Jose Fernandez, the Marlins are a good look on Wednesday night. Recency bias in Robbie Ray’s nine-start sample at the Major League level has this number in reasonable range to play the Fish and that’s exactly the type of thing that we should be looking for on a nightly basis. The Marlins are a hard bet to make any time Giancarlo Stanton isn’t in the lineup, but this team has several guys capable of getting after left-handed pitching.