Sportsbook.ag MLB Game of Day
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (36-42) at MIAMI MARLINS (35-40)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Miami -107 & 7.5 under -115
Cliff Lee is still searching for his first win of the season when his Phillies visit a slumping Marlins team to open a three-game set on Friday night.
Lee has allowed three runs or less in seven of his 12 starts this year, but is carrying an 0-4 record, while his team is just 3-9 in these dozen Lee outings. This should change on Friday facing a Miami squad that is 4-17 in its past 21 games, scoring two runs or less in 11 of these defeats. The Marlins have been outscored by 71 runs in this span, batting a paltry .191 with runners in scoring position. However, Miami Marlins ace Josh Johnson has not allowed more than three earned runs in nine consecutive starts, so run support could once again be an issue for Lee. His Philadelphia squad has usually enjoyed visiting South Beach, and although this will be the club’s first-ever game in Marlins Park, the Phils are a whopping 28-14 against the Fish in the past three seasons, including 13-5 in Miami. The Marlins are a poor home team this season at 19-22, as visitors have come in and scored 5.7 runs per game with a .346 on-base percentage.
Lee (0-4, 3.72 ERA, 1.13 WHIP) completely owned the Marlins the past two times he’s faced them, throwing a pair of complete games and allowing just one run, seven hits and two walks (with 12 K) in these 18 innings. Both of those games were in Philadelphia, but he also faced them in Miami last year, allowing three runs in six innings of a 5-3 victory. However, Lee has struggled recently, sporting a 6.30 ERA, 1.55 WHIP and .309 opponents’ BA in his past three starts. The return of 2B Chase Utley (3-for-5, HR on Wednesday) and better clutch hitting from the entire team (0-for-10 with runners in scoring position on Thursday), will go a long way towards helping Lee out.
Johnson (4-5, 3.96 ERA, 1.40 WHIP) has already faced the Philadelphia Phillies earlier this season on April 11, and it wasn’t pretty -- 3.2 IP, 11 H, 6 ER. However in three previous starts against them in 2010-2011, he allowed just one earned run in 22 innings, fanning 18 and walking just five batters. Johnson has also been getting stronger as the season progresses, going 4-2 with a 2.56 ERA in his past nine starts.