MLB Betting Preview: Miami Marlins vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Starting Pitchers: Miami (Sanchez) vs. Tampa Bay (Shields)

Date/Time: June 16, 8:05 PM EST

Television: FOX

MLB Betting Odds from Bookmaker

Moneyline: Tampa Bay (-130) Miami (+110)

Total: 7.5


Two Florida teams get together for a second time this season in this Interleague matchup. Tampa Bay has owned this series over the last few years. The Rays are 22-8 in their last 30 games against the Marlins. Matt Moore absolutely shut down the Marlins yesterday in the Rays 10-0 crushing of the Marlins in Game One of the series. Let’s take a look at this Saturday evening matchup.

The Miami Marlins are tougher to figure out than any team in baseball. Miami started the season poorly, but then went on to have a brilliant May. Now, the Marlins are slumping in a big way again. Miami is back to 32-32 on the year after losing 9 of their last 10 games. The offense has been the real problem so far this year. Jose Reyes isn’t having the big season the team expected at the leadoff spot. Hanley Ramirez is only hitting .259 so far this year. Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez are in season-long slumps at the plate. Miami is 28th in the majors in runs per game at 3.67 per contest.

Anibal Sanchez has pitched pretty well this year, but he has fallen victim to terrible run support. He is 3-5 despite having a very solid 3.40 ERA. Sanchez is a rare breed that seems to pitch better on the road. He has a 1.83 ERA away from home. Miami’s starting rotation has been great this year, but the bullpen has blown many leads.

It’s pretty amazing to look up and see Tampa Bay with a 36-28 record when you consider how short-handed this team is right now. Evan Longoria has missed 41 games in a row, and Luke Scott just went on the disabled list with a back injury. Still, the Rays have managed to score 4.38 runs per game. Matt Joyce has an on-base-percentage of .399, and he leads the team in homers and RBI’s. Desmond Jennings recently came back to the lineup, and he gives the team a nice spark at the top of the order.

Tampa Bay’s pitching staff ranks seventh in the majors in team ERA. James Shields was dominating last year, but he hasn’t had his best stuff so far this season. Shields has a 4.06 ERA, and he has allowed four runs or more in 6 of his last 9 starts. The Rays defense has more errors than any other team in baseball. Tampa Bay has committed 53 errors so far this year.

MLB Free Pick: Rays ML

Tampa Bay has managed to win a ton of close games so far this year, and I think they’ll do it again in this one. The Rays are 4-1 in Shields’ last 5 starts against the Marlins.