Starting Pitchers: Miami (Buehrle) vs. Philadelphia (Blanton)
MLB Betting Odds from Bookmaker
Moneyline: Miami (-110) Philadelphia (-110)
Roy Halladay bested Josh Johnson in the much-anticipated pitching matchup last night in Philadelphia. The Phillies put up a five-spot in the third inning to burst the game open. Halladay went 7 innings and allowed just five hits and one run. The Marlins took the opening game of this series, so this game will be the rubber match. The oddsmakers couldn’t decide who to make the favorite here.
The Marlins came into the season with much higher expectations and a new stadium. General Management certainly didn’t want to see Ozzie Guillen tick off a lot of Miami fans in the first week of the season, but that is exactly what happened. Guillen is currently serving a five-game suspension imposed by the Marlins. Joey Cora is acting as manager during this time.
Miami has been shut out once and held to one run two times this season. The offense has to pick it up if this team is going to contend in a difficult division.Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio give the Marlins two speed-burners at the top of the lineup. Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo Stanton are off to a bit of a slow start, and they’ll need to step up their production with runners on base.
Mark Buehrle was solid in his first start for the Marlins, but he got the loss because the offense didn’t produce. Since Buehrle has been in the American League, not many of the Phillies have seen him before. Buehrle isn’t quite as dominating as he was a few years ago, but he is a very solid starter.
The Phillies are playing without their two best hitters from the middle of the lineup. Both Ryan Howard and Chase Utley will be out for quite a while. This offense is going to have to manufacture more runs and do all the little things well. Still, the Phillies are the favorites in the NL East thanks in large part to their terrific pitching staff.
Carlos Ruiz was the star of yesterday’s win. Ruiz has been an underrated clutch hitter for the past few years. Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino both have averages above .350 through the team’s first five games. Placido Polanco is struggling so far this year, but he has hit .400 in his career against Buehrle.
Joe Blanton is considered one of the weak spots in this Phillies rotation. It isn’t that Blanton is a terrible pitcher, but he certainly isn’t up there with the top three of the staff. The Phillies are 20-8 in Blanton’s last 28 home starts. They are also 4-1 in Blanton’s last 5 starts against the Marlins.
The Marlins are just 8-22 in their last 30 games against the Phillies. The Marlins are a miserable 26-57 in their last 83 games against a right-handed starter. The trends point to a Phillies win. I think this one goes down to the wire, but I like the Phillies to squeak out a win.
Free MLB Pick: Phillies ML