Expert MLB Pick on Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins
On paper, the best pitching matchup on a busy Saturday around Major League Baseball looks to be in Game 2 of Washington’s series in Miami as the Nationals go with the very underrated Joe Ross against Marlins ace and former NL Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez, who almost never loses at home. Thus the Marlins will be favored on sportsbook odds.
An In Depth Analysis on the Expert MLB Pick on Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins & TV Info
When: Saturday, May 21, 7:15 PM ET
Where: Marlins Park, Miami
Probable pitchers (away/home): Joe Ross/Jose Fernandez
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Radio: Washington / Seattle
Opening MLB Lines: Marlins favored by TBA
Nationals at Marlins Historic Betting Trends
Washington manager Dusty Baker made a lineup switch earlier this week, moving struggling Anthony Rendon from No. 2 to No. 6 and Jayson Werth from No. 6 to No. 2. It seemed to spur both guys. For example, entering Wednesday Werth found himself in a 26-for-124 (.210) slump. Baker thought Werth would be better off moving up in the order where he could see more fastballs. And in that night’s 7-1 win over the Mets, Werth went 2-for-2 with three runs scored and three walks. Werth now has 16 three-plus-walk games in his career, his first since Sept. 16, 2014. By hitting second, Werth believes he is more involved in the game. Rendon was 2-for-3 with two RBIs in that game. So, yeah, I think the lineup change will stick for a while.
Miami entered this series losing the final two of a three-game series in Philadelphia. Slugger Giancarlo Stanton struck out four times in the Marlins’ loss to the Phillies on Wednesday. He had trouble all series against Philly pitching, going 0-for-10 with nine strikeouts. The Marlins have faced the Phillies six times now, including three games in early May in Miami. Counting those games, Stanton is 1-for-18 with a home run and 12 strikeouts. His hitless series dropped his batting average to .221 and raised his strikeout total to 52 in 136 at-bats.
Miami has several players who have excelled against NL East competition since the start of last season. In that time, Christian Yelich (.337) ranks second among all NL East batters in average against division opponents (min. 50 G), behind only the suspended Dee Gordon (.349). Martín Prado (.327) ranks fourth. Justin Bour is second in home runs (18), behind Bryce Harper (34), and his 50 RBIs are tied with Prado for second, behind Harper (81). Bour (.552) is also second to Harper (.692) in slugging, while Yelich ranks third in OBP (.392), behind Harper (.434) and Andres Blanco (.395).
Washington’s Ross is 3-3 with a 2.63 ERA this season. Ross took the loss against the Marlins last Sunday in D.C., allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks over 5.2 innings while striking out three. It’s the second straight start in which Ross has surrendered five runs. He’s 1-1 with a 2.20 ERA in five career games (three starts) against Miami.
Fernandez (5-2, 3.21), the reigning National League Player of the Week, is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 22 strikeouts in his last two starts. Fernandez allowed just one run on four hits and three walks while striking out 11 in Sunday’s 5-1 win over the Nationals. The one run that Washington did get across the plate was hardly Fernandez’s fault, as Marcell Ozuna and Giarcarlo Stanton collided in the outfield to give Ryan Zimmerman an inside-the-park home run. Fernandez now has back-to-back outings with 11 strikeouts.
Expert Betting Prediction
You just don’t beat Fernandez in Miami so back the Marlins on betting odds. Go under what will be a low total, likely 7.