Who would have guessed the Miami Marlins would be higher in the NL East standings at this point of the season than the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals? They play a weekend set in D.C. and the Nats will be massive MLB favorites for Saturday’s first game of a doubleheader behind three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.
How to Bet Marlins at Nationals MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Game 1 of DH Saturday, 4:05 PM ET
- Where: Nationals Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Sixto Sanchez or TBA/Max Scherzer
- TV: MLB Extra Innings, MLB Network (out of market only)
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: TBA
The Marlins got back shortstop Miguel Rojas on Thursday. Rojas was one of the first Marlins players to test positive for COVID-19 back in late July, but he is over the virus now and will reprise his role as the team’s primary shortstop. He’s the first Marlin to return that had been sidelined due to COVID-19. The 31-year-old was 7-for-10 (.700) with one homer, five RBI, one stolen base, and four runs scored in three games before hitting the injured list. Miami still has several other guys on the IL due to positive coronavirus tests.
Miami has made 69 roster moves since the season began on July 24. The Marlins currently have 20 players on the Injured List (including 15 pitchers) and only have 13 players on the active roster who were on it on Opening Day. The Marlins have used 30 pitchers this season, one away from tying the club mark for most used in an entire season. Seven pitchers have made their Major League debuts. Two more, Logan Forsythe and Brett Eibner, have made their Major League debuts on the mound after playing as position players throughout their careers.
The Marlins are second in the National League and fourth in Major League Baseball with 22 stolen bases. Miami stole 55 bases in 2019, good for 23rd overall, but is on pace to steal 74 bases in only 60 games this season.
Miami was scheduled to start Jordan Yamamoto in this one, but that will change after the team optioned him to their alternate training site earlier this week. Yamamoto surrendered three earned runs over 1 1/3 innings in his latest rough start Monday against the Mets. The 24-year-old has an 11.42 ERA in three turns.
Three of Miami’s projected five starters remain on the injured list. The two who aren’t are Pablo Lopez and Elieser Hernandez. Neither will start this weekend because Lopez pitched Wednesday and Hernandez was scheduled for Friday’s series opener.
It could be top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez in this game. He was called up Thursday. The hard-throwing 22-year-old right-hander has been getting stretched out at the team’s alternate training site. He had a 2.76 ERA and 103/21 K/BB ratio in 114 minor league innings last season.Why Bet on Washington?
The Nats are without closer Sean Doolittle. Doolittle “felt okay” during a 20-pitch bullpen session Wednesday, per Nationals manager Dave Martinez. It’s the first time he’s thrown off a mound since he was placed on the injured list last week with right knee inflammation.
The team is hoping first baseman/DH Howie Kendrick will be back in the lineup no later than Friday. He has missed all week with a tight hamstring. Washington has recorded at least 17 hits in three separate games so far this season, the most in Major League Baseball. The Nationals rank fourth in the National League in batting average (.263) and on-base percentage (.329).
Juan Soto has homered once every 6.86 at bats so far in 2020. That would be the best mark in Major League Baseball, but Soto is short of qualifying to be among the league leaders. The Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto (8.25 AB/HR) currently leads MLB.
It’s scheduled to be ace Max Scherzer (2-1, 3.71) on the mound here. Scherzer was charged with five runs but whiffed 10 batters over seven innings last Sunday in the Nationals’ 6-5 win over the Orioles. It looked like it was going to be a tough-luck no-decision after Scherzer served up a two-out solo home run to Anthony Santander in the bottom of the seventh inning. However, he stayed in to retire the next hitter and the Nats re-took the lead for good on an error in the top of the eighth.
Scherzer now has 60 career starts with 10+ strikeouts and 0-1 walks, which is tied with Curt Schilling for the second-most of all time (Randy Johnson is first). Scherzer has fanned 39 batters in 26 2/3 innings this season.
“I’ve got to get my strikeouts,” the three-time Cy Young award winner said. “I’m a strikeout pitcher, that’s just how I pitch.”Scherzer is 13-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 22 career starts against the Marlins.Expert PredictionNationals 6, Marlins 1