Miami at Philadelphia MLB Betting Preview, Pick & Prediction

Posted by Michael Hunt on Tuesday,April 25, 2017 11:00, EST in

As of this writing, it’s not clear who the Philadelphia Phillies will start in Wednesday’s game against the visiting Miami Marlins on the mound. It’s Aaron Nola’s turn in the rotation but he’s hurt. Regardless, the Phils are likely to be short underdogs against the Marlins in the MLB lines. Let’s take a closer look at this matchup.

Miami at Philadelphia MLB Betting Preview, Pick & Prediction

When: Wednesday, April 26, 7:05 PM ET
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Probable pitchers (away/home): Edinson Volquez/Nick Pivetta
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Stream: MLB.tv
RadioMiami / Philadelphia
Opening MLB Lines: TBA

Why Bet On Miami?

A year after ranking near the bottom in number of infield shifts, the Marlins are now among the most active teams when it comes to repositioning their infielders. It’s working. If for one questionable error last week at Seattle, they would be heading into Philadelphia on Tuesday night trying to establish a Major League-record errorless streak.

Miami’s lone infield error came on April 19 in a 10-5 loss at Seattle. In the sixth inning, Mitch Haniger reached on Martin Prado’s misplay at third base. The decision was questionable when you consider the ball was crushed. Per Statcast™, the exit velocity of the grounder was 108 mph.

“It was one of those things we looked into this winter,” manager Don Mattingly said. “As much as anything, the bottom line of, ‘It isn’t about how much you shift or how much you don’t, it’s really about turning ground balls into outs.'”

The Marlins have gone exactly 9-10 against the Phillies in each of the last three seasons and have not won or tied the season series between the two clubs since 2009 (9-9). Since then, the Marlins are 53-77 against the Phils.

It’s Edinson Volquez (0-2, 4.82) on the mound here. Volquez gave up four runs on five hits and four walks in just three innings in a loss to the Mariners last Wednesday. After giving up runs in each frame, Volquez was yanked for reliever Dustin McGowan, who proceeded to give up another four runs. Volquez’s first two starts seemed to offer some promise, but he’s stumbled since, walking four batters in consecutive starts and pitching just 7.2 innings combined in that time.

The three-inning stint at Seattle was Volquez’s shortest start since Sept. 25, 2016, when he worked 2 2/3 innings at Detroit. Volquez has a 2-0 record with a 1.89 ERA at Citizens Bank Park.

Why Bet On Philadelphia?

The Phillies placed RHP Aaron Nola on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to April 21, with a lower back strain. Nola felt some soreness in his lower back during his most recent start Thursday against the Mets and it lingered during a side session Sunday, so the Phillies don’t want to take any chances. He could return as soon as next Monday. Ty Kelly is expected to take his place on the active roster, but Nick Pivetta will likely take his spot in the rotation on Wednesday. Nola has posted a 4.50 ERA and 15/6 K/BB ratio in 16 innings through his first three starts this season.

Phillies GM Matt Klentak expects to be without outfielder Howie Kendrick (oblique) for 2-3 weeks. Kendrick was placed on the disabled list with a Grade 1 oblique strain. Aaron Altherr will continue to hold down the fort in left field, though the Phillies added some depth Saturday by acquiring Kelly in a trade with Toronto. Despite playing sparingly since spring training, Altherr is hitting .412 with three doubles in his last five games and also has a stolen base and an assist from right field during that span.

Kelly, who was on the Mets’ Opening Day roster and hit .328 with a .409 on-base percentage and .435 slugging percentage at Triple-A Las Vegas last season, was expected to join the team on Tuesday. The Phils front office may have promoted infielder Jesmuel Valentin had Kelly not been made available. Valentin, the last cut in camp prior to the end of Spring Training, is hitting .333 with a .391 OBP in 13 games at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

As for Pivetta, his normal rotation spot in the Triple-A rotation would be Wednesday so he could slide right into Nola’s spot. Pivetta, 24, is 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA and 24 strikeouts and just two walks in 19 innings pitched this season. Pivetta’s path to the knocking on the Phillies’ door went relatively unnoticed over the last two seasons. He joined the organization back in 2015 in the Jonathan Papelbon trade to the Washington Nationals. At the time, Pivetta was nothing more than a throw-in.

Miami at Philadelphia MLB Betting Pick: Miami Marlins

Pivetta undoubtedly will be nervous in his big-league debut so take the Marlins.