MLB Betting Preview: Miami Marlins vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Saturday, June 15, 2019
Matchup at a Glance
Where: Marlins Park in Miami, Florida
When: Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 6:10 PM ET
Spread: Miami Marlins -130
Saturday is the second game of a three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins from PNC Park.
This series is a battle of basement dwellers, as both the Pirates and Marlins came into this series in dead last in their respective divisions. There is little to no hope for either team in the wild card either, as the Pirates are seven games out and the Marlins are 13.
So what we get to do is enjoy the young talent that the two teams have to offer while the franchises both seemingly tank.
For the Marlins, Pablo Lopez will get the ball to make his 14th start. So far in 2019, Lopez is 4-5 with a 4.26 ERA. Lopez has been slowly improving since his debut last season, as both his strikeout, walk and home run numbers have been better so far in 2019. Lopez has turned in three straight fantastic starts against the Giants, Brewers, and Braves.
He went six innings in all three of those games and only gave up a combined two runs. More impressively, he had 19 total strikeouts compared to only three walks. It has been quite a turnaround for Lopez since about mid-May when he gave up 10 runs to the Mets.
For the Pirates, we have a complete unknown taking the hill. While it hasn’t been confirmed as of Friday afternoon, reports are that Dario Agrazal will get called up from Triple-A to make this start. So that’s what we’ll be using to make this prediction, and give you some insight on Agrazal.
He has pitched at seemingly every level in the Pirates organization from rookie ball to low-A, all the way to Triple-A. And while he isn’t in the Pirates top-30 prospects, he has been solid at every level along the way.
He has never had higher than a 4.20 ERA at any minor league level, with the exception of his 2017 Double-A season where he only made one start. He is not a big strikeout guy, with only a 6.12 career K/9 in the minors, but he does not give out many walks either.
Batters To Watch
For one of the worst batting teams in the league, Neil Walker has been having a really respectable 2019 campaign. So far, he is batting .295 with an on-base percentage over .370. All that accumulates to a wRC+ of 124, a whopping 24 points above average. Those are All-Star numbers. He also crushes righties, batting .315 with all four of his home runs coming against that split.
Josh Bell has been THE story of the 2019 Pittsburgh Pirates. The former second-round pick could seemingly never break out like the front office thought he could. Until this year. So far, he is batting .320 with 18 home runs, 61 RBI and a wRC+ of 165. If the Pirates weren’t so bad, and Cody Bellinger didn’t exist,
ell would certainly be in the MVP conversation. And against right-handed pitching, Bell is hitting over .330. Lopez could be in some trouble if he isn’t careful with Bell.
This is quite the predicament. You almost never want to bet on the Miami Marlins. But you have no clue what you’re going to get out of Agrazal if he indeed is starting. The safe play is no play at all and avoiding the game if possible. However, the Pirates are at home and are a slightly better team. So, take the Pirates.