THURSDAY POWER-SMASH ~ MIND-BLOWING 21-5 Run (had Houston yday!)
Miami vs. Philadelphia,
08/02/2018 19:05 EDT,
Score: 2 - 5
Money Line: -180 Philadelphia
8* Philadelphia (7:10 ET): There's been a pitching change here for Miami, but that doesn't change anything. In fact, given the parties involved, the change should probably leave us more confident. Rather than Trevor Richards, who has given up all of one run on seven hits his last 18 2/3 innings of work, it will now be Pablo Lopez. In five starts, Lopez has posted a 5.34 ERA and 1.325 WHIP. The pretty obvious downgrade in starting pitching is nice because Philly lost what looked to be a pretty obvious edge coming into this series. They were off yesterday while Miami was scheduled to finish its series in Atlanta. But that Marlins-Braves series finale was rained out. Still, there's travel involved and it's not like the Marlins (NL worst -136 run differential) are very good to begin with.
While I'm not convinced that the Phillies "deserve" to be in first place in the NL East, this weekend certainly sets up nicely for them. They are 34-18 at home and facing a team that is 20-32 on the road while getting outscored by almost two full runs in such contests. Furthermore, the day off may not be beneficial to the Marlins anyway considering their 3-9 record this year when playing w/ rest. They are also 0-11 in Thursday games! The Phils snapped a four-game losing streak on Tuesday w/ a 3-1 win in Boston, which is impressive. Nick Pivetta will toe the rubber for tonight's series opener looking for better results than he's experienced recently. While the team has lost his last two starts, he did finish the last one w/ 12 K's over six innings, which is impressive.
Shockingly, the Phillies are just 4-5 head to head w/ the Marlins this season. If they are to win this division, then that record will have to be rectified. After all is said and done this weekend, it should be. Miami lost both games in Atlanta this week, giving up 16 runs in the process. They've allowed 10 or more runs three times in the last eight games. Also note that the Phillies are 9-4 coming after an off day. Lopez getting the start here did nothing to dissuade me as he's yet to last more than six innings and the Marlins' bullpen (6.43 ERA) is pretty wretched. Again, they are giving up 6.0 rpg on the road this season, which is the highest average in all of baseball. I feel the first place Phillies are a bargain at the current price. 8* Philadelphia