Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies Game 1 Prediction
The Philadelphia Phillies, the defending National League champions, kick off their playoff campaign against the Miami Marlins in the first game of this crucial three-game wild-card series at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday evening.
The Phillies will put their faith in Zach Wheeler, who's had an impressive season. The Marlins, on the other hand, will rely on lefty Jesus Luzardo to set the tone.
MLB Playoff Betting Odds
The initial odds favored the Phillies, with a -160 line on Philadelphia and Wheeler against Miami and Luzardo, with a 7.5 run over/under. The Phillies have also been pegged as -210 favorites to win the entire wild-card series, while the Marlins are the underdogs at +170.
Marlins-Phillies Wild Card Betting Preview
Miami exceeded expectations this season, finishing at 84-77, surpassing their preseason wins over/under of 75.5. The Marlins had a strong September, securing their second playoff berth in the last four seasons after some mid-season struggles.
Philadelphia wrapped up their regular season at 90-72, narrowly beating their preseason wins over/under of 88.5. The Phillies had a turbulent start to the season but came back strong, clinching a playoff spot for the second consecutive year.
During the regular season, Miami won seven of the thirteen games against Philadelphia.
Game 1 Pitching Match-Up
Zach Wheeler has been reliable this season, recording quality starts in 18 of his 32 appearances. In his last outing, he allowed just one run in four innings during a meaningless game against Pittsburgh. Over his last three starts, he's given up five earned runs and 15 hits across 17 innings, with an impressive 16 strikeouts to his name. The Phillies have prospered with Wheeler on the mound, finishing 19-13 this season.
On the other side, Jesus Luzardo for Miami has also been in good form. He secured quality starts in 15 of his 31 outings this year, going 4 for his last 6. In his most recent game against Milwaukee, he gave up three runs in five innings during a 5-4 Marlins victory. Over his last six starts, Luzardo has limited opponents to just 11 earned runs and 24 hits over 34 innings.
Miami holds a 19-12 record with Luzardo on the mound this season.
Splits With the Sticks
Miami's batting performance against right-handed pitching this season has been respectable, with a .253 batting average, a .312 team on-base percentage, and a .399 team slugging percentage. On the flip side, Philadelphia has managed a .256/.327/.452 slash line against left-handed pitchers.
Philadelphia's bullpen has held its own this season, boasting a 3.56 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP, and a solid 2.72 K/BB ratio. In contrast, Miami's bullpen has had a tougher time, posting a 4.37 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP, and a 2.70 K/BB ratio.
MLB Betting Trends
On the road, Miami has a 38-42 record this season and has performed reasonably well against right-handed starters, with a 64-59 record in such matchups. Philadelphia has been strong at home with a 49-32 record but has faced challenges against left-handed starters, going 30-21.
During the regular season, the under prevailed in 80 of Miami's 155 games, while it was 76 out of 149 games for the Phillies. At Citizens Bank Park, the under hit in 37 of the 72 games.
Looking at the combined performance of Wheeler and Luzardo this season, the over was 31-28.
Marlins at Phillies Pick Game 1
The pitching matchup leans slightly in favor of Wheeler, but it's a close call. The Phillies also hold a modest advantage with their lineup and a stronger bullpen. While we like the Phillies to win, the price seems a bit high. Therefore, we're taking a calculated risk and betting on Philadelphia against the run line at +130.