Houston Astros vs. Miami Marlins MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 7/25/14
Miami Marlins (48-53) at Houston Astros (42-60)
MLB Baseball: Friday, July 25, 2014 at 8:10 pm (Minute Maid Park)
Brad Hand (L) (1-2) (5.024) vs. Dallas Keuchel (L) (9-6) (3.291)
The Line: Houston Astros -130 / Miami Marlins +120 --- Over/Under: 8.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: FSFL, CSNH
The Marlins and Astros collide from Houston in a battle of sub-.500 teams.
The Miami Marlins enter this series after impressively taking three of four from the Braves in Atlanta as they moved to five games below .500 on the year. Jarrod Saltalamacchia delivered a clutch RBI single in the 9th inning off of Craig Kimbrel to break up last night's tie as the Marlins overcame Henderson Alvarez’s lone mistake over eight innings (giving up a two run shot to Chris Johnson) to take down their NL East rival 3-2. The odds aren’t in Miami’s favor to make the postseason but crazier things have happened in sports and with the addition of the second wild card spot and a winnable series on the horizon the Marlins are certainly still believers. The Marlins will look to keep rolling as they send lefty Brad Hand to the mound for Friday’s opener for his seventh start of the season and fifth this July after failing to see major league action in June and working out of the bullpen in May. Hand has been at his best in four July starts with an ERA of 3.22, but for the season he owns a WHIP of 1.64 and ERA of 4.86. The Marlins are 20-29 away from home on the year.
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The Houston Astros won the opener in their series in Oakland as a +200 underdog but went on to lose the series allowing 22 runs in the following two games. The Astros have been perpetually rebuilding for the past four seasons and the current state may be even bleaker than usual with starters Dexter Fowler and George Springer on the DL. All-Star Jose Altuve has been a consistent bright spot for the team and Chris Carter is coming alive in July batting .323 with 7 HR and 15 RBI’s, but the Astros as a team rank 24th in the league in runs scored while batting .239 as a club. Houston may be able to overcome their offensive shortcomings in Friday’s opener with the Marlins as lefty Dallas Keuchel takes the mound in an impressive campaign. Keuchel is having his worst month of the season by far in July with an ERA of 6.48, but for the year he’s managed to win nine games playing for a bad team and has a WHIP of 1.25 and ERA of 3.29. The Astros are 21-28 on the season at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros send out the better starting pitcher but the Marlins have the confidence here after taking down a strong division rival while the Astros just got pummeled by one. I can’t see justifying laying a price with Houston which makes this Marlins or finding better spots out there.