It’s Sandy Alcantara Day in Miami, where the Marlins are facing a Dodgers team that dealt a real blow to their ace’s Cy Young chances last week. Alcantara will look for better results against baseball’s best team, as Dustin May makes his second start since his impressive return from Tommy John Surgery.
Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Saturday’s matchup.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Miami Marlins Betting Odds
The Dodgers are favored at -200 on the moneyline, pitting the Marlins as a rare decisive underdog for an Alcantara start. The over/under is set at just 6.5 runs, a combination of two excellent pitchers and a Marlins offense that can be tough to watch.
Anytime the over/under is that low, the over is worth exploring. The Dodgers toyed with Alcantara last week, and May’s excellent season debut shouldn’t be taken as a guarantee he won’t hit any bumps in his journey back from elbow surgery. Still, asking for 7+ runs from any game involving the Marlins might be a stretch.
Miami is a nice value at +165 if you believe Alcantara will regain dominant form, but we’ve seen how the Marlins’ lineup can waste that kind of performance.
Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Lineup
RF M. Betts R
SS T. Turner R
1B F. Freeman L
C W. Smith R
3B M. Muncy L
DH J. Turner R
2B G. Lux L
LF C. Taylor R
CF C. Bellinger L
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Sandy Alcantara
Sandy Alcantara was the clear best pitcher in baseball before the all-star break, and he remains the NL Cy Young betting favorite even after he was rocked by these Dodgers last Sunday. Alcantara has a 2.19 ERA over 25 starts, with a ridiculous 176.2 innings under his belt. He carries a 2.86 FIP, 0.99 WHIP, and 0.5 HR/9 rate into Sunday’s start. While he has ‘only’ a 3.50 ERA over his last 7 starts, there might not be a more efficient pitcher in baseball than Alcantara. If he can figure these Dodgers out, the Marlins might be able to avoid using the weaker areas of their bullpen.
Tony Gonsolin’s biggest advantage in the Cy Young race has been his own lineup. The Dodgers have made a mockery of both Alcantara and Corbin Burnes over the last week, damaging their odds and showcasing just how loaded this offense is. LA is again having a great offensive month, led by the ultra-reliable contact bats of Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner. Though neither has been hitting for much power, they’ve been the catalysts of the Dodgers’ offense lately with a combined 26 hits over their last 9 games.
Keep a close eye on Max Muncy, who’s finally hitting home runs again in addition to his frequent walks. Will Smith also had two RBI hits against Alcantara last week. The Dodgers as a team have an OPS north of .840 since the start of July.
Miami Marlins Starting Lineup
3B J. Wendle L
2B J. Berti R
DH G. Cooper R
LF J.J. Bleday L
RF B. Anderson R
SS M. Rojas R
C J. Stallings R
1B L. Diaz L
CF P. Burdick R
Miami Marlins vs. Dustin May
No pitcher is expected to be dominant after returning from Tommy John Surgery, but that’s what Dustin May was last week against these same Marlins. The former top prospect tossed five shutout innings, allowing 1 hit, 2 walks, and striking out nine. May has a 2.81 ERA and 3.70 FIP across 118.2 career innings, averaging 9.1 K/9.
After walking two last week, control could certainly be an issue for a pitcher still getting readjusted to a major-league mound. May has the same advantage he did last weekend, though: the luxury of facing Miami’s offense.
The Marlins are batting just .200 with a .595 OPS in August, and they sit among the worst power-hitting teams in baseball with most of their home run hitters on the IL. Jazz Chisholm, Jorge Soler, and Avisail Garcia are all still out, and rookie Nick Fortes has been the team’s only real source of offense lately. No other qualified Marlins hitter has an OPS higher than .650 over the team’s last 8 games.
Fortunately, all-star Garrett Cooper was activated from the IL on Friday at the expense of Jesus Aguilar, but there’s no reason to believe in such an incompetent lineup against a dyanmic young pitcher such as May. If the Marlins are going to win this one, it’ll probably have to be the result of a dominant start from Alcantara.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Miami Marlins Picks & Prediction
My pick: Marlins +1.5 (-110)
I agree with oddsmakers who believe this will be a low-scoring game. If it’s not, that probably means it’s another Dodgers rout. More likely, Sandy Alcantara won’t let the Dodgers embarrass him twice, keeping the Marlins and their sluggish offense in the game most of the way – even if it (yet again) doesn’t result in a win for Miami.