Miami Marlins vs New York Mets (7/10/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

Sandy Alcantara takes the mound for this Sunday’s baseball Matinee, which means we get an absolute treat. “El Caballo” – or The Horse – is putting together a historical season from both a volume and efficiency standpoint.

The Miami Marlins are playing quite well recently, with significant help from Alcantara considering the Marlins are 11-6 in his starts this season. But it’s too difficult to keep up with the New York Mets, who were the first NL team to reach 50 wins.

The Mets will have Taijuan Walker on the mound, who is putting together one of the better seasons of his career.

All-in-all, we’re getting an excellent matchup which should turn into a wildly entertaining game.

Where does the value lie?

Read on for the starting lineups, betting odds, and my prediction for Sandy Day.

New York Mets vs Miami Marlins Odds

The Marlins have opened as high as +115 at some books, and that line will not hold steady. I expect Miami to close as favorites, which means we could get some solid Closing Line Value on the Fish.

But at what point do we stop buying them and start looking towards the Mets?

The total seems fair at 7.5, a little low if anything. These two are 6-4 to the over in their last 10 matchups.

New York Mets Starting Lineup

CF B. Nimmo L
RF S. Marte R
SS F. Lindor S
1B P. Alonso R
DH J.D. Davis R
3B E. Escobar S
LF M. Canha R
2B J. McNeil L
C J. McCann R

New York Mets vs Sandy Alcantara

It’s been brilliant watching Alcantara work this season, but it’s important to understand just how he’s accomplishing what he is accomplishing.

Sandy is a workhorse. He’s thrown a dozen more innings than any pitcher in MLB this season, and he’s averaging over seven innings per start. Starting pitchers are becoming more and more devalued in this age, with more emphasis being put on the same pitcher avoiding turning the lineup card over three times.

Here’s the average innings per start for every MLB starting pitcher year-over-year for the last decade.

Screen Shot 2022 07 09 at 12.30.48 PM

Image credit: Sports Illustrated

Yet, Alcantara is doing the impossible. He’s now made 11 straight starts of at least seven innings and has thrown two complete games during that stretch. Here’s a list of all the starting pitchers that have averaged at least seven innings per start during that stretch.

Screen Shot 2022 07 09 at 12.28.36 PM

Image credit: Sports Illustrated

Not only is Sandy part of that list in the year 2022, but he’s leading it.

Alcantara works so many innings because he changes his approach as the game progresses. He combines an early-game Zack Greinke with a late-game Justin Verlander.

He keeps his fastball velocity down around 94mph in the early innings, but he forces so many ground balls to work innings efficiently. His ground-ball rate is up 3% year-over-year and his avg. exit velocity has decreased by almost 2mph.

Then, Alcantara starts to ramp it up in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. At their absolute best, his fastball and sinker both hit 100mph with the former showing ridiculous rise and the latter filthy arm-side run. The first time through the order, Sandy’s fastball sits at 97.6mph, then it goes to 97.7mph the second time through, and then 97.9mph the third time through.

And it keeps getting faster and faster.

https://twitter.com/ballymarlins/status/1544485238155481090?s=21

Hitters are essentially seeing a different pitcher with a different pitch mix and different velocities each time through the order. Sandy has pitched 10 ⅓ innings the fourth time through the order this season and has held them to a .166 wOBA with a 0.87 ERA.

For as much talk about his fastball, Sandy’s most used and best pitch is his changeup (26.8% usage rate). A 94mph changeup with ridiculous downward arm-side run which has forced a 37.1% Whiff rate this season.

But Sandy gives you four different plus-pitches that he mixes so smoothly you can never know what to expect. This chart explains everything you need to know:

chart 2022 07 09T132208.041

Image credit: Baseball Savant

What Alcantara is doing is something special and deserving of an NL Cy Young trophy. Let’s just hope he stays healthy.

He’s allowed more than two earned runs in a start this season just twice. But one of those outings was against the Mets, where New York took him for five runs (four earned) over seven innings.

But Alcantara’s defense let him down that day, with a couple of really bad defensive plays costing him runs. Sandy needs to avoid the long ball in this matchup, however, as the Mets took him long twice in that game.

I don’t entirely trust the Mets’ offense. It’s predicated on avoiding strikeouts and putting balls in play, but the team doesn’t hit the ball particularly hard (bottom-10 in MLB in avg. exit velocity, hard-hit rate, and barrel rate). Among Mets’ batters, only Pete Alonso has an ISO above .171.

The Mets have played the Nationals and Phillies a lot, and those are the two worst defensive teams in baseball per both Outs Above Average and Defensive Runs Saved. So, it’s easy to see how their passive offensive approach has produced runs.

Miami Marlins Starting Lineup

2B J. Berti R
DH G. Cooper R
1B J. Aguilar R
CF J. Sanchez L
RF A. Garcia R
3B B. Anderson R
SS M. Rojas R
C J. Stallings R
LF B. De La Cruz

Miami Marlins vs Taijuan Walker

Walker is having a career year. His 1.9 fWAR mark is by far the highest he’s had before the halfway point. He’s kept his ERA below 2.90 through 14 starts, the Mets are 8-6 in his starts, and everyone has been happy with his results.

Walker pitched well enough against Miami in back-to-back June starts, allowing just four runs over 12 ⅔ innings pitched (2.84 ERA). He also punished them with his splitter, punching out 14 Marlins over the two starts combined.

For what it’s worth, Walker ranks in the 86th percentile of pitchers in chase rate this season and is on pace to post the highest Whiff rate of his career (25.1%).

I think there’s likely some regression on the horizon for Walker. His xERA and xFIP are both north of 3.70, and his 5.9% HR/FB rate is unsustainably low. Plus, his Baseball Savant page doesn’t blow you away.

Screen Shot 2022 07 09 at 1.02.11 PM

Image credit: Baseball Savant

I’m quite high on the Marlins this season. They already have a top-10 offense against RHPs this season per wRC+ (107), and they are now just striking out at a league-average rate compared to last season’s mess. The Marlins have struggled to score runs, but that’s because they’re 17th in average with runners in scoring position. I’m expecting some positive regression there.

This offense also has plenty of upside, considering Brian Anderson is back in the lineup and Nick Fortes is beginning to catch instead of Jacob Stallings.

Anderson is walking more than ever before in his career, at a 13% rate, and his wRC+ is up around 130. Meanwhile, Fortes is looking like the real deal and a prime-time prospect coming up, slashing .255/.367/.510 in the early season.

Meanwhile, Stallings Savant page looks like the arctic circle:

Screen Shot 2022 07 09 at 1.23.47 PM

Image credit: Baseball Savant

Upgrades are being made, and Miami is just four games out of a Wildcard spot. Look out, National League.

New York Mets vs Miami Marlins Picks & Prediction

My picks:

  • Miami Marlins ML (+120 at Fox Bet Sportsbook) | Play to -120
  • Under 7.5 (-120 at Caesars Sportsbook) | Playable at number

There is too much value with Sandy at this line. At plus-money, Sandy Day is an auto-bet for the Marlins.

Alcantara starts generally attract plenty of betting attention, so I expect this line to move drastically with the sharps coming in on the Marlins. If you’re reading this late, my sell point on the Marlins is right around -120.

I think the Mets have used up all of their runs in Game 1 of this series, where they put up 10 runs. They managed just two runs off the struggling Pablo Lopez in Friday’s game, and I’m expecting them to struggle even more against the legendary Alcantara.

In the meantime, the Marlins put up three runs on a Walker start earlier this season and this will be the third time this lineup has faced this pitcher. This time, Anderson will be in the fold, and that bodes well.

I’m still going to take the under, however, because I expect a shutout start from Alcantara and I can never trust the Marlins to score.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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