The Phillies prioritized starting pitching at the deadline largely because of Kyle Gibson’s first half struggles, but he built on a promising stretch by taking a perfect game into the 7th inning in his last start. Gibson and the Phillies host the flailing Marlins on Thursday afternoon, with rookie Edward Cabrera taking the mound for Miami.
Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Thursday’s matchup.
Miami Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies Betting Odds
The Phillies are predictably home favorites at -167 on the moneyline, with the over/under set at only 8 runs. It’s mildly surprising the Marlins are only +145 underdogs. Edward Cabrera has looked great in his brief time in the majors this season, but it’s not large enough of a sample size to say there’s a fair chance he carries a sluggish offense over the finish line on the road. Considering how well Kyle Gibson has pitched against Miami this year, I’d avoid the Marlins.
Miami Marlins Starting Lineup
2B J. Wendle L
DH G. Cooper R
1B J. Aguilar R
RF B. De La Cruz R
CF J.J. Bleday L
SS M. Rojas R
3B C. Leblanc R
C J. Stallings R
LF P. Burdick R
Miami Marlins vs. Kyle Gibson
This season hasn’t been what the Phillies wanted out of Kyle Gibson, forcing their hand at the trade deadline, but lately he’s shown more flashes of what he was early last year. Gibson has a 4.36 ERA across 21 starts (115.2 IP), with a 4.34 FIP, 1.17 WHIP, and 88 strikeouts on the year. The 34-year-old has a career-best walk rate but has his worst strikeout rate since 2016, with hits and home runs both hovering around his typically pedestrian marks.
Despite numbers that show Gibson is just an average starter, his season has been full of highs and lows. He’s allowed 5+ earned runs in 4 of his last 11 starts, but when he’s on, he’s on. Gibson has been on against the Marlins the last two times, allowing 2 runs over 14 innings.
It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Gibson extended his success against Miami, given the Marlins are averaging just 1.6 runs over their last 10 games. This team has a sub-.600 OPS since the start of July and is missing several key pieces on the IL, including Jazz Chisholm, Brian Anderson, and Jorge Soler. The Marlins have just 4 home runs over their last 9 games as they continue to feel the absence of Chisholm and the rest.
If you’re looking for a surprise contributor, rookie JJ Bleday already has 4 hits in this series against the Phillies and has been a great power-hitting prospect ever since his days at Vanderbilt.
Philadelphia Phillies Starting Lineup
LF K. Schwarber L
1B R. Hoskins R
3B A. Bohm R
C J. Realmuto R
RF N. Castellanos R
DH D. Hall L
2B J. Segura R
SS B. Stott L
CF B. Marsh L
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Edward Cabrera
Former top prospect Edward Cabrera has again pitched well in the minors this season, but unlike 2021, it’s beginning to translate to the majors. The rookie has made only four MLB starts this season but was excellent after rejoining the rotation last week, delivering 5 hitless innings against the Cubs. Cabrera has a 2.61 ERA over 20.2 innings, with a 1.07 WHIP and 23 strikeouts.
Walks have been an early-career issue for Cabrera, who faces a Phillies offense that sits near the middle of the pack with 2.97 walks/game. Considering he’s allowed more than 2 hits in only one of his four starts this season, don’t count on the Phillies making solid contact in Thursday’s series finale.
Lately, the Phillies have hit home runs better than almost any other team – even without Bryce Harper. Philadelphia already has 17 home runs in August, making this offense the polar opposite of Miami’s. The Phillies’ lineup showed great maturity on Wednesday night, overcoming a terrific first few innings from Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara and ultimately handing him the loss with 4 runs.
Even if Cabrera cruises early on, it’s tough to keep the top of this lineup in check. After keeping the ball in the park on Wednesday, home runs are likely to pick back up. Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins are obvious power threats, but rookie Darick Hall has been just as hot of late. Cabrera will have to be careful with Alec Bohm, who has a hit in 24 of 28 games since the start of July.
Miami Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies Picks & Prediction
My pick: Phillies -1.5 (+118)
The gap between these two teams was as clear as ever on Wednesday night. The Marlins threw their absolute best (Alcantara) at the Phillies, and Rob Thomson’s squad still came out on top in the end. While Cabrera has an electric arm, he’s still settling into the majors and has had his share of control issues. Even in a best-case scenario, the Phillies will still get a chance against a Marlins bullpen that lost multiple pieces at the deadline.
Given how well Kyle Gibson has pitched against inferior offenses and how much of the Marlins’ lineup is missing, there are a few paths to victory for the Phillies.