Happy Sandy Alcantara day!
The current Cy Young betting favorite takes the mound for the Miami Marlins in this divisional matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Where does the value lie?
Read on for the starting lineups, betting odds, and my prediction for Sandy Day.
Philadelphia Phillies vs Miami Marlins Odds
Thoughts on the odds, how you see the game playing out, etc
A couple of years ago, the Marlins would be huge underdogs in this game, especially with Kyle Gibson on the mound. But the Marlins are 10-5 in their last 15 games, Alcantara is the favorite to win the Cy Young, and Gibson has fallen off a cliff.
Plus, the Marlins are 10-2 in Alcantara’s last 12 starts.
But can we justify betting on the Marlins at this juice? Miami is still a rather deficient lineup that managed just 11 runs in a four-game series split with the Pirates.
The total seems fair at 7, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see this drop to 6.5 given the wind is projected to be blowing straight in from the right-center field at almost 13mph.
Philadelphia Phillies Starting Lineup
K. Gibson R
4-3 4.53 ERA
LF K. Schwarber L
1B R. Hoskins R
RF N. Castellanos R
DH D. Hall L
C J. Realmuto R
SS D. Gregorius L
3B A. Bohm R
2B B. Stott L
CF M. Vierling R
Philadelphia Phillies vs Sandy Alcantara
Alcantara is a workhorse. Nicknamed “El Caballo”, or The Horse, he’s pitched at least seven innings in 12 consecutive starts and has pitched a dozen more innings than any pitcher in the league.
During this 12-game stretch, Sandy has pitched to a ridiculous 1.24 ERA, allowing more than two runs during his seven innings just once (Mets). He’s shown the ability to record strikeouts, with a 10 K performance against the Angels and a 14 K performance against the Braves, but Alcantara focuses on efficient ground-ball innings. His ground-ball rate is up 3% year-over-year, currently sitting at a ridiculous 56.6%, good for second among qualified pitchers (Framber Valdez has a ridiculous 66% GB rate).
Sandy has a four-pitch mix which he mixes so smoothly it’s impossible to tell what’s coming.
Image credit: Baseball Savant
His fastballs can reach triple-digits, although he tends to take some off. Sandy’s changeup is his best pitch, however, having accumulated a -12 Run Value with a 36.1% Whiff rate. Plus, a 92mph changeup is not something you see every day.
Philly has mostly been a league-average offense, but they’ve been carried by Kyle Schwarber’s absurd recent stretch. Schwarbo has smacked 17 home runs since the start of June, hitting to a .970 OPS during the stretch. However, it’s worth mentioning he’s 0-for-12 in his last three games, all Philly losses.
The Phillies need more from Nick Castellanos, who still hasn’t managed a league-average OPS+ this season. His defense is also pathetic, and it’s helped contribute to a Phillies team that ranks second-to-last in both Defensive Runs Saved and Outs Above Average.
Sandy has faced Philly twice this season, allowing two runs in both starts while pitching 6 ⅓ and 7 innings respectively. He’s posted 10 strikeouts over the two starts but had troubles with control in the latter start, walking three Phillies.
Miami Marlins Starting Lineup
S. Alcantara R
9-3 1.73 ERA
LF J. Berti R
2B J. Wendle L
DH G. Cooper R
1B J. Aguilar R
RF A. Garcia R
CF J. Sanchez L
3B B. Anderson R
SS M. Rojas R
C J. Stallings R
Miami Marlins vs Kyle Gibson
What has happened to Gibson?
Well, after three straight years with a GB rate above 51%, that number has dropped over 5%. For a pitcher that prides himself on weak, ground-ball contact, his batted ball profile is surprisingly poor.
As such, the numbers have popped. Gibson has an ERA, xERA, FIP, and xFIP all over 4.00. He’s posted a whopping 5.54 ERA and 5.64 FIP over his last seven games, allowing 23 runs in 37 innings during the stretch. Surprisingly, the Phillies are still 5-2 in those games.
Gibson is a sinkerballer who mixes in a good amount of cutters and sliders. It’s the profile of a ground-ball pitcher, but as mentioned, those ground balls haven’t come. His sinker and cutter have combined for a +5 Run Value mark this season, with his sinker allowing a .492 xSLG against.
Despite how pointless it has looked at times this season, I’m still high on the Marlins lineup. They’ve already posted a top-10 wRC+ against RHPs this season, but the lineup should get better with Brian Anderson healthy and Nick Fortes beginning to catch for Jacob Stallings. If only Jazz Chisholm could get healthy.
Brian Anderson puts one in the gap to walk it off! pic.twitter.com/54DbHdqqhM
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 14, 2022
The problem has been stranded runners. The Marlins have the league’s 22nd-ranked batting average with runners in scoring position (.246). That’s not the strategy for driving in runs or winning games. But it’s also generally a sign of positive regression.
However, I wouldn’t blame Marlins fans for not having much hope for the offense moving forward.
Philadelphia Phillies vs Miami Marlins Picks & Prediction
My Picks: Marlins ML (-149 at WynnBet Sportsbook) | Under 7 (-115 at WynnBet Sportsbook)
I can’t in good faith bet against Alcantara. He’s too good of a pitcher and the Phillies’ lineup looks a little stripped down without Harper in the fold. I’m going to bet the Marlins to pull off another victory for their superstar pitcher.
However, despite the upside I see for the lineup, this Marlins team refuses to consistently drive in runs. The Marlins have gone under their closing total line in four of the last five games, and I expect that to happen again. If JT Brubaker can pitch seven shutout innings against the Marlins, the slumping Gibson can as well.
I expect the Marlins to win in an incredibly low-scoring fashion, such as 1-0.