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August 29, 2016

There is one pick tonight.

Take Miami Marlins (-150) on the ML against New York Mets risking 4.5% to win 3%.
(Fernandez and Montero must start for wager to have action)

These two NL East rivals open up a crucial 4-game series tonight. Both clubs are not only battling for the second spot in the division but more importantly, a Wild Card spot that keeps their playoff hopes alive! One game separates them from each other in the standings while both are playing catch-up to the likes of Giants and Cardinals whom currently occupy the two WC spots. It is imperative for both to keep winning games to give themselves a chance of reaching post-season and yet both come into this game off a loss. It is the visitors that are more likely to bounce back however, in our opinion, given the starting pitching matchup.

Jose Fernandez has once again been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season and has already set a new franchise record with his 213 strike-outs in just under 149 innings! The Cuban flame-thrower whose fastball averages just over 95mph is crafty and experienced enough at this point to mix his pitches well and keep hitters guessing. The Mets have a lowly .228 batting average against him with just 4 extra-base hits! To say he's baffled them in previous meetings would be an understatement. We expect another quality start from him while the same can not be expected of his NY counterpart.

Rafael Montero is making a spot start, his first of the MLB season, in place of Jacob deGrom tonight. The 25-year old was abysmal at Triple-A this season, sporting an ugly 7.2 ERA in 80 innings! He's naturally not a candidate therefore to make the step up and go from the minors to the big leagues. This is not as much of a promotion as it is having to make-do with what Terry Collins has at his disposal given the number of injuries his pitching staff is dealing with.

Montero has struggled mightily at even lower levels and might find it tough against the Fish tonight. Miami does have both speed and power in its lineup and are also capable of swiping bags against an inexperienced pitcher! Look for the likes of Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich and the legendary Ichiro Suzuki to do just enough to give Don Mattingly's side a much-needed 'W'. The Mets have a number of position players banged up with Asdrubal Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker all questionable to play tonight! Even if they do, they're clearly not at 100% and that may give Miami another distinct advantage. If the Marlins bullpen can hang onto the lead, we expect them to win the series opener.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Marlins are 16-11 when the total is set at 7 or less runs.
  • Mets are just 10-15 at home against division opponents.
  • Miami has won 6 of 7 games against NY when Fernandez starts!

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