The Miami Marlins have provided some surprises for observers of the National League this season, and a lot of that credit has gone to Don Mattingly, the first-year manager who won three division titles with the Los Angeles Dodgers and has seemingly steadied a ship that has often been very shaky. On Friday night the Marlins will square off against the St. Louis Cardinals in a game that will put the winner into the #2 NL wild card position. The contest will begin at 7:10 PM ET at Marlins Park, and even after the first pitch is thrown, those customers who have signed up with BetAnySports will get a chance to continue the action, as they challenge the baseball odds in real time through the facilities of Live Betting Ultra.
Both the Marlins and Cardinals stand at 55-47. The Cards are 6.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the Central, while the Marlins have dropped to five games behind the Washington Nationals, after they lost a 5-4 decision to the Cards on Thursday. Jose Fernandez, the team’s ace, took the defeat, which made it doubly difficult. What the Marlins can look forward to is not only the possibility that Giancarlo Stanton, who has a .245 average, can pick things up a bit (albeit with 22 home runs), but that Dee Gordon can provide a spark, after returning from his suspension. He was gone for 80 games as he had violated the substance abuse policy.
In the baseball odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, the Marlins are a small favorite:
What Marlins fans are asking themselves is whether Jose Urena can produce like he has in his last two starts. He had originally come into the rotation, called up from Triple-A New Orleans because Wei-Yin Chen got hurt. He’ll be back soon, so Urena’s future status is unknown. But if he keeps pitching the way he has been, at least he’ll have a chance to stay in the big leagues. He has allowed just a single earned run in each of his last two starts, covering 11-2/3 innings.
Mike Leake, the former Cincinnati Reds pitcher, gets the Friday assignment for the Cardinals, and BetAnySports patrons saw him get roughed up for six runs in six innings by the Dodgers in his last start. He’s 7-8 with a 4.24 ERA, but his numbers have been sizzling against the Marlins in his short career (5-1, 1.33 ERA).
Remember this about the Cards – they do rely on power, and they have hit 140 of them on the season, having gone “yard” in 19 of their last 20 games. They have eight players with between 12 and 17 round-trippers, although two of them – Brandon Moss and Matt Carpenter – are on the disabled list. One of those players is shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who was the hero on Thursday, with a homer off his boyhood teammate from Cuba (Fernandez) and three runs batted in.
One trend you may want to keep in mind is that the Cardinals have played 15 times this season after a day off, and they have lost ten of those games.
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