By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh
* 2019 MLB Record: 104-82-4 (56%) *
[7:05 p.m. EST] Arizona Diamondbacks at Philadelphia Phillies (ML: -137)
ARZ: Merrill Kelly – R (6-6, 4.12 ERA/1.36 WHIP)
PHI: Zach Eflin – R (6-5, 2.88 ERA/1.19 WHIP)
Zach Eflin loves sleeping in his own bed, as evidenced by the 4-1 record and 2.10 ERA he’s produced at Citizens Bank Park this season. Both teams had their IRTs decrease (Phillies: -0.3, D-Backs: -0.2) since the open today and that’s probably a good sign for Eflin, considering how well he’s pitched at home. With the total dropping a half-run, that has more to do with Eflin than his opposition.
I’m looking for a big shutdown performance from Eflin that’ll carry the Phils to victory. After all, Philly is unbeaten in all six of Eflin’s June starts over the last two seasons, while going 32-18 this season when a right-handed starter is on the mound.
30-year-old rookie Merrill Kelly has been outstanding in each of his last two starts, but he does own a 6.00 ERA in seven outings away from Chase Field this season. Kelly has been much worse against right-handed batters and the Phils have plenty of them (Segura, Hoskins, Realmuto, Kingery, Franco) that can make life difficult on him.
The Phils will be without Bryce Harper in the starting lineup tonight, but I still think we’re getting solid value here with Eflin on the mound.
* Final Score Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies: 4 – Arizona Diamondbacks: 2 *
[7:10 p.m. EST] St. Louis Cardinals (1.5-run line: -116) at Miami Marlins
STL: Miles Mikolas – R (4.54 ERA/1.19 WHIP)
MIA: Jordan Yamamoto – R (MLB debut)
Well, it finally happened – the Marlins came crashing back down to Earth. After taking the first two of a three-game series in Milwaukee last week, the Marlins have now scored one run or fewer in five of the last six games.
Things won’t get any easier as Miami will have Jordan Yamamoto, making his MLB debut, against the usually-efficient Miles Mikolas. The Cardinals are 31-14 in games that Mikolas starts over the last two seasons, including a 15-6 mark on the road over that span. Not to mention, Mikolas is 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in his career against the Marlins.
Yamamoto had a 3-5 record with a 3.58 ERA in 12 starts for the Marlins’ Double-A affiliate in Jacksonville this season. He was actually part of the deal that sent Christian Yelich to Milwaukee. Needless to say, we know who won that trade.
The Marlins are 2-14 at home as underdogs of +125 to +175 this season, and 0-9 at home when the total is 8.0 or 8.5.
* Final Score Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals: 6 – Miami Marlins: 1 *
[8:10 p.m. EST] Seattle Mariners at Minnesota Twins (1.5-run line: -135)
SEA: Opener <-to-> Tommy Milone – L (1-1, 3.10 ERA/1.08 WHIP)
MIN: Jose Berrios – R (8-2, 3.14 ERA/1.08 WHIP)
Jose Berrios has been outstanding at Target Field, compiling a 23-6 record there since 2017. The Twins are 11-2 in games that Berrios starts this season, with eight of them coming by two runs or more. Tonight’s outlook to cover the 1.5-run line looks much more optimistic, considering he won’t be squaring off against a fellow ace.
In fact, the Twins will face an opener from the Mariners’ bullpen before left-handed Tommy Milone comes in to handle the majority of the work on the mound. That’s bad news for Milone, considering Minnesota has excellent numbers against left-handed pitching, including a massive .439 wOBA and .298 ISO in that split over the last 21 days.
More Twins’ goodies, yay! Minnesota has been pounding on the weak this season, going 26-9 against teams with a losing record and have posted a resounding 24-4 record as a home favorite of -175 to -250 over the last three seasons
After starting the season 13-2, Seattle is now 10-28 over the last 38 games. Not to mention, the Mariners moved to 5-26 against teams with a winning record after last night’s loss.
Twins roll big!
* Final Score Prediction: Minnesota Twins: 8 – Seattle Mariners: 2 *