MLB Free Pick of the Day for Friday, August 23

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh
* 2019 MLB Record: 216-162-10 (57%) *

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[7:10 p.m. EST] Philadelphia Phillies (1.5-run line: -116) at Miami Marlins
PHI: Vince Velasquez – R (5-7, 4.35 ERA/1.31 WHIP)
MIA: Hector Noesi – R (0-3, 9.39 ERA/1.50 WHIP)

The SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day comes to us from the Marlins-Phillies game on Friday night. We like Philly to cover the 1.5-run line, especially with two teams trending in very opposite directions.

Vince Velasquez has looked much better since that stint that landed him in the bullpen for an abbreviated time, especially of late. The right-hander has now allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last five starts, and we should probably expect that to be six in a row, considering he’ll be facing one of the worst offenses in baseball. The Marlins also own dreadful .276 weighted on-base average, .094 ISO (power metric) and 30% K-rate numbers against right-handed pitching over the last 21 days.

While Velasquez doesn’t typically have a long leash, that’ll work just fine for us tonight. No other bullpen in baseball has a lower ERA (1.80) and only three have a lower xFIP (3.66) over the last 14 days.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Marlins’ bullpen has the worst ERA (9.57) and second-worst xFIP (6.53) over the same span. And they’ll likely be needed quite a bit tonight, considering Hector Noesi has allowed at least five runs in all three of his outings this season.

All in all, this is a Phillies team that looks poised to make that run that we’ve all been waiting on. Tonight, down in Miami, is a great place to keep things rolling and they should do just that.

* Final Score Prediction * Philadelphia Phillies: 8 – Miami Marlins: 3