Miami Marlins @ Cincinnati Reds (6:40 ET)
Favorite: Reds -125
Pitchers: Trevor Rogers (5.46 ERA, 1.55 WHIP) vs. Nick Lodolo (5.81 ERA, 1.78 WHIP)
These two teams could not be moving farther in the opposite direction. Other than losing both games to the Cardinals before the All-Star break, the Reds have won 3 straight series, sweeping the Rays, beating the Yankees and then the Cardinals just now. The Marlins managed to hold on and beat the Pirates, but an 8-0 loss at home to the Rangers after being swept by the Phillies is no good run of form. Their offense has been putrid at best, landing in the bottom 3 of every offensive category in July and to make matters worse they’re facing a lefty today. Over the course of the season Miami is the worst team in the league against lefties, striking out at a 27.2% rate and hitting only .214 for average. The Reds aren’t great against lefties but sit 20th with an OPS about 100 points higher than the Marlins. Given how their offense has been lately against top tier pitching staffs I’d expect them to gnab a handful against the ever-struggling Trevor Rogers. Nick Lodolo hasn’t been good, I’m not going to vouch for him. The rookie has the proverbial ‘stuff’ but looks shaky so far with location and his Changeup is getting melted to the tune of a .421 BA. What he does have is a phenomenal strikeout rate (29%), and given the Marlins strikeout more than anyone in the league verse lefties he could have a decent outing. The Reds have won 6 of their last 7 at home and I’ll trust their bats to bring them through again today.
Pick: Reds ML -125 (1u)
Sam Greene - The Enquirer
Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies (7:05 ET)
Favorite: Braves -170
Pitchers: Max Fried (2.64 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) vs. Ranger Suarez (4.07 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
Monday night brings another battle of lefties and a vital divisional clash as the Braves attempt to keep pace with the Mets as the Phillies look for a wildcard birth. Max Fried has been nothing short of exceptional, posting a 2.16 ERA since the beginning of June, bringing consistent performances night in, night out. He does everything the right way, not walking batters or giving them anything easy, and with a high strike rate he keeps that pitch count low so he can go late into games. Ranger Suarez is an interesting case. He’s one of the best pitchers in the majors at creating weak contact, but he gives up way too many solid contact hits and walks which gets him in trouble. In his 11 innings against the Braves this year he’s registered a 7.36 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP, so nothing good in the slightest. Given how good the Braves are against lefties (1st in OPS) and how bad the Phillies’ offense has been in July especially without Bryce Harper (19th in OPS in July), I think the Braves get it done in the first five innings behind Fried.
Pick: Braves F5 -.5 -115 (1u)
David Phillips - AP
Houston Astros @ Oakland A’s (8:10 ET)
Favorite: Astros -220
Pitchers: Jake Odorizzi (3.56 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) vs. Adam Oller (8.56 ERA, 1.98 WHIP)
The A’s are 6-4 in their last ten games, and I was as shocked to find that out as you were to read it. Sadly for them they enter the buzzsaw they know all too well in the Astros. Yordan Alvarez should be back after a day off due to hand soreness, and I’m not even sure the lineup needs him. On Sunday against a blazing hot Robbie Ray and Mariners team every single player logged a hit in a decisive 8-5 victory. Jake Odorizzi takes the mound having faced the A’s in his last two outings allowing just 3 runs over 12 innings on just 9 hits. Adam Oller’s ERA is justifiably terrible, but if the A’s could afford to just throw him for 1 to 2 innings he’d be alright. He‘s generally okay in that range but if he’s stretched out he gets pounded. I doubt anything changes today for what still is the worst team in baseball. Give me the Astros on the runline to get pound it on the A’s early and often.
Pick: Astros -1.5 -125 (1.5u)
Logan Reilly - Getty Images