Featured Video from Scott Reichel
The Los Angeles Dodgers are coming off splitting their four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Meanwhile, the Miami Marlins have continued to limp through the season, holding one of the worst marks in the league. All of this sets up an intriguing Game 1 for the three-game set between the ballclubs on Friday night.
Marlins’ offense limping through season
The Marlins have continued to trek through what has been nothing short of another frustrating season for the franchise. The team has struggled to get any true type of footing this year, falling completely under the .500 mark early in the first half of the campaign that thrust them out of the playoff picture well ahead of the All-Star break. The Marlins have struggled primarily from their utter lack of offensive production, being one of the least productive teams in the majors. In fact, the Marlins are currently ranked 29th in runs scored, 27th in hits, last in home runs, 24th in batting average, and last in slugging percentage. Miami has had an utter lack of offensive production all the way through with no truly standout performance from any of their hitters at this point in the year. The Marlin lack offensive production has been a major part of what the team is in this position to begin with.
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) July 18, 2019
Miami hasn’t faired much better with their play on the mound as the team has also been near the bottom of the league in that regard as well. They are set to send rookie right-hander Zac Gallen to the bump on Friday night as he holds a 0-1 record with a 4.24 ERA in his first four career starts. Gallen hasn’t thrown more than 5.0 innings in any of his outings while he has walked 10 batters over that span in just 17.0 innings pitched. Although he gave up just two runs in five innings in his last start, he did walk five batters while allowing a home run in the second straight contest. His inexperience could likely play a significant role against the Dodgers’ potent lineup that is looking to bounce back after falling short to the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday night. What may also play in the contest is that the Marlins appear to be a bit of a strict pitch and inning count for Gallen that could limit his effectiveness against Los Angeles. With all that in mind, things look to be trending heavily in the Dodgers’ favor.
Hyun-Jin Ryu looking to get Dodgers back on track
Coming off their second straight trip to the World Series, the Dodgers have picked up where they left off last year putting together yet another highly successful campaign. Los Angeles has been in full control of the NL West, holding a 14.0 game advantage in the division that has them on a smooth trajection toward the playoffs once again. Simply put, the Dodgers have been the toast of the division along with holding the best mark in the National League altogether. They have benefitted with plenty of balance on the mound and at the plate behind their depth of talent along the roster. The Dodgers hold one of the league’s most productive offenses that is currently second in runs scored, seventh in hits, fourth in home runs, seventh in batting average, and third in slugging percentage. This entire effort has been led by the stellar play of star outfielder Cody Bellinger, who is putting together a career-best campaign as he’s hitting .333 with a league-best 34 home runs, 77 RBI, an-NL high 77 runs scored, and a 1.133 OPS.
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) July 17, 2019
Bellinger has been the primary source of production in the lineup behind his tremendous level firepower. Although he has cooled off a bit from his torrid pace to begin the year, he’s had a solid month of July where he’s batting .277 with seven home runs, 10 RBI, and 10 runs scored. It has been much more than just Bellinger’s play that has moved the Dodgers along offensively as the team has had strong production all the way around, that includes the likes of first baseman Max Muncy being a strong source of power and production as he’s hitting .266 with 25 home runs and 65 RBI. Although he hasn’t produced much this month, he has been a key factor in the lineup on a nightly basis. That said, the difference in the contest will come from NL Cy Young candidate Hyun-Jin Ryu, who is putting forth a career-best season as he holds a 10-2 record with a league-best and career-high 1.78, and a 0.93 WHIP in his first 19 games played this year. Ryu had just one slippery start against the Colorado Rockies, but he has gotten back on the horse as he hasn’t given up more than two runs just once this season. All of this seemingly pushes things largely in the favor of Los Angeles with their top arm on the mound going up against one of the least productive offenses in the league.
- Dodgers are 45-14 in their last 59 home games against a right-handed starter.
- Dodgers are 48-16 in their last 64 home games.
- Dodgers are 21-8 in their last 29 games against a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.
- Marlins are 3-9 in their last 12 overall.
- Marlins are 3-9 in their last 12 games on grass.
- Marlins are 1-6 in their last seven games against a team with a winning record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Dodgers may have stumbled a little against the Phillies, this is a prime opportunity to get back on track. It also helps tremendously that Ryu will be on the mound to push them back in that direction against the lowly Marlins. All of this has the Dodgers pulling forward in comfortable fashion at home on Friday night.
Prediction: Los Angeles -297
Full-Game Total Pick
Runs will certainly be hard to come by for the Marlins against arguably the best pitcher in the NL. However, the Dodgers will have the opportunity to tee off an inexperienced arm in Gallen. Given all that will be the case, it should be noted that the over is 4-1 in Dodgers’ last five games overall.
Prediction: Over 7.5