Miami and Atlanta began last week with a series in Atlanta. This week, the two sides open a three-game series up on Tuesday in Miami. The pitching matchup today will be the same from a 1-0 Marlins win exactly a week ago when Jose Fernandez out-dueled Alex Wood to preserve the win for Miami. The two young aces get a chance to battle again in a game Vegas pins as another low-scoring one. Miami opens as a -125 favorite in a game that features a posted total of just 6.0 runs.
I’ve done a pretty good job of continuing to back Jose Fernandez during his unbeaten run at home to start his career. Fernandez still hasn’t dropped a game at Marlins Park and he’s back there today in a game where he’ll have to be pretty masterful again. But that’s really just where the bar has been set for Fernandez by now. He’s having another Cy Young-caliber season with a sub-2 ERA and a WHIP less than 1.00. It’s a joy to watch Fernandez throw the baseball, with an electrifying fastball to go with a devastating hook and change-up. There is the concern that Atlanta saw Fernandez just a week ago, but I’m not sure that’s enough to somehow just magically have what it takes to hit Fernandez. Expect another dominant start – this time at home – for Fernandez against a team that’s susceptible to striking out too often.
The good news for Marlins’ backers is that Miami gains the same advantage Atlanta does by seeing the same pitcher just six days earlier. The projections on Alex Wood were all over the place going into 2014. The young lefty with an interesting delivery had a phenomenal partial 2013 and shows promise to be an frontline starter for years to come, but many questioned his pure stuff and durability. He’s certainly still new to the scene, but five starts into 2014 suggests he’s relying on something a little more than deception alone. Wood has gone seven innings or more in all but one of his starts and has an ERA of 1.54. The lefty is tough, but I’m not sure he’ll be tough enough on the road to beat Fernandez in his city. For just a small price tag, it’s worth it to continue backing Fernandez at home. At least until he finally loses one.
Free Pick: Miami (-125)
2014 YTD: 9-4 +4.65