Well here we are. After dropping the first four plays of August, the goal shifted to just going 5-5 this month. And with 10 more days left to play with, that goal is attainable. Three straight wins has the August record just one game below .500, but there’s work to be done. We’re going out to the Rocky Mountains to even that record up. Speaking of .500, the Miami Marlins bring a perfectly even record into Coors Field to take on the Rockies, whose season has completely fallen apart. The Fish are -125 favorites on the road.
On the surface, this matchup looks pretty lopsided in Miami’s direction, at least with the pitching matchup. Venezuelan ace Henderson Alvarez takes the ball for the Marlins for his second start since returning from a DL stint. Health didn’t appear to be a problem in his last time out against the D’Backs, when he allowed one run in seven strong innings. Looking at what Alvarez has done this season, it’s even more of a shame he and Jose Fernandez didn’t have more time together in the same rotation (although the optimist just hopes this year put it on hold). Alvarez made his first All-Star team in 2014 and has been an ace. He’s 9-5 in 23 starts and has accumulated 89 strikeouts to just 28 walks. The strong strikeout numbers and high ground ball rate (54.6%) have helped him post a 1.20 WHIP and 2.43 ERA. Alvarez is tough. And, although his numbers balloon a bit on the road (3.62 ERA vs. 1.46 at home), the Rockies’ offense is severely depleted. He’s also going up against Franklin Morales.
I feel like I find myself writing about Morales often because he’s constantly involved in my plays here. I’m not sure why, either, because he doesn’t seem to be a consistent fade/back/etc. I also really don’t have a whole lot to say about him. He’s consistently between replacement level and league average (closer to replacement level) and he doesn’t fluctuate a whole lot start to start. He’s a 5 ERA, 1.50 WHIP guy (exact numbers are 5.04/1.57) and isn’t going to really dazzle any teams out there. The Marlins aren’t mashers by any means, but I like the healthy lineup going up against the far weaker pitcher playing for a team that has something to play for, even if I have to drink some road juice. A .500 season for Miami would be a big accomplishment this season after losing Fernandez so early on. And I really get the sense the Rockies are counting down the days until the offseason. Who can blame them?
Free Pick: Miami (-125)
YTD: 31-23-2 +3.31