Good to be back here in May. April ended with a 5-4 mark that saw us net just over a unit. And while plus money is okay, the Miami Marlins’ first month ended much more impressively. They carry a seven game winning streak into May with the chance to sweep their second road series in a row tomorrow in Milwaukee, which is what we’re betting on.
It started a week ago when they found a way to win by a run in San Francisco to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Giants. A win every day since then has run the Marlins’ streak to seven games, all on the road, and they’re favored to win again Sunday in Milwaukee.
All of this has come amidst the Dee Gordon news that has shelved the NL batting champion for 80 games due to a failed drug test. The loss of their leadoff man hasn’t proven to hurt Miami in the short term, at least. Derek Dietrich becomes the everyday second baseman replaces Gordon atop the lineup as a more than capable fill-in. He homered on Saturday and looks to continue to get on base ahead of Giancarlo Stanton, who has made long-distance contact five times during the winning streak. And while the Marlins haven’t put up massive run totals during their streak, they’ve scored 13 runs in the first two games in Milwaukee and should keep that going against Wily Peralta who had the best season of his career two years ago. The man who throws almost nothing but fastballs has been knocked around in the early going this year and, one would think, is on his way to someone’s bullpen.
More importantly, I expect good Tom Koehler on Sunday. Koehler’s ERA is suffering from one start against Atlanta; otherwise he’s given up just five runs combined in two starts against Washington and another vs. the Dodgers. He did walk four his last time out, which he can’t expect to get away with, but I find myself backing him often because of his ability to throw three above average pitches and really dominate hitters when he’s on. Koehler can get a little too loose in sleepy spots against lesser competition (hence the Atlanta outing). A start in Milwaukee may normally qualify as such, but the win streak should sharpen his senses for this one. Don Mattingly would love to see Koehler get into the seventh inning in one of these outings. Sunday could be the one.
Free Pick: Marlins -113
YTD: 5-4-1 +1.17
2015: 31-25-5 +1.09
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02