Good win in the matchup of cellar dwellers last night with San Diego topping Philly. Going to ride the momentum with a Friday night play between the Washington Nationals and the Miami Marlins. It’s a good pitching matchup in Miami between Doug Fister and Tom Koehler as the Nationals march toward the playoffs and the Marlins try to hang on to what’s been a pretty promising season on South Beach.
I’m really a fan of both starting pitchers in tonight’s matchup because of their consistency and ability to maintain such a low profile in doing so. They’re also two guys that the market has somewhat undervalued most of the season, so I’m going to take a stab at the under in a game that I don’t expect to see a ton of offense.
It’s not surprising that Tom Koehler still has the very low profile that he does as a starting pitcher. He pitches in Miami and hasn’t quite reached that point of stardom, but I think he’s on track for a very nice career in the big leagues. Koehler’s ERA sits just under 4.00 with a WHIP of 1.28 in his first 30-start MLB season. He’s a capable guy with more than a couple quality pitches, but it’s his ability to bring it night after night that impresses me.
There are only so many pitchers who avoid the bad starts as irregularly as Koehler. And that speaks to his ability to adjust on the fly and get through a Major League lineup when he doesn’t necessarily have his “A” stuff. Koehler has been on an especially nice run lately, as he hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a start since the first week of August. With the Nationals in the playoffs, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a non-optimal lineup employed by Matt Williams, but even if they do run out their everyday lineup, Koehler should continue to throw quality starts. He’s a 28-year-old in his second big league season and it would be huge to finish out his last two or three starts with the same energy that he’s brought all season.
Opposing him will be Doug Fister who you can’t really say much more about. There aren’t many more underrated in the game than Fister. He’s big, tall and lanky with four great pitches and pinpoint control. He pitches with intelligence and gives his team a chance to win every time he starts. He threw only 75 pitches in an easy win against the Mets his last time out, so expect him to be fresh and sharp against the Fish.
This is one of those tricky lines where 7.0 might be a tad too low, but 7.5 is too high. If you can get the 7.5 at no more than -115, I recommend the play.
Free Pick: Under 7.5 (-115)
YTD: 37-25-2 +7.11