The Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins wrap up a four-game series on Monday with the Marlins looking for a series win after taking two of the first three contests. Arizona has alternated wins and losses over its last seven outings, which it would like to continue since they lost on Sunday.
The Diamondbacks need to find some consistency if they want to stay in the National League Wild Card race. Arizona currently sits 3.5 back of both Wild Card spots, with the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals all tied for those spots. Either the Cubs or Cardinals would be considered the National League Central winner since they’re tied for that spot as well. Miami is just looking to build for the future, as they have the worst record in the National League and sit 20.5 games out of first place in the National League East.
The moneyline for this contest has the Arizona Diamondbacks -105 and the Miami Marlins -110. The over/under has been set at 8.
Looking For More
Merrill Kelly takes the mound for the Diamondbacks looking to end a personal four-game losing streak. The right-hander is 7-10 on the season and hasn’t recorded a win since June 12. He’s coming off a horrendous outing in his last start, as he managed to go just 2 1/3 innings and allowed seven earned runs on eight hits, including three home runs, against the second-worst team in baseball, Baltimore. The Diamondbacks have lost six of the seven games Kelly has started since his last victory.
Flash back to July 19, as the Diamondbacks defeated Milwaukee 10-7, their third win in four games, with a total offensive output of 39 runs over the four-game span. In the eight games since then? Arizona has scored a total of 32 runs. Against Miami, Arizona scored nine runs in its one win, but only three in the two losses. Ketel Marte, the team’s top hitter, has been struggling of late, with just six hits over the last seven days. On the season, he has a team-best .318 batting average to go with 22 home runs and 62 RBI. He has only two of those home runs in July, so he may be due for a breakout performance.
Looking For Hope
The Marlins have been out of the playoff picture for a while, so they continue to look to the future by allowing young players the chance to get playing time. For the series finale, though, Miami will turn to the old man of their starting staff, 28-year-old Caleb Smith, who will be making his 35th career start in this one. Smith is 6-4 on the season with a 3.30 ERA and has won his last three decisions. In his last outing, he went seven innings and held the White Sox to two hits and one run while striking out nine.
Rookie outfielder Harold Ramirez has shown some promise for the Marlins this season, and he’s been playing well of late, coming off a two-hit, two-RBI game with a home run in Sunday’s win. He also showed some solid defense in the outfield, though he committed his first error as well. Brian Anderson has been the team’s most consistent power threat with a team-best 14 home runs. He hit his first home run since July 16 and just his third of the month in Sunday’s win.
Diamondbacks Get Split
Arizona has been up and down for a couple of weeks now, but they do still have something to play for. They need to put it together, especially against teams like the Marlins that are out of the running for the postseason. Kelly is better than his record shows, and he should pitch well enough to finally get another win in this one. I’m taking Arizona -105 to earn the victory.