Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#1959 Baltimore Orioles vs.
#1960 Miami Marlins
Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 1:10pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Baltimore Orioles will head on the road to Marlins Park on Thursday afternoon for an interleague series showdown against the Miami Marlins.

Baltimore was unable to complete a series sweep against the Rangers on Sunday, snapping a two-game winning streak to fall to 7-9 through 16 games. Meanwhile, the Marlins also come into this two-game series with a losing record after failing to sweep the San Francisco Giants on Sunday. Miami sits in third place in the National League East standings with a 7-8 overall record through 15 games, two games back of the division-leading New York Mets.

Can the Marlins bounce back with a win at home over the Orioles on Thursday afternoon?

Zimmerman struggling with the long ball through three starts

Baltimore is scheduled to hand the ball to rookie left-hander Bruce Zimmerman for his fourth start of the season on Thursday. Zimmerman opened the season with back-to-back quality starts but is fresh off of suffering his first loss of the year. The 26-year-old hurled five innings of two-run ball versus the Seattle Mariners last week but lost the game on a Mitch Haniger home run. He comes in with a 1-1 overall record to go along with a 4.24 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in three starts.

While he’s off to a solid start to the season, there are a few reasons to be concerned for Orioles’ fans. Zimmerman’s strikeout rate has evaporated this season. He struck out nearly a batter per inning in Double-A during the 2019 season but has fanned just 5.82 batters per nine innings through three starts. He’s also allowed 2.12 home runs per nine innings and a home run per fly ball rate of 25 percent, which could spell trouble for him moving forward.

This will be Zimmerman’s first career interleague start and his first career outing against the Marlins.

Rogers emerging as frontline starter in Miami

Miami will counter with emerging ace Trevor Rogers, who is starting to come into his own in his first full season as an MLB starter. Rogers debuted with a seven-start cup of coffee last season but appears to have made significant strides on the mound heading into 2021.

He comes in with a 1-1 record to go along with a 2.40 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in three starts. Rogers has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his first three outings while racking up 23 strikeouts in just 15 innings of work. The 23-year-old is striking out 13.8 batters per nine innings, which ranks fourth in the National League, and he’s also cut his home run rate down from 1.61 HR/9 to 0.61 HR/9 so far this season.

Rogers performed well in his two interleague starts last season, allowing just three runs in nine combined innings of work (3.00 ERA). However, this will be his first career start against the Orioles.

On offense, Miami ranks 16th in the league with 66 runs through 15 contests. The Marlins are slashing .239/.317/.375 as a team with a .692 OPS but they rank second-last in the Major Leagues with just 11 home runs. Adam Duvall leads the team with four home runs so far this season.

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Trevor Rogers is a great talent but he’s still just 10 starts into his MLB career. Prior to that, Rogers had made only five Double-A starts, so he’s still raw and walks a lot of batters as a result. He owns a slim 21.4 percent ground ball rate but has only allowed home runs on 7.1 percent of his fly balls, a number that could be due for some regression soon. On the other hand, Zimmerman’s biggest problem has been the long ball but the Marlins have struggled to hit home runs this season, which should give the Orioles’ lefty a chance to put together a quality outing here. Take Baltimore at this price on Wednesday night. 

Prediction: Baltimore Orioles +123

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These two teams are projected for eight runs, which seems like a bit of a high number here. Zimmerman has not allowed more than three runs in any of his three starts this year while Rogers enters with a 2.40 ERA and has held opposing hitters to a .154 batting average through his first three starts. The Marlins’ lefty has also been racking up strikeouts during that span, so runs could be hard to come by for both offenses in this game. Take this interleague matchup to stay under the projected total at Marlins Park on Wednesday night.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.