Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#917 Miami Marlins 8.5 vs.
#918 Detroit Tigers -150
Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 1:10pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Miami Marlins will head on the road to Comerica Park on Thursday afternoon as they prepare for the final game of their interleague series showdown versus the Detroit Tigers.

After it appeared the Marlins might break the 1962 Mets’ all-time record for most losses in a single season, Miami fired off an unlikely five-game winning streak to bring their record to cringe-worthy 15-31 for the season. The Marlins are still 12-games back of the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East race, but they are gunning for their second consecutive series sweep. Can the Marlins take down the Tigers for the third straight game on Thursday?

Richards actually lucky despite 1-5 record

The Marlins riled off six unanswered runs to beat the Tigers 6-3 in Game 2 on Wednesday. While Miami’s offense has finally come alive as of late, the team credits two shutout losses versus the Rays for reinforcing their best offensive habits and lately the recipe for success has been pouncing on fastballs early in counts.

It took Marlins’ right-hander Trevor Richards nine starts to get his first win of the season, but the 26-year-old finally got the monkey off of his back in his last start versus the New York Mets. Richards turned in his fifth quality start of the season last time out, giving up three runs in 6 ⅓ innings in an 8-6 Marlins’ win. The victory snapped a personal five-game losing streak for the Marlins’ right-hander, but it’s been hard to call him unlucky despite his 1-5 overall record. Richards has benefited from a .244 BABIP and his 5.56 xFIP is significantly higher than his current 4.44 ERA. Richard is walking 4.81 batters per nine and allowing 1.66 home runs per nine innings of work, which has contributed to his woes so far this year. This will be his first interleague start of the season and first career outing against the Tigers.

Boyd racking up quality starts for Tigers

It doesn’t get much worse than losing to the Triple-A-worthy Marlins in back-to-back games, so it is safe to say that Detroit has been mired in some kind of slump as of late. The Tigers enter having lost eight straight games and they’ve scored three runs or less in five of their last six contests. After a promising start to the season for the team’s pitching staff, Tigers’ pitchers have compiled a 6.50 ERA in 169 innings during the month of May, while allowing opponents to hit a healthy .297 at the dish.

The Tigers are scheduled to turn to lefty Matt Boyd in hopes of reversing their fortunes on Thursday. Boyd comes in with a respectable 4-4 record and a 3.41 ERA through 10 starts this season and eight of his last nine starts have been of the quality variety. Boyd has routinely worked into the sixth inning or later for the Tigers, but run support has been a problem for him at times. In all four of his losses, Detroit has scored one run or fewer. Not only has Boyd been Detroit’s most consistent starter, but he’s also flashed steady signs of improvement in 2019, upping his strikeout rate to a career-high 19.83 batters per nine, while walking a career-low 1.93 batters per nine and sporting a healthy FIP of just 3.02. This will be Boyd’s first career start versus the Marlins.

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Boyd has far and beyond been the Tigers best starter and he’s given them a chance to win nearly every time he’s toed the rubber this season. He’s also striking out batters at a career-high rate, which suggests he’s on his way to a career year. Meanwhile, Richards has struggled with consistency this season and he’s benefited from a low BABIP despite his 1-5 record. Take the Tigers to avoid a sweep with their ace on the hill on Thursday.

Prediction: Detroit Tigers -165

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These two teams have gone over the projected total in each of their last five meetings and the over is 4-0 in their last five games at Comerica Park. Neither of these teams have prolific offenses, but the Marlins have shown signs of life at the dish as of late. The over is 6-2 in the Tigers’ last eight interleague contests, so I’ll take my chances with the over in this game at Comerica Park on Thursday.

Prediction: Over 8.5

Written By 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. He uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits.