Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#927 Miami Marlins 9.5 vs.
#928 Chicago White Sox -120
Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 8:10pm EDT
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#928 Chicago
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When and where: July 24, 2019, Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, IL, 8:10 PM ET

The struggling Miami Marlins are desperate for a defensive turnaround on Wednesday when they close out their ensuing three-game series with the Chicago White Sox. After losing back-to-back games by an 18-2 point differential, the Marlins could use a defensive pick-me-up performance in the finale. They’ll put their faith in starting pitcher Zac Gallen, who is slated to take the mound opposite of Chicago’s Reynaldo Lopez.

Marlins projected to be the third-worst team

The Marlins haven’t given much hope for a turnaround in the second half of the season. If their recent performances are any indication of the future, they’ll probably finish with a worse record than they did last season (63-98). They’re already projected to finish with the third-worst record in baseball behind the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles.

That would mean they’d repeat as the worst team in the National League.

The pitching struggles remain the crux of their issues of at least being competitive. It’s no secret their offensive firepower is in the toilet right now. However, they have been able to keep many games remarkably close due to the exceptional play of their young pitching rotation. With the rotation now struggling, the Marlins are sinking like a brick in the middle of the ocean.

Gallen hopes to serve as a life vest for the team in Wednesday’s meeting with the White Sox. The 23-year-old righty is throwing a 3.63 ERA with a 0-2 record. He has only appeared in five games this season with a total of 22.1 innings spent on the mound. His recent performance against the Dodgers turned heads, even though the Marlins ended up losing. He managed to hold one of the best offensive teams in baseball to three hits and one earned run in five-plus innings.

White Sox’s defense holding strong

We can easily talk about how well the White Sox have been at the plate when exploring their recent resurgence. They dropped nine runs in the series-opening game against the Tampa Bay Rays in their previous series before dropping another nine runs in Monday’s opener against the Marlins. That is no easy feat by any stretch.

However, what seems to get lost is the fact that they’ve held the Rays and Marlins to no more than four runs in their last four games. It has been a noticeable improvement for a team that still sits in the bottom-half of the league statistically in run-scoring defense. Their ability to maintain the quality defensive play will mean the difference between a graceful exit and another disappointing season.

Lopez hopes to contribute to the first option when he steps on the mound against the Marlins on Wednesday. The young right-handed pitcher is coming off a monumental win over the Rays, which followed his shutout performance against the Oakland Athletics. He held the Rays to six hits and two runs, while accumulating eight strikeouts over the course of seven innings.

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The defensive struggles are a huge hang-up for the Marlins playing on the road against a White Sox team that has rekindled its offensive mojo. It also doesn’t help the Marlins were never a great road team in the first place. They are 18-32 when playing away from their home building, which doesn’t bode well in their hopes of stealing a win against the White Sox in this game.

Sunday’s closeout game against the Dodgers marked the first time the Marlins starting pitching rotation had given up five or more runs in back-to-back games. Well, that trend continued on Monday with Trevor Richards giving up seven earned runs to the White Sox. Gallen doesn’t have much experience, but there is hope he can replicate his performance against the Dodgers in Wednesday’s game.

However, it would be risky putting faith in a 23-year-old pitcher with only 22.1 innings of big league experience. Lopez has been shaky all season, but he reeled things in a bit with strong performances against the Rays and A’s. He’ll do the same against the Marlins’ moribund offense. I like the White Sox closing out the interleague series with a win and sending the Marlins away empty-handed.

Prediction: Chicago White Sox (-100)

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The Marlins haven’t shown much interest in playing defense recently, as opponents are averaging 9.33 runs per game in their last three outings. A collision course with the red-hot White Sox hasn’t made things any easier, either. Gallen was solid on the mound against the Dodgers, but he could fall victim to inexperience against the White Sox’s surging offense on Wednesday. Give me the over betting total here.

Prediction: Over (9.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.