The Miami Marlins face a mountain of a challenge on Friday night when they head to St. Petersburg for a head-to-head showdown with the Tampa Bay Rays. They lost both of their previous series meetings at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals. Now, they’ll try their luck on the road against a Rays team that’s six wins away from a 100-win season. Tampa Bay recently knocked off the Toronto Blue Jays in a three-game series. Edward Cabrera is slated to pitch against Tampa Bay’s David Robertson.
Cabrera getting valuable repsThis is a great opportunity for rookie Edward Cabrera to test his pitching on the road against the No. 1-ranked team in the American League. It might be a lost season for the Marlins, but they’re still in the business of seeing what they have in the future.
Hope for a brighter future is the only thing that alleviates the present headache with the team coming off back-to-back series losses to the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Cabrera has his work cut out for him when going head-to-head with a Rays offense averaging the second-most runs per game. They’re clobbering opposing pitchers on a daily basis with the fifth-highest isolated power at the plate. If the youngster isn’t careful, he could see multiple pitches sent into orbit by the hard-hitting Rays’ lineup.
He’s throwing a 5.31 ERA with a 0-2 record on the season. The Pirates handed him a loss in his most recent appearance on the mound last Saturday. It was a game where the Marlins offense only mustered three runs against one of the league’s worst defensive teams. Such has been the case throughout the season for a Marlins team that hasn’t been able to get anything going at the plate consistently enough to matter.
That doesn’t bode well with the Rays boasting the seventh-best ERA in the league, along with the third-best bullpen. Runs won’t be easy to come in this one.
Franchise record within reach for the RaysThis has the potential to be a special season for the Rays with the team currently only three victories away from tying the franchise record for most wins in a season (97). In fact, there’s still a possibility for them to roll to 100 wins after recently securing their spot in the playoffs.
So they’ll be looking to take advantage of Friday’s matchup against the rookie pitcher.
They dropped seven runs in their series finale victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday. It was a reminder of how dangerous the Rays offensive lineup can be when they get their bats going.
They’ll have plenty of opportunities to continue to do so against Edward Cabrera and a Marlins defense allowing an average 8.26 hits and 4.70 runs per game on the road. Things haven’t necessarily been as tight defensively for Miami when they’re playing away from their home building.
The Rays should be fine as long as they generate a few runs. Miami’s offense has been the Achilles heel for the team again this season, and it’s a juicy matchup for an elite defensive team like Tampa Bay. They’ve held opposing teams to a .234 batting average and .688 OPS this season—both being top-10 numbers in the league.
David Robertson will toe the rubber for the Rays on Friday. The veteran reliever will get some work in as a starter with a 5.63 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. We’ll see if he can stand his ground in the spotlight against the struggling bats for the Marlins.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Marlins are 15-38 in their last 53 road games.
- Marlins are 8-23 in their last 31 interleague games.
- Marlins are 8-23 in their last 31 games against teams in the American League East.
- Marlins are 1-4 in their last 5 Friday games.
- Rays are 19-7 in their last 26 home games against a team with a losing record.
- Rays are 37-14 in their last 51 interleague home games against a team with a losing record.
- Rays are 53-21 in their last 74 games following a win.
- Rays are 30-12 in their last 42 games against teams in the National League East.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Rays are closing on a historic season, and like the Marlins, they’ll come into this game off a full day’s rest. Miami is hoping to get their young pitcher, Edward Cabrera, some reps against one of the league’s best teams.
The rookie isn’t ready to pass a test of this caliber.
Tampa Bay will be at home facing a Marlins team lacking in offensive firepower to even compete. Miami has the fourth-worst run-scoring offense with the team averaging only 3.85 runs per game on the road this season. They don’t give themselves a lot of opportunities to win games. Cabrera could come out and pitch a gem, and the Marlins could still lose to the Rays.
It’s a problem that has lingered for far too long.
If you combine those issues with the fact that Tampa Bay is an elite defensive team, you’re going to find some serious hurdles for the Marlins in this game. Opposing teams are only slashing .234/.296/.392 against the Rays this season. It’s going to be a rough night for the Marlins. I’m sticking with the Rays to keep on rolling on Friday.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Rays have dominated at home defensively this season, with opposing teams averaging only 3.26 runs per game against them. Just look at what they did to the Toronto Blue Jays, who currently sit at No. 3 in average runs scored. They held them to only one run in Wednesday’s finale of the three-game series meeting. It’ll be a problem for a Marlins team that has struggled all season offensively. This is the same team that recently got held in check in a series loss to a Pittsburgh Pirates team that ranks among the league’s worst defenses. Give me the under in this one.