In the Sunshine State showdown, we have our final confrontation over on Florida’s left coast. Like Tuesday’s in Miami, this is afternoon affair and those betting baseball have decisions to make.
Oddsmakers have this one really tight and those generating MLB picks have a real a very difficult choice to make.
If and when Clayton Kershaw gives up the ‘best pitcher in baseball’ mantle, his successor could be Miami’s Jose Fernandez (6-2, 3.02 ERA, 1.21 WHIP). The still only 23-year old has the full toolbox, with overpowering fastball he throws in the mid to upper 90’s, which has excellent movement and a curveball that breaks late like a slider, but has curve’s downward motion. After a bumpy start, Fernandez has an ERA of 0.90 in past three starts and has 31 strikeouts in only 20 innings. Tampa Bay has given him fits, going 0-2, with 5.79 ERA in a pair of outings.
Outside of two starts, Drew Smyly (2-5, 3.54, 1.04) could well have a better record, having pitched better than numbers indicate. What scouts have always like d about the left-hander is that he threw strikes. He owns a low-90’s fastball, likes to cut-it on RH hitters and has a slurvy breaking-ball, along with tumbling changeup. However, his ability to work the zone also gets him into trouble, which is why he’s never put up better numbers, catching too much of the plate.
Miami has lost five of eight, as its offense has gone as stale as beer left open for three days at 2.7 runs per game. Giancarlo’s Stanton’s power numbers (12 homers) and 26 RBI’s appear fine, but his continual soreness on his right side which started in spring training has contributed to lowly .214 batting average and affected the Marlins offense. Many others have helped Miami register 4.0 RPG, including Martin Prado (.343 BA), Marcell Ozuna (.331), Christian Yelich (.320) and J.T. Realmuto (.298).
Thanks to recent developments, Tampa Bay’s offense has seen immense resurgence, scoring 6.4 RPG since May 13th and climbing to 4.2 RPG. It has been across the board and from many unlikely resources like Brandon Guyer (.318 BA) and Steve Pearce (.301), to go along with Steven Souza Jr. and Evan Longoria.