The Marlins entered the postseason with high hopes, winning five out of seven to steal away the final wild-card spot in the National League. Despite owning a 7-6 record in the season series with the Phillies and entering with all the momentum, they fell 4-1 in Game 1 on Tuesday night.
That means Miami will have its back against the wall Wednesday in Philly, looking to avoid getting swept out of the best-of-three wild card series.
Will Braxton Garrett deliver for the Marlins as he’s done so many times this year, or will he face the wrath of these Phillies bats?
Let’s break down Marlins vs Phillies Game 2.
Marlins vs Phillies Game 2 Prediction
Phillies 7, Marlins 5
I think we’re going to see a ton of offense in Game 2 on Wednesday. Miami struggled all night long against the indomitable Zack Wheeler, who was followed by some of the strongest bullpen arms in the NL, hitting the ball on the ground 65.2% of the time.
It was encouraging to see the Marlins 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position. If they can hit with RISP at that rate, they will score more runs.
Aaron Nola certainly allows some of those. He enters this one with a 4.46 ERA, and while you will likely hear a lot about his expected ERA, which is almost a full run lower, you likely won’t hear anyone explain that it’s mostly due to his solid 5.7% walk rate.
When the ball comes back into play, he’s pitched to a .241 expected batting average.
The Marlins are a team that gets a ton of balls back into play, leading the league in ground ball rate, and I think against the volatile Nola, their results will improve. The issue is that the Phillies have owned Garrett this year and have a 108 wRC+ against lefties.
They are going to keep on hitting, and they’ll win a high-scoring affair.
Marlins vs Phillies Game 2 Best Bet
Marlins at Phillies: Over 8 (-110)
DraftKings Sportsbook • Wager: 1 Unit
As you may have guessed from the above breakdown, I’m going with the Over here. I simply can’t trust either of these pitchers, considering Nola’s pitched to a 6.75 ERA against the Marlins, and Garrett is wearing a 5.40 ERA in two starts against the Phillies.
Nola’s been in big trouble this year when he hasn’t been able to get strikeouts, and his bad months in that department have correlated with bad results. His strikeout rate dipped to 24.6% in September, his lowest mark since May, and he posted an unsightly 5.47 ERA last month.
Overall, it’s down four points from where it was last year.
Against a team that has one of the highest contact rates in baseball, Nola is going to struggle to get outs. He doesn’t have the best defense in the world behind him, which should guarantee we see his .241 xBA play up and produce some hits.
Garrett isn’t a pitcher I trust much on the other side of the coin. His .272 xBA is one of the worst marks you’ll find of any pitcher in the postseason, and if not for his 4.4% walk rate, you’d probably hear more people talking about his xERA, given it’d be over five runs.
Back the Over in our MLB Bet of the Day.
Marlins vs Phillies Game 2 Props
Braxton Garrett Over 4.5 Hits Allowed (-115)
DraftKings Sportsbook | Wager: 1 Unit
We swept our props last night, so let’s go back in for some more. This is a great place to start.
Garrett worked five innings in each of his two starts versus the Phillies this year, and he gave up exactly six hits in each game. While the Phillies are a patient bunch at the plate, we saw last night that they will swing when given good pitches, and they will convert them into hits.
Jesús Luzardo was a pitcher who had struggled with his control, but the Phillies didn’t wait around for him to issue walks.
Garrett owns a .272 expected batting average, which is a number I am staring at, considering we need hits to cash this bet. That puts him in the bottom 13% of all pitchers, and while he’s managed to pitch around that thanks to plenty of ground balls, the Phillies have actually been better against ground ball pitchers (.264) than fly ball pitchers (.254) this year.
Such is life as a team that hits the ball hard but struggles with strikeouts.
Alec Bohm 2+ Total Bases vs Marlins (+100)
FanDuel Sportsbook | Wager: 1 Unit
While I want to go with Nick Castellanos here, given his excellent .324 average versus lefties, he’s struggled against groundball pitchers this year. So, I’ll skip over him and go with another guy who has mashed lefties in Alec Bohm.
Bohm owns an excellent .303 average against left-handed pitchers this year and a spicy .286 average against those who classify as ground-ball pitchers. Garrett is certainly a ground ball pitcher, and Bohm is definitely a threat to him.
Bohm ripped a double on Tuesday and now has three hits, including a double and a homer, over his last two games. He began the postseason last year with a double in back-to-back games, and the matchup should call for him to once again pull off that feat.