Last Home Game Away From Home: “Visiting” Marlins Finish off 3 Game Set in Seattle

Seattle Mariners (38-39) AT Florida Marlins (34-43)
June 26, 2011 at 10:10 PM EST
Opening Line:  FLA -115, SEA -105
Current Line:  FLA -114, SEA -105
Opening Total:  6.5
Current Total:  6.5

SP:  SEA- Doug Fister; FLA- Anibal Sanchez

Staff ace Anibal Sanchez will take the mound for the Marlins tonight

For the first time in a month, the Marlins have another rare chance to win back to back games.  Saturday’s game, which is actually considered a home series despite being played in Seattle, was dominated by the Marlins, who have outscored the run-challenged Mariners who despite splitting games have been outscored 7 to 5 so far in total runs in this series.

They have the chance to sweep this series with a win today, which would be a huge moral victory to a Marlins team that is nearly 10 games under .500

Since May 26th, the Marlins have gone 5-24 and manager Edwin Rodriguez resigned over the debacle, though it was never fully his fault to begin with.

Last night the Marlins won while pitching Chris Volstad.  He threw into the seventh inning and picked up his first victory since April 26th.  Also, for a non-batter in the NL, he came in and hit an RBI single, which had to feel good for a pitcher who has received so little run support from his teammates.

“He went right after them tonight and showed us; this is the way I want him to pitch,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “Hopefully the six innings will translate into eight innings and maybe complete games.”

The Marlins still aren’t really hitting the ball, though.  At home this year, they are .251 BA and on this trip in Seattle, they are hitting .183.  It may not matter if Anibal Sanchez works his typical magic though.

Sanchez is 6-1 with a 2.90 ERA and has pitched 7+ innings in both of his last two starts, though he didn’t receive a decision for either.  Monday night, Sanchez gave up only one run and eight hits, but it wasn’t enough since the Marlins only gave him one run of support, as they lost 2-1.

This is Sanchez’ first matchup against Seattle but he is 3-1 in interleague starts.

Doug Fister will take the mound for Seattle.  While his ERA is a respectable 3.34, the Mariners don’t offer him a lot of run support which has hurt his record (he’s 3-8 so far).  Tuesday against the Nationals, he didn’t get a decision despite giving up only one run in 8 innings.  The Nats scored 5 runs in the 9th inning, however, and the Mariners lost again, 6-5.

“We even debated sending him back out for the eighth inning because it was so hot and he had been on base a couple of times,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “He had worked so hard, and so that was enough for him today. We felt like we pushed him through the eighth inning.”

Last year, after his first ten starts, Fister had a 2.45 ERA, which was odd since it was 2 runs a game better than what he did in the minor leagues.  After the hot start last year, his shoulder wore down and he posted a 5.24 ERA.  Whether that happens this season remains to be seen.  The end was an “average” season, and his 3.34 ERA doesn’t indicate he will have long term success.

Some betting trends:

The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Seattle’s last 10 games and the Mariners are 1-4 SU In their last 5 games.  They are also 1-4 SU In their last 5 on the road while the total has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 5 on the road.

The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the Marlins’ last 6 games and they are 3-21 SU in their last 24.  They are 3-14 SU in their last 7 at home and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 5 at home.

Note:  This is not a TRUE home game, so these trends are a bit irrelevant with regard to home/away.

With the way the Marlins have struggled, just getting one win last night was  a big step forward.  Winning back to back games may get them back on track.  Having their ace pitch this game will be a confidence builder and if they can provide him with any kind of run support at all, the Marlins should win this one.  Fister has been good, but he’s not the pitcher Sanchez is, when it comes right down to it.  While the betting lines are pretty much even at this point, I do favor the Marlins in this one.

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