MLB Picks 2012: Miami Marlins vs. Boston Red Sox

The Miami Marlins (33-35) and Boston Red Sox (35-33) will close out a three-game interleague series on Thursday night at Fenway Park in Boston, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 ET

Miami Marlins at Boston Red Sox 

The Boston Red Sox have failed to provide run support for SP Daisuke Matsuzaka in his first two starts

Miami has dropped three straight games and 12 of its last 14 overall, suffering a 15-5 setback against Boston on Wednesday night.  “This is the kind of game that gets you down and you try to wonder what’s going on,” stated Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen.  The Marlins pitching staff has been getting roughed up over the course of the month, posting a 5.94 ERA in June, which directly followed a fantastic May (3.53).  Miami is 3-6 as a road underdog of +100 to +125 this season.

Marlins starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano (4-5, 3.92 ERA) has managed to last just 4.1 combined innings in losing his last two starts, both coming against the Tampa Bay Rays, allowing 11 combined runs over that span.  The right-hander is 3-2 with a 2.36 ERA in seven road starts, with opposing hitters batting just .159 against him.  In two career starts versus the Red Sox, Zambrano has yet to earn a decision, giving up seven runs and 12 hits over 10.2 innings of work (5.91 ERA).

Boston leads the majors in scoring double-digit runs in 11 games this season, as designated hitter David Ortiz has caught fire, homering in three straight games.  He has managed to bat .394 with five round trippers over the last 10 games overall.  The Red Sox entered last night’s game leading the league with 248 extra-base hits, while the club leads baseball with a 113-63 record in interleague play since 2003.  Boston is 9-3 as a home favorite of -125 to -150 this season, with the “over” going 11-1 in those contests.

Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-2, 5.73 ERA) has received just two total runs of support in dropping his first two starts of the season, coming off a 3-0 road setback to the Chicago Cubs last time out.  The right-hander will look to improve upon his 25-18 record and 4.77 ERA in 54 games (53 starts) at Fenway Park, as he gets set to face the Marlins for the first time in his career.

Bettors will likely back the Red Sox due to their 48-21 mark against NL East opponents, while the Marlins are 1-9 versus winning ball clubs.

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