MLB Predictions 2012: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Miami Marlins

The Philadelphia Phillies (36-42) and Miami Marlins (35-40) will open up a three-game National League East series on Friday night at Marlins Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 ET

Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins 

Philadelphia Phillies SP Cliff Lee is still looking for his first win of the year

Philadelphia finished its 10-game homestand with an even 5-5 record, dropping a 5-4 decision to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday afternoon.  “It seems like we get to a point, then we fall back,” stated Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.  Offensively, the team continues to fare well at the plate by averaging 5.1 runs over the last 10 contests, but the pitching staff registered a 4.90 ERA over the same period.  Philadelphia is 5-8 as a road underdog of +100 to +125 this season, with the “over” going 8-5 in those contests.

Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee (0-4, 3.72 ERA) has watched the club drop his last four outings, including a 7-3 home setback to the Tampa Bay Rays last time out, giving up five runs and six hits over seven frames.  The left-hander has yet to record a decision in six road starts, issuing 10 walks and striking out 36 batters in 42 combined innings (3.43 ERA).  In five career starts against the Marlins, Lee has tallied a perfect 2-0 record and 2.31 ERA.

Miami avoided a three-game home sweep by the St. Louis Cardinals in capturing a 5-3 win on Wednesday, but the club is still a wretched 6-18 during the month of June.  “If we win four in a row, five in a row, we will be good,” commented Marlins second baseman Omar Infante.  It’s important to note that this year’s series has seen each team win three games, but this will be the first game played in South Florida, with the previous six being played at Citizens Bank Park.  Miami is 5-5 at home with a money line of -100 to -125, with the “over” going 6-4 in those contests.

Marlins starting pitcher Josh Johnson (4-5, 3.96 ERA) has received just one combined run of support over his last two outings, giving up three runs and 10 hits over 13 frames.  The right-hander didn’t earn a decision in a 7-1 home setback to the Toronto Blue Jays last time out.  He has compiled an even 3-3 record and 3.41 ERA in nine home starts, issuing 16 walks and striking out 52 batters in 58 innings.  In 15 career games (13 starts) versus the Phillies, Johnson has gone 5-4 with a 3.68 ERA.

Bettors will likely back the Phillies due to their 6-1 record in Lee’s last seven outings to open a series, while the Marlins are 0-4 following an off day.

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