Two Bad Teams Face Off In Interleague Play: Marlins at A’s Betting Preview

Florida Marins (34-44) AT Oakland A’s (35-44)

June 28, 2011 at 10:05 PM EST

Opening Line:  SEA -115, ATL -105

Current Line: SEA -114, ATL -105

Opening Total:  5.5

Current Total:  6

SP:  FLA- Javier Vazquez; OAK- Gio Gonzalez

Vasquez' decline is occuring quicker than many expected. Shoulder fatigue is a likely reason.

It’s hard to see much merit in either the Marlins or A’s chances at a pennant, but sports handicapping isn’t always about picking the “sexiest” games and this one offers a lot of value.

The Marlins and A’s will both be seeking to capitalize upon the opportunity to play a team equally as bad as themselves, but the A’s at least have a nice home streak going for themselves.  The Marlins, after a franchise tying 11 game losing streak, decided to try to go back to what worked in the past, and re-hired Jack McKeon, the manager from the World Series winning Marlins of 2003.

It hasn’t been nice having “home” games away from home either.  Because of a ridiculously over hyped U2 concert in South Florida, the Marlins were forced to take the road for games that should have been played in friendly confines.  They dropped 2 of the 3 “home” games in Seattle and they have won only 3 of 25 games in the month of June.

Marlins manager John Buck is about at wits end with the losing, unable to find any real good solutions, but kept his sardonic humor intact, commenting, “There cant be too many other ways (to lose), right?”…”Well, we’ve got that one (an intentional walk sailing over the catcher’s head in the 10th inning) crossed off the list.  Hopefully that will be it.”  While there’s almost no good reason for optimism, we do hear it’s best to laugh when all you can seem to do is cry, and that adage applies to this year’s Marlins squad, as it does to all poor teams.

Gio Gonzalez won’t make life any easier on the hapless Marlins.  Despite a middling 6-5 record, Gonzalez has a 2.59 ERA and Florida hasn’t had hot bats, anyway.  Moreover, Gonzalez has been very good over his last two outings with 18 strikeouts recorded compared to a meager 3 walks.  Wednesday, against the Mets, he gave up only 1 run and 4 hits over 7 innings, a quality start, ye still failed to pick up a win because once again he received less than 3 runs of support.  That was the fifth time in his last six starts…

Gonzalez has been impressive in his brief experience with interleague play, as he has a 1.01 ERA in his 4 starts interleague, yet once again, he didn’t receive the run support to pick up wins.

The A’s send the struggling Javier Vazquez to the mound.  Vazquez is 4-7 on the year with a 6.37 ERA and won his first decision in his last six starts on Tuesday night against the Angels.  Many remember that as short ago as 2009, Vasquez was pitching with an ERA under 3.00 as a member of the Braves.
Some betting trends:

The total has gone UNDER in 6 of the Florida Marlins’ last 7 games and they are 3-22 SU in their last 25 as well.  The Marlins are 0-5 SU in their last 5 road games and the total has gone OVER In 4 of their last 6 games against the Oakland A’s.

Oakland is 1-4 SU in their last 5 games and the total has gone UNDER in all 5 of their last 5 games.  The A’s are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games at home and the total has gone OVER In 4 of the A’s last 6 games against the Marlins.

The line is set nearly even in this Interleague pitcher’s duel.  Actually, it would be a stretch to call it a true pitcher’s duel in light of the fact that the low total has more to do with two horrid offenses that provide their starters with little to no run support.  As I said in the onset of this article, there’s more reasons to bet games than the “sexiness” of the teams involved, and what I was getting to is that Vasquez is struggling and has looked extremely unconfident and rattled in his last couple appearances, even when he DIDN’T have a lot of pressure on him.  He’s just on his way out, probably quicker than most realize.

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