Free Picks: Los Angeles Dodgers vs Miami Marlins

Dodgers vs Marlins Week 15
Los Angeles Dodgers vs Miami Marlins, MLB, loanDepot park

The Los Angeles Dodgers (53-33) will face the Miami Marlins (37-47) for the seventh and final time on Thursday, and that’s probably in the best interest of the reigning champion Dodgers. They haven’t had a very easy time dealing with the Marlins, who sit in last place in the National League East. Among the first five matchups between these teams, three have been decided by just a single run — and Miami has won all three. Still, Los Angeles is hot right now; they’ve won nine of 11 games.

Alcantara aims for better start vs. Dodgers

This year’s season series between the Dodgers and the Marlins has been largely defined by close games. But the last time Sandy Alcantara took the mound to face Los Angeles, the game was anything but close.

On May 14, Alcantara was chased after just 1 1/3 innings, having allowed eight earned runs on seven hits and two walks in a loss. The 25-year-old has done well to put that start — one of the worst of his career — behind him. Since that dreaded day, Alcantara has a 2.04 ERA over nine starts, with seven quality starts in that span.

Can the Dodgers crack Alcantara again, or is there value with the underdogs?

The Marlins are +135 money line underdogs (10Bet) among Thursday’s MLB picks, while the Dodgers stand as -167 money line favorites (10Bet). On the surface, there’s logic to those numbers: The Dodgers are among the league’s best teams this season, after winning the World Series last year, while the Marlins are still well off the playoff pace.

But there are a few interesting trends working in Miami’s favor, and Alcantara is obviously one of those. Yes, the Dodgers torched him when they last met, but he’s been stellar ever since. Especially at home, where he has a 2.61 ERA and a 0.938 WHIP in nine starts.

Miami has also won its past three against the Dodgers, entering Wednesday night. All three of those games were decided by a run, which gives them a bit of a coin-flip feel, but that’s exactly what you want when you’re the underdog. 

Additionally, Dodgers starter Julio Urias (10-3, 3.81 ERA) has struggled lately. His season starts are strong, but he has a 5.11 ERA over his past seven starts. He allowed fewer than three runs only twice in that span, and he only had two quality starts. His lone start against Miami was a disaster (2 1/3 innings, seven runs on seven hits and three walks), but that came back in 2017 so it’s hardly relevant.

We know the Dodgers can hit, evidenced by their .743 OPS (third in NL). And both teams rank inside MLB’s top five in team ERA. In order for the Marlins to hang in, they’ll need to win another low-scoring affair, as they’ve done twice already against Los Angeles this season (including a 10-inning, 2-1 win on Tuesday).

One bad start by Alcantara will not deter us from choosing them here for our BetPicks prediction. As long as he keeps up with his recent production, the Marlins will have a chance to let bettors cash in on a pretty lucrative money line play.

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  • Los Angeles is 4-6 on the money line in its past 10
  • The UNDER has cashed in seven of the Dodgers’ past 10 games
  • Miami is 5-5 on the money line in its past 10
  • The UNDER has cashed in seven of the Marlins’ past nine games

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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University).