MLB Regular Season: Miami Marlins at Los Angeles Dodgers Series Preview

Rebuilding Marlins Visit Red-Hot Dodgers

It’s tough to find two NHL teams going in more opposite directions right now than the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers, who meet in LA for a three-game series this weekend.

Miami — at 10-26 — has the third-worst record in baseball, just lost a series to the Athletics and traded back-to-back batting champion Luis Arraez to the Padres for a package of minor leaguers over the weekend.

The Dodgers have won 11 of their last 13 NHL games and comfortably swept the Atlanta Braves. No wonder the Marlins vs Dodgers odds heavily favor Los Angeles, which is -265 on the moneyline for Monday’s opener.

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After making the playoffs last season and manager Skip Schumaker winning NL Manager of the Year, the start of the 2024 season has been a disastrous one for Miami prompting president of baseball operations Peter Bendix to trade away Arraez in early May.

He was one of the few Marlins doing well at the plate and now, without him, things are even bleaker for Miami on offense.

They’re in the bottom-third in baseball in most offensive categories and are still without the injured Jake Burger, one of their best run producers. You won’t find any MLB HR leaders on this team.

However, you certainly will find one of them wearing Dodger Blue as Shohei Ohtani clubbed two home runs on Sunday, giving him 10 on the season and tying him with the MLB leaders.

He and the rest of the Los Angeles offense has been humming lately as the Dodgers are first in baseball in average, on-base percentage, OPS and runs scored (and are second in home runs).

It’s just a terrifying group to face and the scariest part is that some of their role players — Chris Taylor, James Outman, Gavin Lux and Kiké Hernández — haven’t hit at all this season despite having good track records.

Marlins logo Marlins vs Dodgers Dodgers logo

Location: Dodger Stadium; Los Angeles, California

Miami’s Pitching Is A Problem

In addition to their offensive issues, the Marlins have one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball from the rotation through the bullpen.

Miami’s starters have the second-worst ERA and third-worst WHIP, HR/9, H/9 and BB/9 in baseball. They’ll also be using young starters Roddery Muñoz, Edward Cabrera and Ryan Weathers this series, none of whom have had sustained success this season — even though Muñoz has been good in two starts.

The Marlins vs Dodgers odds expect the Marlins’ staff to be hit hard.

For as bad as the rotation has been — in large part due to NHL injuries to Jesús Luzardo, Eury Pérez, Braxton Garrett and the prolonged absence of Sandy Alcantara — the Miami bullpen has been just as ineffective.

The Marlins’ relievers are in the bottom-five in a lot of pitching categories. Even a rare bright spot, Miami’s closer Tanner Scott, has been inconsistent and is walking over a batter per inning.

Burch Smith has been solid but once-reliable relievers Anthony Bender and Andrew Nardi are really struggling.

The MLB lines have the run total as a relatively high 8.5 runs because of Miami’s pitching woes.

Despite the Marlins not being a big run-scoring team, the Dodgers’ offensive explosiveness coupled with Miami’s ugly pitching numbers across the board means that the over is a really smart bet. If Los Angeles beat up on a solid Braves staff, just think about what it can do against Miami.

LA’s Lineup Is Stacked

Once the Dodgers signed Ohtani this offseason, the question wasn’t about whether Los Angeles would have an incredible offense because that was a given.

Instead, the question became whether the Dodgers would have a historically good offense. The answer to that is unclear but it’s looking like a definite possibility and the Marlins vs Dodgers odds recognize that.

The 1-2-3 trio of Mookie Betts, Ohtani and Freddie Freeman at the top of the Dodgers’ lineup has been as good as advertised while Will Smith and Teoscar Hernández have been very productive behind that top group.

However, what separates the Dodgers from a team like the Braves or Phillies is what the bottom half of the lineup is able to do.

Early in the NHL season, Los Angeles was a bit too top-heavy and wasn’t getting much from spots six through nine in the lineup. Fortunately for Dave Roberts’ team, that has changed.

Max Muncy has gotten hot and just had a three-homer game over the weekend and Andy Pages — called up to play center field a few weeks ago — has been scorching hot, batting .319 with a 153 OPS+.

Their stellar play extends the Dodgers’ lineup significantly and has allowed Los Angeles to get by with some really bad showings from key depth pieces and with Jason Heyward out (back tightness).

If you want smart free MLB picks, always consider going with the Dodgers to either win straight up or to cover the run line (they’re -125).

Buehler’s Return Will Buoy Dodgers

As if the Dodgers needed any more help, one of their best pitchers — Walker Buehler — will return to the mound for the first time since late 2022 in Monday’s game.

Buehler has had a very long recovery process from Tommy John surgery and getting him back in the fold is a huge boon to an already stacked rotation that has been hit hard by the injury bug.

Buehler will be followed by Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Gavin Stone, who has rebounded a bit after a tough start. The Dodgers will be favored in every game this series, maybe not as much as the -265 moneyline favorites they are too, and with good reason.

Los Angeles should roll over a Marlins team still reeling from the trade of a popular NHL player who is one of the best hitters in baseball.

For NHL betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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