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All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
- The Pick: Marlins (-110)
- Key trend: The Marlins have won three of the last four meetings against the Cardinals.
The second half of the season didn't exactly get off to a banner start for the Marlins as they were swept by the Orioles over the weekend. Still, this is a team that is in the thick of the National League playoff race. For that reason, I'm backing them against a Cards team that has seen their fair share of struggles this season.
The Marlins dropped two games against the Orioles by just one run, which is impressive considering the Orioles have been one of the top teams in the majors on the year. Miami has been an offensive juggernaut as they rank third in hits and fourth in batting average (.264).
From an offensive standpoint, the biggest story has been the ridiculous season that shortstop Luis Arraez has put together at the plate; he's posted a mind-boggling .380 batting average. There hasn't been a player that has hit .400 in a season since Red Sox legend Ted Williams hit .406 during the 1941 campaign. Arraez certainly is within striking distance of accomplishing that feat.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals did win two games coming out of the All-Star break, but they came against the lowly Nationals. St. Louis' pitching has been downright brutal this year (4.56 team ERA). Monday's starting pitcher, Miles Mikolas, may be the innings leader, but he's been consistently hit around recently. Mikolas has yielded at least four earned runs in four of his last seven starts. I'm counting on Mikolas to struggle against when facing a dangerous Marlins lineup.
💰 More MLB picks
Dodgers at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. | Watch live: MLB.tv
- The Pick: Over 9.5 (-105)
- Key trend: The over is 12-9 in the Orioles last 21 games.
Two of the top teams in the majors battle Monday when the Orioles host the Dodgers. There should be plenty of runs scored between these two squads given they are two of the most lethal offenses around. The Dodgers rank fourth in runs scored, while the Orioles aren't far behind with the seventh-most runs in all of baseball.
When it comes to the over, it has hit in nine of the Dodgers' last 14 games, including in each of their last five contests against AL teams. Los Angeles has slugged the second-most home runs in the majors, including having three players that have connected on at least 20 home runs on the year.
While the Orioles may not be at the top of the MLB, they still smash their fair share of homers. Baltimore has belted 112 dingers on the year, good for 12th in the majors. The Orioles are coming off of a series in which they blasted five home runs against the Marlins, including three in Friday's 5-2 win. Orioles starting pitcher Grayson Rodriguez has struggled mightily this season as he's posted a 7.35 ERA. In addition, Rodriguez has surrendered at least eight earned runs in two of his last three outings. In other words, let's count on the over to clear in this one.
Marlins at Cardinals, 7:45 p.m. | Watch live: MLB.tv
- The Pick: Jesus Luzardo Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+110)
- Key trend: Luzardo has registered at least seven strikeouts in four of his last five starts.
As mentioned, the Marlins are the play in this spot. As impressive as Miami's offense has been recently, the pitching matchup really favors the Marlins when it comes to Monday's game.
Miamipitcher Jesus Luzardo is easily in the midst of the best season of his young career. He sits 8-5 with a rock-solid 3.29 ERA, but strikeouts have been his friend this year. Luzardo has been a strikeout machine with at least seven punch-outs in nine of his last 11 starts, including each of his last four. The Cardinals are in the middle of the pack in the majors in terms of striking out, but Luzardo simply has electric stuff. He should clear this number with ease.