MLB Thursday Preview: Marlins at Phillies, Indians at Astros

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

April 25th, 2019

Miami Marlins (7-17) at Philadelphia Phillies (13-11), 7:05 p.m. ET

Caleb Smith (2-0, 2.35 ERA) (MIA) +175 / +1.5 runs (-125) / Over 7.5 runs (-105) Aaron Nola (2-0, 6.84 ERA) (PHI) -195 / -1.5 runs (+105) / Under 7.5 runs (-115)

The Marlins and Phillies are both struggling on offense as they prepare to meet at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday night, so bettors should give serious consideration to the Under in this spot.

Caleb Smith was sharp against the Phillies on April 13, when he permitted just one hit and three walks in six innings. Philadelphia's hitters have plated just 24 runs in their last eight games.

Aaron Nola certainly hasn't lived up to expectations in his first four starts after an exceptional 2018 season, but he faces a dreadful Miami lineup that is last in baseball in runs per game at 2.71. Nola was 1-1 in three starts against the Marlins last year with a 1.86 ERA and a .205 batting average against.

The Under has cashed in eight of Miami's last nine road games, while the Phillies' Over/Under record in their last eight contests is 1-6-1.

MLB Free Play: Under

Cleveland Indians (13-10) at Houston Astros (15-9), 8:10 p.m. ET

Trevor Bauer (2-1, 2.20 ERA) (CLE) +140 / +1.5 runs (-155) / Over 7.5 runs (-110) Gerrit Cole (1-3, 5.22 ERA) (HOU) -155 / -1.5 runs (+130) / Under 7.5 runs (-110)

The Indians and Astros have two of the best pitching staffs in the American League, so expect few runs to come across at Minute Maid Park.

Trevor Bauer has kept the competition guessing in 2019, pitching to a 3.23 strikeout/walk ratio and a 0.980 WHIP. According to Covers.com the Under is 6-2 in Houston's last eight games against a starter with a WHIP below 1.150.

Gerrit Cole's ERA shot up significantly when the Rangers rocked him in Texas on Saturday (eight runs in 4 1/3 innings), but he still sports a 4.89 SO/W ratio on the season with a 2.81 FIP (fielding-independent pitching).

Backing these starters are the two best bullpens in the AL, as Houston's is ranked first in ERA (2.96), while Cleveland's is second (3.58).

MLB Free Play: Under