The Boston Red Sox will look to snap a rare three-game losing streak when they host the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night. The two teams will play just a quick two-game series this week. The Red Sox are listed as -240 to beat the Marlins on Tuesday.
Over the weekend, Boston got swept in a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. During those three games, they were outscored 24-5. The Red Sox have seen their lead in the AL East shrink to 6.5 games, which remains a comfortable lead but not quite as big as it was a few weeks ago.
The Marlins, of course, are last in the NL East and have the second-fewest wins in the National League. That being said, Miami is far better than most people projected heading into the season. The Marlins have also been rather pesky recently, going 5-5 in their last 10 games, so they are no pushover.
Back from Suspension
Jose Urena will start for the Marlins on Tuesday in his first start since serving his six-game suspension for throwing at Ronald Acuna. Of course, Urena actually made a start before dropping his appeal and serving the suspension. In that start, Urena threw a complete game, allowing just one run on two hits against the Nationals. However, that start came nine days ago, so who knows if Urena will be a little rusty after the layoff.
It’s also important to note that Urena will be facing one of the most potent lineups in baseball. Obviously, Boston’s lineup had a rough weekend in Tampa and can be vulnerable against elite pitching just like any other team. Despite the team’s struggles against the Rays, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts continue to play well. However, keep in mind that Arena allowed one run over seven innings against the Red Sox back in April, so he’s had his way against this lineup before.
Back to Earth
The Red Sox will send lefty Brian Johnson to the mound on Tuesday. Johnson has been a good placeholder in the back end of Boston’s rotation, but his performance has started to drop off over the past month. In four starts and one relief appearance in August, Johnson has a 5.87 ERA. He’s given up six runs on 10 hits over 10 innings in his last two starts. He doesn’t have lights-out stuff, so teams with a good approach can do damage against him.
Obviously, the Marlins have a young lineup that a crafty lefty like Johnson may be able to out-think. Most of Miami’s hitters are also mired in a slump. But with a day off on Monday, the Marlins should be well-rested and ready to go on Tuesday, so perhaps they can start to break out of their team-wide slump.
Smells Like Fish
Obviously, the Red Sox are more likely to win this game. However, there is value in picking the underdog Marlins. Also, Urena is more likely to throw a gem than Johnson. Of course, the Red Sox are more likely to put up big offensive numbers. However, go where there’s value and bet on the Marlins +240 to beat the Red Sox on Tuesday.