#954 Miami Marlins (Smith) + over Arizona Diamondbacks (Kelly) 6:10 PM CT
There is a lot to like about Caleb Smith’s season line for the Marlins as the former Yankees draft pick has a 3.30 ERA in 90 innings. His 11.0 K/9 would be one of the top marks in the NL if he qualified and having a winning record pitching for the NL’s worst team is no small feat. Take away a disastrous start to the season the Marlins have been fairly competitive however, going 30-32 since mid-May and they enter this series finale having won four of the past five games, beating Arizona both Friday and Sunday. A big part of the turnaround has been consistent starting pitching with longer outings boosting the bullpen as the offense remains limited. Arizona prefers to face left-handers but facing a lefty of Smith’s caliber isn’t a routine assignment. At exactly .500 the Diamondbacks will be worth monitoring as the trade deadline approaches as this team was a buyer last season before a September crash and again going all-in for a shot a wild card game in a crowded NL picture isn’t likely. Arizona is 15-19 since mid-June and the lineup has been ice cold hitting .209 the past five games with a .633 OPS. 30-year-old rookie Merrill Kelly has provided average results this season and he has struggled on the road with a 4.68 ERA. Kelly has zero wins in his past seven starts and can be vulnerable to the home run. Arizona has a 5.19 ERA in the bullpen the past 10 games as well as the Diamondbacks look like a risky favorite on the road Monday night.
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