The Miami Marlins did it again on Monday, bouncing back from a weekend sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves by rallying for a 5-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals — running their record in one-run games to a whopping 20-5. The two teams will meet again in a Fourth of July matinee on Tuesday, with first pitch set for 1:05 p.m. ET from loanDepot Park in Miami. This is a pretty lopsided pitching matchup on paper, as the struggling Adam Wainwright (3-3, 7.45 ERA) squares off against red-hot Marlins lefty Jesus Luzardo (6-5, 3.53).
Miami enters as -175 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Cardinals the +150 underdogs. The run total is set at 8.5.
Cardinals-Marlins picks: Tuesday, July 4
Out: RP Drew VerHagen (hip), SP Jake Woodford (shoulder), RP Ryan Helsley (forearm), RP Packy Naughton (elbow), OF Tyler O’Neill (back), RP Wilking Rodriguez (shoulder)
Day to day: RP Matt Barnes (hip)
Out: OF Jazz Chisholm (oblique), RP Sean Nolin (undisclosed), RP Tommy Nance (shoulder), SP Edward Cabrera (shoulder), SP Johnny Cueto (biceps), SP Max Meyer (elbow), SP Trevor Rogers (shoulder), OF Avisail Garcia (back), RP Anthony Bender (elbow)
Adam Wainwright vs. Jesus Luzardo
You have to admire Wainwright for trying to gut it out in his age-41 season, even after suffering an injury during the World Baseball Classic in the spring, but it seems increasingly clear that the Cardinals legend just doesn’t have it anymore. Wainwright has given up a whopping 13 runs on 17 hits and four walks across just 4.2 innings over his last two starts, and his expected batting average, expected slugging percentage and K rate all rank in the bottom one percent of all starters. He’s down to averaging just 87 mph on his fastball, and hitters are teeing off on just about everything — even his famed curveball.
Luzardo, on the other hand, closed the month of June on a heater. The lefty has put up four quality starts in his last five appearances, and over his last three outings he’s given up just two runs while striking out 23 in 19.1 innings. He has a 3.43 ERA with a sub 1.00 WHIP and 30% strikeout rate since May 9, and his slider has emerged as one of the very best in baseball — carrying a .229 average against and a monster 51.6% whiff ratee. He’s long had the talent, and his command has finally allowed him to unlock it.
With how Wainwright’s been pitching, the Marlins have a chance to clear this number all by themselves. Luzardo is pitching as well as anyone right now, but the Cardinals are sixth in baseball in OPS against lefties over the last two weeks — and with plenty of quality righties in their lineup like Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Jordan Walker, I expect St. Louis to do enough for the over to hit.
Pick: Over 8.5
Yeah, there’s just no way you can trust Wainwright in this spot, no matter how juicy the odds are. The gap between Waino and Luzardo is gigantic, while the Cardinals lineup and bullpen continue to underperform. I’m not sure how Miami keeps doing it, but I’m backing them again on Tuesday.