BettorIQ’s MLB Preview: Miami Marlins
BettorIQ continues with its 2020 MLB betting previews. We will be breaking down all 30 teams from a betting perspective leading up to the start of the season.
2019 Record: 57-105
2019 Profits: -14.7 units
2020 Win Total: 24.5
2020 Odds to Win NL East: +8500
2020 Odds to Win NL Pennant: +15000
2020 Odds to Win World Series: +30000
Betting Positives: If you believe in Year 3 being the season to cash in on a rebuild, the Marlins are a perfect candidate. The youth is a year older, most notably budding third baseman Brian Anderson, catcher Jorge Alfaro, and an entire starting rotation of sub-30-year-old arms. And unlike last year with Curtis Granderson, Neil Walker, and Martin Pardo (899 at-bats, -1.3 WAR combined), 2020’s crop of newly acquired veterans should be able to produce with Corey Dickerson, Jonathan Villar, Francisco Cervelli, and Jesus Aguilar. The roster still reeks of the organization’s seemingly never-ending effort to “rebuild” but it’s reasonable to think .400 baseball can be played. There’s also talent on the way with five top 100 prospects including Sixto Sanchez who is being compared to a younger version of Pedro Martinez. And when you’re 85-1 to win a five-team division in a 60-game season, a team’s betting value won’t exactly be lacking.
Betting Negatives: It’s hard to ignore the schedule. Eight games against Baltimore and Toronto represent the only series against teams pegged to finish below .500. Of the top eight teams on 5Dimes’ World Series futures board, five are on Miami’s schedule and those five account for 65% of the games. There’s two schools of thought regarding such a short season: One, everyone is “live” and a some “little engine that could” team is going to take advantage of the unique format, cash a bunch of plus-price tickets, and ride it to an improbable postseason berth. The second is everyone — at least initially — is going to have the pedal to the floor meaning no opponent and/or series will be taken lightly. The Marlins are talking a good game about this year’s approach, but even with an upgraded roster, going less than 7-3 against the Fish could severely damage a team’s hopes of an NL East title.
Handicapper’s Take: Bettors will have three options with the Marlins. One is lay big prices when betting against which given the market’s recent history should be considered. Next is try to get creative when betting on. Team totals, run-lines (+1.5 remains an underrated approach to betting MLB), or the occasional traditional plus-price on the moneyline when the opposition is light on bullpen arms. Most common will be situations in which bettors will simply have to “pass.” Value or no value, this is still an organization that has spent the better part of the last decade selling off key pieces and actively trying NOT to win. Sure, the roster looks stronger than 2019’s but even exceeding expectations (24.5 wins) doesn’t guarantee bettors will be able to reap its benefits.