Florida Marlins vs. New York Mets Preview and Pick – Nate Robertson vs. Jonathon Niese – Betting Odds

Florida Marlins (1-1) Nate Robertson, at New York Mets (1-1)
Jonathon Niese, Citi Field, New York, N.Y., 7:10 PM EST, Thursday,
April 8th, 2010

by Badger of Predictem.com

Betting Line: Marlins +100/Mets -110
Total: 9

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A pair of southpaws will toe the rubber at Citi Field Thursday night, with both of them looking to get their team an opening season series victory when the Florida Marlins and New York Mets get together for the third and deciding game.

The Marlins will turn to newly acquired lefty Nate Robertson, who
they received from the Detroit Tigers only a few shorts weeks ago at
the end of spring training. Hell take his first turn in the rotation
tonight against the Mets young lefty Jonathon Niese, who will try and
prove his spot in the Mets rotation is not temporary.

Both pitchers will be pitching for the series win since the Marlins
survived a late comeback attempt from the Mets in last nights game,
7-6. The Marlins big three of Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla and Jorge
Cantu all homered and Tim Wood earned his first career save with a
perfect ninth after the Mets rallied for three runs in the 8th to
close the gap to one.

The Mets are hoping Niese can match the performance of their other southpaw in the rotation, Johan Santana, who pitched the Mets to
their 7-1 opening season win on Monday.

Oddsmakers are giving the Mets and Niese the benefit of homefield
advantage, as he is listed as a slight -110 favorite on the moneyline
at most sportsbooks with a few giving him a -115 odds. If you bet on
the dimeline, you can get the Marlins and Robertson at even money,
instead of paying the -105 most place are making you pay for playing
the dog.

The over/under total opened at 9 and has held firm at a majority of
the offshore sportsbooks. As of press time 5Dimes is listing the total at 8 on their board, but it comes with large -163 odds.

If youre looking to gain some insight on this game by breaking down
the starting pitchers, good luck there. Robertson has spent almost
all but a few games in the American League, and Niese is so young
that hes still writing the book on himself, so you wont be spending
much time.

In fact, Niese hasnt even made a start in April before tonight. His
two starts in May (14 H, 7 R, 10.2 IP, 1.5 WHIP, .412 BAbip) werent
very good, so its hard to say hes a slow starter. Even his history
at Citi Field (4 GS, 23 H, 11 R, 1.607 WHIP, 18.2 IP) is sketchy, so
if you think youve got a good read on the young lefty than youre a
better man than me.

Robertson has a respectable history in April going just 7-9 in 23 starts, but hes pitched well with solid numbers like his 4.69 ERA, .
332 OBP and 1.389 WHIP. Hes also made one start against the Mets
back in Shea in interleague play with the Tigers, tossing a gem over
7.2 innings allowing just 4 hits and 2 runs.

If youre looking for a betting trend to follow, the best one may be
the over. The over is 4-0 in the last four head-to-head between these
teams, is 9-2 in Floridas last 11 games as underdogs, and is 3-1-1
in Nieses last five starts in Citi.

Badgers Pick: Im not sure theres much value on either pitcher for
a side bet in this game. Id lean to the experienced Robertson here,
but Id like to see him get a few National League starts under his
belt before I wager on him. Unless he pitches another 4-hit, 2-run
gem like last time against the Mets, Im thinking this game goes over
by the 9th. Take the over of 9 if you wager.