Miami Marlins vs. New York Yankees Pick 9/25/20
Miami Marlins (28-29) vs. New York Yankees (32-25)
When: 7 p.m., Friday, September 25
Where: Yankee Stadium, New York
Starting Pitchers: Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 3.12 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) vs. J.A. Happ (2-2, 3.25 ERA, 1.06 WHIP)
Moneyline: MIA +180/NYY -210 (BetOnline - Awesome Live Betting!)
Runline: Marlins +1.5/Yankees -1.5
Getting His Act Together
Quietly, J.A. Happ has become a reliable option for the Yankees, as he has held four of his past five opponents to two runs or less and has been excellent at Yankee Stadium, giving up just four runs in his past 17 innings in the Bronx. The under has hit in each of his past three starts in the Bronx (can’t say in New York, because the one exception in the past five came against the Mets in Queens), and Happ even held the hard-hitting Blue Jays to two runs in Buffalo, one of the more challenging feats to do this season.
At 37 years old, Happ isn’t going to overpower anyone at all, but he’s a smart hurler who will not beat himself. But the Marlins do hit lefties pretty well, batting .271 against southpaws. Happ will need to force Miami to get itself out if he’s going to get another victory.
Right Man for the Job
One of the reasons that the surprising Marlins are in a playoff spot is their pitching, and now they send Sandy Alcantara to the mound to try to help them nail down their trip to the postseason. Alcantara has done a fine job in his past four starts, going six innings each time and giving up just one run in three of his past four trips to the mound. Even in the one start where things didn’t go so well, it wasn’t really Alcantara’s fault. His defense let him down with three unearned runs, and his offense bailed him out anyway in a 7-6 win.
Alcantara is the right man for the job in this case because the game’s being played at Yankee Stadium, which has notoriously played small in the past, especially with the Yankees’ power. But Alcantara is a ground ball pitcher and usually gets at least twice as many ground balls as he does fly balls. He’s not a power pitcher, but if you can get New York to hit the ball on the ground, you don’t have to overpower their lineup. The Yankees are only average on the basepaths, so if Alcantara can force the Yankees to ground into outs and hit singles instead of doubles or home runs when they do get on base, he’ll have the upper hand.
End of the Line
These teams clearly have different mindsets right now, as the Yankees clearly have their minds squarely focused on setting up their rotation to use in the three-game playoff sprint. They already threw Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka against the Blue Jays in order to make sure they would be fresh for the first round, and even though Happ has pitched well for the Yankees, New York clearly won’t be counting on him for anything more than bullpen work in the playoffs.
The Marlins can’t do that because they’ve not clinched. However, Miami is in a solid position. All the Marlins need to do is better the result of the Phillies over the weekend because Miami won the season series, which means they qualify over Philadelphia in the year of no tiebreakers. A win coupled with a Phillies loss to Tampa Bay would be enough to put Miami in the playoffs without worrying about the wild card or about Saturday and Sunday.
- The Marlins are 2-4 in their past six as an underdog.
- The Marlins are 4-12 in their past 16 against a left-handed starter.
- The Yankees are 6-1 in their past seven interleague home games against a team above .550.
- The Yankees are 58-20 in their past 78 home games.
- The Royals are 5-1 in their past six interleague home games.
- The over is 5-0 in the Marlins’ past five interleague road games.
- The over is 4-0 in the Yankees’ past four games.
- The over is 7-0 in the Marlins’ past seven against a left-handed starte.
- The over is 4-1 in the teams’ past five meetings.
The wind will be blowing toward the third base dugout, as a breeze of eight miles an hour will head south-southeast. Temperatures are expected to be at 74 degrees at first pitch.
It would be very appropriate for the Marlins to clinch in Yankee Stadium, which sits next door to the stadium where they won their most recent playoff game back in 2003. Plus, the Marlins are led by manager Don Mattingly and CEO Derek Jeter, two beloved ex-Yankees.
But New York is outstanding at home and still has a lot to play for. With some help from the Cubs, the Yankees can still catch the White Sox or Twins and get to host Chicago or Minnesota, a home edge that would be huge in such a series. They might have one eye on the playoffs, but the guys they have in the lineup will play hard to try to get those three games played so that they can host the first three games. I’ve got to take the Yankees to delay the Marlins’ celebration by a day. Bet this week’s picks for FREE by depositing $100 to $300 and receiving a dollar for dollar matching bonus at MyBookie!