Jesús Luzardo hopes to continue his spectacular start to the season as the Marlins square off with the Phillies today. Through two starts, Luzardo has allowed just one run and seven hits to go with 15 strikeouts in 12.2 innings as he's looked like one of the NL's best pitchers thus far.
He's countered by Aaron Nola, who has been among the league's top arms for years despite a shaky start to his 2023 campaign. He's got a 7.45 ERA after two outings, though he was sharp in his last start and limited the Yankees to three runs over six innings.
With two excellent pitchers, we've got a doozy in store. Nonetheless, I see value in backing Luzardo and don't think the betting markets have caught up to him yet.
Let's take a look at the odds before I explain why I'm betting on the Marlins as road underdogs.
Marlins vs. Phillies Odds, Run Line, and Total
Marlins vs. Phillies Prediction and Pick
Luzardo enjoyed a mini-breakout last season with a 3.12 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) and seems to have gotten even better to start this season. He's a pitcher I'll look to back every chance I get, especially as an underdog, and I love the value on Miami today as a result.
He looks virtually unhittable so far this year, shutting down the high-powered offenses of both the Mets and Twins. Philadelphia struggles against left-handed pitching, ranking just 24th in OPS against southpaws (.658), and the Phillies' offense is reeling from the influx of injuries it suffered to begin the year.
As if those factors weren't enough, Aaron Nola doesn't look quite right. He's in only the 14th percentile in Whiff percentage (compared to 94th for Luzardo) and 24th in fastball velocity, both sizable declines from the last few seasons. Dating back to last year, the Phillies lost four of Nola's last six starts and I think Miami is in a great spot to steal a win.
I'd play Miami down to +110, so getting +135 odds on them is a lovely proposition indeed. Take advantage of Luzardo's rise before oddsmakers catch on and lock the Marlins in on the moneyline.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.