The Detroit Tigers and Miami Marlins play one of the two afternoon matchups on Saturday, but only one of these teams truly has playoff hopes.
Miami made a big move this week, trading for New York Mets closer David Robertson to bolster its bullpen for a playoff push. The Marlins enter this game tied with the San Francisco Giants for the final wild card spot in the National League.
Meanwhile, Detroit is on a four-game losing streak and 12 games out of the final wild card spot in the American League.
The Tigers are going with a bullpen game on Saturday, starting Beau Brieske (0-0, 4.76 ERA) as the opener. Brieske has a Fielding Independent Pitching of 2.05 on the season, so he could be due for some positive regression, even though he’s only going to pitch a short amount in this game.
Johnny Cueto (0-1, 4.50 ERA) is making his fourth appearance and third start of the season for Miami.
Let’s dive into the odds and my best bet for July 29:
Tigers vs. Marlins odds, run line and total
Tigers vs. Marlins prediction and pick
Cueto hasn’t been great this season if you just look at his numbers, but there also hasn’t been much to base his performance off of. The Marlins righty has pitched well this month, allowing just three hits and one earned run in nine innings of work.
I’m going to look more at that than his season-long numbers which are certainly inflated by giving up four earned runs in one inning during an April matchup.
Neither of these teams have an elite offense, but I do think there is one unit to fade in this game.
While Brieske’s FIP has been solid in 2023, I don’t trust this Detroit bullpen as a whole to win this game.
The Tigers are 22nd in Major League Baseball in bullpen ERA (4.22), and now they have to rely on it heavily on Saturday.
With Cueto pitching well this month and the Marlins bolstering their roster with Robertson, I’ll take Miami to win this game outright.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.