Shane Lambert looks at the National League East in Baseball and he thinks that the Miami Marlins are very good value to make a second half of season surge.
The Miami Marlins have played themselves back into contention in the NL East. Entering Friday's games Miami were just 4.5 games back of the Washington Nationals, still with over 65 games to go in the regular season. The Marlins' surge follows a recent period of success for Miami that included a 9-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.
The Marlins are now 8-2 in their last 10 outings while the Nationals have gone 6-4 over the same stretch. Both teams have distanced themselves from the other teams in the NL East recently. For instance, the Phillies and the New York Mets both went 4-6 in their last ten games entering Friday, results that have sunk them in the standings. Atlanta also went 4-6 in their last 10, however the Braves have been out of the picture basically since April.
For betting odds, the Marlins are seeing their prices slashed in futures markets. For instance, bet365 already took Miami down to 15/2 to win the NL East. Those odds still look worthy of a gamble even if you took Washington earlier in the season. In that case, it could act as an insurance bet with Coral (8/1) and Marathon Bet (9/1) still providing longer odds at time of writing.
One player that has been effective for Miami on offense is Giancarlo Stanton. His OPS on the season as a whole is .812 however over the last month he has appeared in 22 games. During that time he posted a 1.006 OPS with seven homeruns factoring into that stat.
An improved pitcher of late is lefty Adam Conley. He has a 3.61 ERA on the season as a whole, but in the last month he went 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA in five starts.
In other markets besides the pennant race, Miami remain pretty long. For instance they are 20/1 with 888Sport to win the NLCS. They are 40/1 with the same firm to win the World Series. If the playoffs started today then Miami would be the 2nd Wild Card so they are clearly contenders for the playoffs.
However, it is important to note that Miami are surging behind a winning rate that Major League Baseball teams do not keep up over the long term. Washington, the team Miami are chasing, have not really played poorly either. For that reason, only a mild bet in favour of Miami seems to be in order.
1.5-pt bet on Miami to win the NL East at 8/1 with Coral
1.5-pt bet on Miami to win the NLCS at 20/1 with 888Sport