The Washington Nationals are -175 favorites to beat the Miami Marlins on Sunday, even though Nats starter Anibal Sanchez is winless on the season. Photo by: @federalbaseball (Twitter.com).
- Sending Anibal Sanchez (0-3) to the hill on Sunday, the Washington Nationals are -175 favorites to win over the Miami Marlins
- The Marlins (+148) will counter with Humberto Mejia (0-1)
- Read below for odds, analysis and our best bet
The Washington Nationals haven’t got much this season out of Anibal Sanchez. The Miami Marlins are receiving even less from Humberto Mejia.
Those will be the starting pitchers on Sunday (12:35pm ET) at Nationals Park as the Marlins and Nats close out a four-game series.
Evidently, when all else is failing, go with experience. That’s the approach the sportsbooks are taking to this match of winless starters. Sanchez is 0-3, while Mejia is 0-1.
Still, the oddsmakers are strongly backing Washington at -175 in the Marlins vs Nationals odds. Sanchez is a 15-season MLB veteran who won 11 games last season for the World Series champions. He was the AL ERA leader in 2013 (2.57).
Mejia, 23, will be making his third big-league start for the Marlins (+148).
Marlins vs Nationals Odds – Aug. 23
|Team||Moneyline||Runline||Total at DraftKings|
|Miami Marlins||+148||+1.5 (-137)||O 10.0 (-107)|
|Washington Nationals||-175||-1.5 (-117)||U 10.0 (-114)|
Odds as of Aug. 20.
Both Washington and Miami are 1-2 on Sundays this season.
Nationals Starters Not Pitching In
Winners of four NL East titles, an NLCS and a World Series since 2012, starting pitching was a huge key to Washington’s success story.
This season, starting pitching is a big reason why the Nats are struggling. Washington starters are a combined 5-10. Steven Strasburg (hand surgery) is done this season.
Stephen Strasburg’s season is over. The 2019 World Series MVP. Tough news. Nats really need Anibal Sanchez to turn things around now. https://t.co/U8FeL3kDNt
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) August 22, 2020
Sanchez has given up six hits or three earned runs in every game. He’s served up a team-high five home runs. Opponents are batting .349 against him.
However, he’s 3-2 with a 3.35 ERA in eight career starts against Miami.
The Marlins were the first MLB team impacted by a COVID-19 outbreak. Several players were sidelined.
Shortstop Miguel Rojas, out since July 26 battling the virus, returned Friday in grand style.
Miguel Rojas’s 3-R HR in his first at bat back from COVID. #JuntosMiami pic.twitter.com/deDu3tZcx0
— Tyler Wilson (@KingOfBuffalo) August 21, 2020
He crushed a three-run homer in his first at-bat.
That provided all of Miami’s runs in a 3-2 victory over the Nationals.
Sanchez Seeks Answers
The Nationals, trying to change the path that Sanchez finds himself on, are experimenting with changing his workout regimen between starts. They are shortening the number of times he throws between starts to just once.
When he’s successful, Sanchez is attacking the lower area of the strike zone with his pitches. That isn’t happening this season, as evidenced by his 8.50 ERA.
Sanchez has allowed 17 earned runs in 19 innings. He’s surrendered 29 hits while walking nine batters, leading to a horrific WHIP of 2.111.
Marlins Career Stats vs Sanchez
The veteran righthander has victimized himself with high early pitch counts. For instance, during the third inning of his last start against the Atlanta Braves, Sanchez delivered 34 pitches.
All things considered, 5 innings of 3-run ball tonight from Aníbal Sánchez was a positive result.
— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) August 18, 2020
Sanchez, who finished with 99 pitches in five innings, believes he found a hitch in his mechanics that he’s since corrected. He allowed a season-low three earned runs to the Braves, reducing his ERA from its pre-game mark of 9.69.
Mejia Just Meh
In both of his first two big-league trips to the hill, Mejia failed to deliver a quality start. Both of those starts came against the New York Mets.
His Aug. 7 debut was brief, but solid. Mejia allowed one run on two hits and two walks over 2.1 innings. He struck out six batters.
Nationals Career Stats vs Mejia
|Michael A Taylor||0||0||0||.000|
The Marlins returned him to their alternate training site. However, Mejia was recalled to make his second start against the Mets on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old righthander wasn’t as successful the second time around. The Mets touched Mejia for three runs on four hits and two walks over four innings, including a pair of home runs.
First Humberto Mejía strikeout victim of the night is Robinson Canó, who’s been one of the hottest hitters in the league. pic.twitter.com/EUzu4YZMZQ
— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) August 19, 2020
He took the loss in an 8-3 setback.
He relies on a 92-94 mph fastball but Mejia effectively mixes in a curveball, slider and changeup as part of his repertoire.
Pick: Washington Nationals (-175).
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.