Marlins vs Nationals Picks and Odds


Anibal Sanchez delivers pitch

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.

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.

COVID Comeback

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.

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

Player AB HR RBI AVG
Jesus Aguilar 2 0 0 .000
Jorge Alfaro 12 0 0 .083
Brian Anderson 5 0 .200
Jon Berti 5 0 2 .200
Lewis Brinson 4 0 0 .250
Francisco Cervelli 8 0 0 .125
Corey Dickerson 5 0 1 .400
Logan Forsythe 6 0 3 .500
Matt Joyce 10 0 1 .000
Miguel Rojas 11 1 2 .273
Jesus Sanchez 0 0 0 .000
Magneuris Sierra 4 0 0 .250
Jonathan Villar 3 0 0 .333

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.

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

Player AB HR RBI AVG
Asdrubal Cabrera 0 0 0 .000
Wilmer Difo 0 0 0 .000
Adam Eaton 0 0 0 .000
Luis Garcia 0 0 0 .000
Yan Gomes 0 0 0 .000
Josh Harrison 0 0 0 .000
Howie Kendrick 0 0 0 .000
Carter Kieboom 0 0 0 .000
Victor Robles 0 0 0 .000
Juan Soto 0 0 0 .000
Kurt Suzuki 0 0 0 .000
Michael A Taylor 0 0 0 .000
Eric Thames 0 0 0 .000
Trea Turner 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.

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).

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Robert Duff

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