Thursday Night Baseball on MLB Network Picks

Regional action on MLB Network will focus on the National League as the Arizona Diamondbacks begin a series with the Miami Marlins and the Washington Nationals look for a sweep of the New York Mets.

Matchup: Arizona Diamondbacks at Miami Marlins

Date/Time: August 14, 7:10 p.m. ET

TV: MLB Network

MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook

Probable Starters: ARI: Chase Anderson (7-4, 3.06) v. MIA: Brad Penny (1-0, 1.80)

Moneyline: Miami -125

Total: 8 -105/-105

There’s a nine-year age difference between Thursday’s starters as Chase Anderson will take on Brad Penny. Anderson is enjoying success in his first year in the Major Leagues, while Penny is trying to become a Major League fixture again after going 34 months between starts. The Marlins were shut down by Justin Masterson in Wednesday’s series finale against the Cardinals, while the Diamondbacks split a doubleheader with the Indians, dropping the first game 3-2 and won the second game 1-0 in 12 innings. The Diamondbacks didn’t get into Miami until almost 4 a.m. local time.

Since allowing five runs in 5.1 innings in his second career Major League start, Chase Anderson has been a pleasant surprise in a terrible year for the Diamondbacks. In his last 12 starts, Anderson has a 2.75 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 68.2 innings of work. Anderson’s been on quite a roll with three straight starts allowing just one run. In each of those games, Anderson allowed a solo home run. He’s allowed just 12 hits over his last 19 innings with 17 strikeouts. The Diamondbacks have won four of Anderson’s last five starts.

Brad Penny made his first start since September 25, 2011 on August 9. He wasn’t great, but he was good enough to pick up the victory by lasting five innings with just one earned run allowed against the Reds. Penny rekindled his career by starting in Single-A Jupiter and he made two starts there before moving up to Triple-A New Orleans. He was 2-2 with a 2.28 ERA in 27.2 innings with 26 strikeouts. Penny was originally signed by the Royals in January, but was released early in Spring Training.

Anderson has a win over the Marlins this season, throwing six innings of one-run ball on July 7. He struck out eight over six innings. Anderson is just 2-2 in five road starts, but has a 2.67 ERA compared to a 3.27 in nine home starts. The Diamondbacks are 9-5 in Anderson’s 14 starts for a profit of 5.27 units.

Penny has had a lot of success in his career against the Diamondbacks with a 10-3 record and a 1.97 ERA. He made four relief appearances against them in 2012 and did not allow a run. Current Diamondbacks have a sample size of 50 plate appearances against Penny with a .265/.280/.429 slash line. The Marlins are 1-0 for a profit of 1.29 units in Penny’s starts.

Free MLB Pick: Miami

The Diamondbacks are playing around .500 since their awful start, but Wednesday was definitely a very long day for the team as they had to play a doubleheader against the Indians. Anderson has been strong, but the Diamondbacks offense has seriously struggled over the last week and Penny has to rely on his craftiness to be effective.

Matchup: Washington Nationals at New York Mets

Date/Time: August 14, 7:10 p.m. ET

TV: MLB Network

MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook

Probable Starters: WSH: Stephen Strasburg (8-10, 3.68) v. NYM: Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.54)

Moneyline: Washington -150

Total: 7 100/-110

The Washington Nationals have been able to put some distance between themselves and the Atlanta Braves of late and they should have a good chance to gain some more with Stephen Strasburg on the hill. The Mets have lost eight out of 13 in the month of August, while the Nationals are now 7-5 this month. Wednesday’s 3-2 win for the Nationals gave them the chance to complete the sweep on Thursday.

Stephen Strasburg has deserved a much better fate this season. He’s just 8-10 with a 3.68 ERA. His 3.00 FIP points to some bad luck and he leads the National League in strikeouts with 186. Strasburg entered his last start with a 3.39 ERA, but he allowed seven runs in five innings to the Atlanta Braves to bump it up to 3.68. Strasburg will be looking for a bounce back in this start.

Dillon Gee missed two months from May 10 to July 9 with an arm injury. Since his return, Gee has a 4.71 ERA in six starts. Run support has been hard to come by for Gee as the Mets have scored just 3.13 runs per game worth of support for Gee. Eleven of Gee’s 35 runs have come in two of his 12 starts as he struggled in back-to-back outings against the Brewers and Phillies to wrap up the month of June.

Strasburg is 2-1 in six previous starts against the Mets with an ERA of 2.70. Strasburg faced the Mets in his first start of the season and allowed four runs over six innings, but he struck out 10. The Nationals are just 12-13 for a loss of 7.12 units in his 25 starts.

Gee is 7-3 with a 3.23 ERA in his previous 13 starts against the Nationals. He didn’t factor into the decision in his lone start against the Nationals this season in which he allowed four runs on four hits in 6.2 innings of work. The Mets are 6-8 for a loss of 0.96 units on the season when Gee starts.

Free MLB Pick: Washington

The Nationals are going for a sweep and they’re playing much better offensively now that most of their pieces and parts are back in the lineup. Strasburg has pitched much better than his traditional numbers would indicate and a start at Citi Field against a poor offense should be the elixir that he needs.

Adam Burke

Adam Burke

Adam Burke is a freelance writer and amateur handicapper with a knack for finding value through matchup analysis and a deep understanding of the sports betting market. His main area of expertise is baseball, with a background in sabermetrics and advanced statistics. He is the host of The Gridiron Gambling Report and our college football and college basketball BangTheBook.com podcasts on the BlogTalkRadio Network.

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