Fish Head to Miller
It appears that not only is Scott Olsen a year older, he also is a year wiser.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Milwaukee -156 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 63% of bets for this game have been placed on Florida +146 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.
Olsen (3-0, 2.60 ERA) went 10-15 in 2007, and his 5.81 ERA was the highest among National League pitchers who logged at least 162 innings. The 24-year-old also had issues off the field last season, getting arrested for DUI and serving a two-game suspension for a confrontation with a teammate.
But Olsen has been on the top of his game in 2008, especially in his last two starts, conceding just one run and eight hits in 14 innings. His lone mistake in seven innings against Washington on Sunday was a solo homer, but he got the win as the Marlins (13-9) pulled away for a 6-1 victory.
"Scott Olsen - wow,'' Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Another dominating performance. That's about as good as it gets."
One key reason Olsen has started strong is his ability to get ahead of hitters. He has started 59 of 107 batters with a strike and walked only eight in 27 2-3 innings after issuing 85 in 176 2-3 innings in 2007.
He is 1-1 in three lifetime starts against the Brewers, who tagged him for five runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings of an 8-5 Marlins defeat last June 1.
The Brewers (13-9), who were tied for the NL lead with 51 home wins in 2007, fell to 6-4 at Miller Park with a 3-1 defeat to Philadelphia on Thursday. The loss was their first in seven games against left-handed starters. Milwaukee is hitting .316 (50-for-158) against southpaw starting pitchers.
Despite the strong numbers, Brewers manager Ned Yost doesn't seem overly impressed with his team's ability to hit lefties.
"We're going to be hard on everybody here," Yost told the Brewers' official Web site. "Too much is made of all this stuff. Just let them play. I think there's too much being said about us being right-handed."
Yovani Gallardo (0-0, 1.29) showed no signs of rust in making his first start Sunday after starting the season on the disabled list following offseason arthroscopic knee surgery. The right-hander threw 112 pitches in seven innings at Cincinnati, but did not get a decision after limiting the Reds to one run - on a solo homer - and four hits. The Brewers lost 4-3 in 10 innings.
This will be Gallardo's first-ever appearance versus the Marlins.
Florida settled for a split of its two-game series at Atlanta with a 7-4 defeat Thursday. Josh Willingham homered, went 3-for-4 and finished with four RBIs, but the Marlins could not recover from a 6-1 deficit after two innings.
"It was good to have a good game,'' said Willingham, who is enjoying a career-high 12-game hitting streak. "But I wanted to win. We didn't win, so it's not so sweet.''
Willingham is 18-for-44 (.409) with four homers and 11 RBIs during his run. The left fielder, though, hit only .179 (5-for-28) with one homer against the Brewers in 2007.