Harang Takes on Fish
In just one week, the Florida Marlins have gone from being mired in a slump to owners of the best record in the NL.
The NL East-leading Marlins look to win their eighth straight game Monday when they open a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Cincinnati -171 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 8.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 71% of bets for this game have been placed on Florida +161 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.
Florida (23-14) is outscoring its opponents 49-14 during its seven-game winning streak, its longest since winning nine in a row Aug. 20-29, 2006. The Marlins had lost four of five and were in third place in the East before their winning streak began.
Florida defeated Washington 5-4 on Sunday behind Dan Uggla's two-homer performance, including the go-ahead drive in a three-run eighth inning. Jeremy Hermida tied the score with his two-run homer earlier in the eighth.
Uggla, who hit a grand slam in Saturday's 11-0 win, is batting .400 (12-for-30) with seven home runs, 15 RBIs and 13 runs in his last nine games.
"I'm not good at analyzing and knowing what's going right or anything like that," he said. "I'm just trying to stay aggressive, and that's about all I can tell you."
Uggla has also had great success against the Reds, batting .377 (23-for-61) with six home runs, five doubles and 16 RBIs in 13 career games versus them.
Hanley Ramirez, who is 10-for-20 with 10 runs during the Marlins' winning streak, is batting .429 (24-for-56) with five homers, eight doubles and 13 RBIs in 13 career games versus Cincinnati (15-23).
Despite all the success Uggla and Ramirez have had against the Reds, the Marlins went 3-4 against them last season, dropping all three games at Cincinnati.
Rookie Burke Badenhop (1-2, 6.31 ERA) looks to extend Florida's winning streak and build off his first major league win when takes the mound in the series opener.
After posting a 7.58 ERA in his first four starts, Badenhop allowed two runs, five hits, one walk and struck out a career-high seven in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-2 victory over Milwaukee on Wednesday.
The right-hander now looks to improve his pitching on the road, where he is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts.
This will be his first career start against Cincinnati, which has lost eight of 11.
The Reds counter with Aaron Harang (1-5, 3.09), who looks to win his first game in a month and avoid matching a career-worst four-start losing streak.
In his last four starts, Harang has a 2.86 ERA, but has received only three total runs of support in those games.
On Tuesday, the Reds' staff ace allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings of a 3-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The only time Harang has lost four consecutive starts was from June 4-20, 2005.
In his eight starts this season, Harang's only victory came on April 10. Through eight starts last season, the right-hander was 5-1, despite a 5.04 ERA.
"It's tough for Aaron," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. "You know he's going to get on a roll, but that doesn't help now."
Harang is 1-1 with a 6.49 ERA in five career starts versus Florida.
The Reds lost to the New York Mets 8-3 on Sunday after splitting their Saturday doubleheader. Cincinnati also endured the embarrassment of batting out of order in the ninth inning.
"The guys hit out of order, and it's my job to catch that,'' Baker said. "So I take full responsibility."
Ken Griffey Jr. hasn't homered since April 23, as he remains stuck at 597 home runs in his bid to become the sixth player with 600. He is 11-for-36 (.306) with four homers and 11 RBIs in 10 games against Florida at Great American Ball Park.
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is batting .542 (13-for-24) with two home runs and 12 RBIs in six career home games versus the Marlins. Bet this game.
Get real live customizable updates, public betting info from 6 online sports books, archived public betting info and much more by clicking here.