MLB: Who said Fish can't fly?



2009-04-20

The Florida Marlins are the best team in baseball after two weeks of the regular season and they have shown the game isn't over until all 27 outs have been registered and sometimes beyond. Over the weekend, Florida showed their resolve, granted it was Washington, and the Fish never quit. The Marlins continue a road trip on Monday night in Pittsburgh, playing as a significant favorite. Check the latest line on the LIVE ODDS page.

Florida (11-1, +11.3 units) on Friday night scored a run in the ninth to tie the Nationals and tagged on another in the 10th inning to win 3-2. On Saturday as -165 money line favorites, they tallied three runs in the ninth to again tie the score and crossed home plate three times in the 11th to secure 9-6 come from behind win. Yesterday, down 4-3 with three outs left, the Marlins scored four times and came away with series sweep and extended winning streak to seven games.

Manager Manny Acta maintains a positive attitude with his club and they are 6-0 on the road and have four wins trailing late in games on the season. Among the early keys are clutch base-hits from bench performers, boasting seven hits in 15 at bats (.438 BA). Alfredo Amezaga is 2-for-2 and Ross Gload is 3-for-5, accounting for most of the success. Another aspect has been shutdown bullpen. From the sixth inning to completion of each game versus the Nats, the Marlins relievers allowed one run in 15 innings when it mattered most.

To start a new week, Florida takes this amazing road show to Pittsburgh (6-6, +1.00) and they are 17-8 after three or more consecutive wins over the last two seasons. The Pirates, like many of the reported bottom-feeders have played better to this point of the early season and are fresh of series win over Atlanta. Pittsburgh has been competitive thanks to pitching. Sunday's 11-1 loss was just the third contest they had allowed more than five runs this year. Dating back to last season, the Bucs are 7-1 off a defeat.

Florida has a vast collection of young starters, with Andrew Miller (0-0, 6.43 ERA) making his second straight start. The 23-year old left-hander has a nice and easy throwing motion, what he has not been able to harness is across the body delivery, which has made it hard for him to throw strikes consistently. Florida has won just one of his last five road starts.

Pittsburgh counters with Ross Ohlendorf (0-2, 4.91), who is 0-5 with a 5.88 ERA in seven career starts. The 26-year old former Yankee farm-hand has a sinking fastball that has not missed many bats, conceding 15 hits in 11 innings, totaling six runs.

The oddsmakers at Sportsbook.com see nothing fishy about Florida and have them as -116 money line favorites with total of Un9.5. The Marlins are 28-13 (+24.1 Units) against the ML on the road when the total is 9 to 9.5 since the beginning of last season and are 17-5 OVER as visitors after two or more straight Overs. This type of contest has not been a great fit for Pittsburgh, who is 14-40 having won two of their last three games and is 24-13 OVER in April.

This matchup begins at 7:05 Eastern on the Sun Network and Fox Sports Pittsburgh, with the teams having split last six meetings in the Steel City.

StatFox Power Line - Florida -150

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