Marlins vs. Astros: Miami SP Carlos Zambrano Has Received Little Run Support

Jeff GrantContributor IMay 7, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 20:  Carlos Zambrano #38 of the Miami Marlins pitches against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on April 20, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Miami Marlins (14-14) and Houston Astros (13-15) will open up a three-game National League series on Monday night at Minute Maid Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 ET.

Las Vegas odds-makers have established the Astros as minus-110 home favorites, while the total has jumped a half run to settle in at 7.5.

Miami has won all six games of its current nine-game road trip, including a three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres over the weekend, which ended with a 6-3 victory on Sunday afternoon. The Marlins have worked their way back to a .500 record, but are 0-5 as a road underdog of plus-100 to plus-125 this season.

Marlins starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano (0-2, 2.53 ERA) is still looking for his first win of the year, receiving just 12 runs of support over his first five starts. He led the club to a 3-2 road win over the Giants last time out, tossing seven shutout innings and allowing just five hits.

In 35 career games (33 starts) versus the Astros, the right-hander has compiled a solid 16-8 record and 2.68 ERA, including a 9-4 mark and 3.57 ERA in 18 appearances (16 starts) inside this ball park.

The Marlins are 6-1 in their last seven games against the Astros, while the "under" has cashed in 20 of the last 28 meetings in Houston.

Houston had its five-game win streak snapped in suffering an 8-1 setback at home to the St. Louis Cardinals, with the "over" cashing in the club's last five games. The Astros may have a losing record, but they've managed to outscore opponents by 14 runs through 28 games.

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 02:  Wandy Rodriguez #51 of the Houston Astros throws against the New York Mets on May 2, 2012 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Astros starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez (3-2, 1.64 ERA) has won three consecutive starts, including an 8-1 home win over the New York Mets last time out. He has allowed just three earned runs and 15 hits over his last 20 innings.

The left-hander is 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA in four home starts, as opposing hitters are batting just .216 against him, while he's not surrendered a home run in 25.1 frames.

In 10 career appearances (nine starts) versus the Marlins, Rodriguez is 3-3 with a 3.18 ERA, but was 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA in two efforts a year ago. Miami third baseman Hanley Ramirez has seven hits in 18 career at-bats (.389) against him, but has failed to drive in a run.

The Astros are 2-6 in Rodriguez's last eight starts as a favorite, while the "over" has cashed in four consecutive games in that situation.