Series Preview: Miami Marlins

Series Preview: Mets at Marlins

Tonight, the suddenly-streaking Mets begin a three-game series with the lowly Marlins down in Miami.

While it appeared early on that the Mets and Marlins would be “battling” for last place in the NL East, the gap between the two teams has widened considerably. The Marlins are by far, the worst team in baseball, coming in at 13-41, including 7-20 at home. The Marlins were already supposed to be one of the worst clubs in the league coming into this season, but a series of devastating injuries has put them on a whole new level of horrible. They are the only team in baseball with a winning percentage lower than .300 (.241) and they have lost nine games in a row. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the Mets from getting swept before, but the odds are certainly favoring them.

Offensively, the Marlins don’t have a single power threat. Their cleanup hitter in last night’s game against the Rays was Marcell Ozuna, who, although he is batting .314, has only one home run in 28 games. The Marlins have 12 players on the DL at the moment, including Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, and Casey Kotchman. Even with those players in the lineup, the offense is very weak, but without them, it’s the worst in baseball.

Nonetheless, the Mets are still not a good team and, as they’ve shown in the past, they could get swept, even with the momentum they have coming off a four-game sweep of the Yankees. Hopefully, however, the Mets won’t make it an interesting series and can get closer to a .500 record with a series win this weekend.

Offensive/Pitching Team Rankings

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Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Shaun Marcum, RHP (0-5, 5.77 ERA, 34.1 IP, 8.4 K/9, 2.1 BB/9) vs. Jacob Turner, RHP (0-0, -.– ERA)

Turner is a former Tigers prospect who was rated very highly coming out of high school, selected ninth overall in the first round in 2009. He was the centerpiece of the deal last year that sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to Detroit. He pitched well last season for the Marlins, posting a 3.38 ERA in seven starts, but has struggled badly this year in Triple-A, and had a 4.47 ERA in ten starts before being called up for game one of this series.

Game 2: Collin McHugh, RHP (0-0, 12.00 ERA, 3 IP, 2 K, 0 BB) vs. Jose Fernandez, RHP (2-3, 3.78 ERA, 52.1 IP, 8.9 K/9, 3.6 BB/9)

Many were critical of the Marlins for calling up 20 year-old Fernandez too early this year, after he jumped from the High-A Florida State League to the majors. It was short-sighted and the Marlins could have done some real damage calling up such an inexperienced prospect to fill a short-term need, especially on a team as hopeless as the Marlins. However, the gamble has brought moderate success for Fernandez. He has struggled with his control at times, but he has still been arguably the best pitcher on the team.

Game 3: Matt Harvey, RHP (5-0, 1.85 ERA, 78 IP, 9.7 K/9, 2.0 BB/9) vs. Kevin Slowey, RHP (1-5, 3.59 ERA, 62.2 IP, 6.8 K/9, 1.7 BB/9)

Slowey missed most of 2011 and all of 2012 with injury, but is currently having a career-year for Miami, posting career-bests in ERA and home runs per nine, while keeping up his career averages in walks and strikeouts per nine. He’s bound to cool off soon because he just isn’t a very good pitcher, but with the very weak Mets lineup, Matt Harvey may once again have to shutout the Marlins in order to win.

About Connor O'Brien 335 Articles
Connor O'Brien is a third-year economics student at Rutgers University, a longtime writer here at MetsMerized Online, and an aspiring economist. He embraces sabermetrics but also highly values scouting. Follow him on Twitter at cojobrien.