Apr 11, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Miami Marlins m390 celebrates scoring with teammates during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Marlins 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Nationals vs. Marlins Series Preview (April 14-16)

The Marlins will have revenge on their mind as they host the Washington Nationals in a series that kicks off tonight in Miami. The downward spiral for the Marlins started a week ago when they were swept by the Nats in Washington D.C.. Miami will hope that home-cooking is just what the doctor ordered for this three game series.

The Marlins currently have a 5-8 record, and are 3.5 games behind first place Atlanta. The Nationals are just a game behind the Braves with a 7-5 record.

Weather:

Thankfully for the Marlins, they will again not have to worry about weather in their new ballpark. That being said, it should be upper 70′s for the whole week with a very small chance of rain, so if you are hoping to catch a ball game with the roof open, there would likely be a great chance for that.

Broadcast:

All three of the games will be broadcast on Fox Sports Florida with 7:10 PM EST start times. You can also catch the radio broadcast on 940AM WINZ. As an added bonus for those fans that are outside of Miami, MLB.TV free game of the day is the Marlins game tonight. That means if you download the app you can catch the game on your computer or mobile device for free.

Pitching Match-ups:

April 14
Nationals: Jordan Zimmermann (0-0, 8.10 ERA, 10 SO)
Marlins: Brad Hand (0-0, 3.24 ERA, 7 SO)

April 15
Nationals: Stephen Strasburg (1-1, 4.24 ERA, 28 SO)
Marlins: Tom Koehler (1-1, 3.00 ERA, 7 SO)

April 16
Nationals: Tanner Roark (1-0, 5.91 ERA, 8 SO)
Marlins: Jose Fernandez (2-1, 3.78 ERA, 23 SO)

Storyline:

To say that the Marlins had a rough road trip would be an understatement. This team was built with Marlins Park in mind, so hopefully a return to the spacious venue will prove profitable for the Fish. The biggest question mark that the Marlins currently have is the bullpen. After a strong start, the bullpen has been responsible for the recent let-downs. The normally solid Mike Dunn has recently been struggling, including giving up a costly home run to Chase Utley yesterday. If the bullpen can get back on track, and the Marlins can get some timely hits, it is possible for them to reclaim their magic from the first week of the season.

Prediction:

I know it is crazy considering how bad the Marlins record has been over the past week, but I believe this is the series where the Fish turn it around. Even though the Nationals swept the Marlins just a week ago, I believe the Marlins are going to win this series. I like the initial matchup of Zimmermann (whom the Marlins hammered last week) and Hand (a tough lefty against a lineup of lefties). Strasburg has not been himself so far this season, even though he shutdown Miami last week, and in the finale we get Tanner Roark, a young, unproven player. For this reason, I think the Marlins can pull out a series win and take 2 of the 3 games.

What do you think the Marlins chances of winning the series are? Let us know in the comments below and Go Fish!

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