May 28, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Miami Marlins second baseman Derek Dietrich (51) forces out Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Matt Joyce (20) and throws the ball to first for a double play during the seventh inning at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Miami Marlins 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Citrus Series Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs Miami Marlins (June 2-5)


Editors Note: Would like to welcome Miller Lepree to the Marlin Maniac staff. Miller will help buff up the coverage on the Marlins, as the team hopes to stay in contention heading into the deep summer months.

The Miami Marlins have lost a bit of their home-cooked magic, coming off a sweep at the hands of the division rival Atlanta Braves. The series was a golden opportunity to grab hold of first place in the NL east, but they now find themselves 3 games back, and in second place in the division.

The bullpen continues to be an area of concern for the Fish, as the trusted Steve Cishek and A.J Ramos both faltered in the series. Cishek allowed a 9th inning 2 run go-ahead shot to Evan Gattis, sinking the team’s hopes of avoiding the sweep. With the new found help of Bryan Morris, and more possibly to come, the bullpen is looking to bounce back against the Rays.

Tampa Bay has dropped 6 in a row, and has been a complete disappointment so far this season, sitting at  23-34. The Marlins will host the Rays for a pair of games, and then make the trip up to Tampa Bay for 2 more.

Pitching Match ups:

Monday- June 2, 7:10 PM ET

Marlins: Randy Wolf (0-1, 4.50 ERA)

Tampa Bay:  Alex Cobb (1-2, 2.93 ERA)

Tuesday- June 3, 7:10 PM ET

Marlins: Henderson Alvarez (2-3, 2.97 ERA)

Tampa Bay: Chris Archer (3-2, 4.00 ERA)

Wednesday-June 4, 7:10 PM ET 

Marlins: Tom Koehler (4-5, 3.18 ERA)

Tampa Bay: David Price (4-4, 4.27 ERA)

Thursday-June 5, 4:10 PM ET

Marlins: Jacob Turner (1-3 , 5.59 ERA)

Tampa Bay: Jake Odorizzi (2-5, 5.13 ERA)

 

Breakdown:

The Marlins are among the “surprise” teams around the league, sitting at .500, while many expected them to have a losing record and sit in last place for much of the season as they have the past 3 years. The Rays, however, who by many were expected to win the AL east, have been a huge disappointment so far.

This is the first series in June for both teams, and the Marlins are looking to avoid a June collapse, the fate they suffered in 2012. However, most of the players from the 2012 roster are on the other side of the border, so I’m not extremely worried about the June swoon this year.

Henderson Alvarez will look to return from an early exit against Washington last week, where he was spinning a shut out after 5 innings. He left with apparent elbow stiffness, but the team isn’t overly worried about it. It’s not a huge concern, but his health is definitely something to monitor given the overwhelming amount of elbow injuries sweeping the league this year.

Prediction:

The Marlins are going regain their mojo in this series, taking both games at home, and splitting a pair on the road due to a sup bar performance from Jacob Turner. The Rays are ailing, and this series provides another opportunity for the Fish to pull closer to Atlanta after their poor weekend performance. Randy Wolf should give the team with a decent effort, and the offense is going to help him out. Giancarlo is going to stay hot, smashing 2 home runs in the series, while Marcell Ozuna keeps seeing pitchers well and adds a couple of his own.

 

How do you see the series shaping up? Let me know down below, and Go Fish!

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton Marcell Ozuna Miami Marlins