Mar 4, 2014; Mesa, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics infielder Josh Donaldson (20) safely advances to third base on a A

Series Preview: Moneyball Visits Miami

The Marlins start a 6 game home stand this Friday with a 3 game series against the number 1 team in baseball, the Oakland Athletics. Jason Burke over at Swingin’ A’s contacted me with a few question about our Marlins and he returned the favor by answering a few of my questions about the A’s. (Here is my interview with Swingin’ A’s)

AS: The Oakland Athletics are currently the number 1 team in baseball, where do you think they will be at the end of the season?

JB: Quite honestly, that’s where I think they will end the season as well. The team is solid and should stay away from any prolonged losing streaks. In the offseason, Billy Beane seemed to pull out all the stops in making deals that would improve the team. I feel that this will continue as we near the trade deadline.

AS: What is the reason in your eyes for the early success?

JB: Take your pick. They’re among the league leaders in nearly every category. One could say they’re just bashing teams with their offense. Another, that their pitching has helped them win the close games. That being said, I’d say that the A’s starters have been a pleasant surprise. Gray dazzled last season in limited time, but could he repeat? Was Kazmir a flash in the pan? Jesse Chavez had started 2 games before this season. All 3 of them have sub 3.00 ERAs.

AS: Apparently you guys have this outfielder with an amazing arm named Yoenis Cespedes. The Marlins have our own cannon in the outfield named Marcell Ozuna. You are on third a ball is hit in to the outfield who is the last person you want to run against?

JB: I’m not running on anyone personally. My wheels are like the squeaky shopping cart at Winn Dixie. If I’m Craig Gentry, I’d rather go on Ozuna because I’ve seen Cespedes’ arm in person and it’s terrifying.

AS: As Marlins fans we don’t get a lot of looks at the A’s so can you tell us who is the pitcher to watch this series for the A’s?

JB: Sonny Gray should be a lot of fun to watch for the first time. If we’re going for a big prediction though, Jim Johnson won’t allow a run all weekend. Granted, he also may not pitch because he’s been relegated to lesser situations due to his ineffectiveness this season.

AS: How about position player?

JB: There are the usual suspects with Donaldson, Cespedes, Norris and Moss. But keep an eye on Stephen Vogt, the third catcher on the A’s roster seems to only come up with big hits.

AS: Yoenis Cespedes won last years home run derby and has 14 this year, Marlins Park is not a hitter friendly park (unless your name is Giancarlo) over under 2 home runs this series?

JB: As a team, over. Cespedes, under. The A’s have plenty of guys that can do the heavy lifting without relying on Cespedes. Although, we he’s on he can carry the entire club.

AS: Here at Marlin Maniac we like to make out there predictions, do you have any for this series?

JB: Billy the Marlin plays a vital role in Friday’s game, leading the A’s to victory! Seriously though, I think Jed Lowrie busts out of his slump. Not because of the Marlins, but he’s been making hard contact for about a week, and is due.

AS: Finally and most important question, What is your prediction for the series?

JB: I think the A’s have a good shot at sweeping the series. Again, I’m not trying to pick on Miami at all, but when comparing the starters’ ERAs, the A’s have a significant advantage in each game.

Thank you Jason for your time. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty here at Marlin Maniac and see how we think the series will go.

Game 1

The starting pitchers for the game are Jesse Chavez and Anthony DeSclafani. Look for Anthony to bounce back from his 7 run, 3 2/3 inning outing against the Mets on Sunday and find his groove. Jesse Chavez is no push over, going 7 innings against the Red Sox on Saturday without giving up a run. This will be a pitching duel and I see the Marlins walking-off in the 9th thanks to Hits McGehee.

Prediction: Marlin 3-2

Game 2:

The starting pitchers for the game are Sonny Gray and Nathan Eovaldi.  Nathan is coming off a 6 1/3 inning performance where he gave up no runs. Sonny also came off a stellar performance with a 7 inning, 2 hits, and 2 run game against the Rangers. The bats will be alive for both teams today, and I hope the Marlins will bring more power, but they will fall. This may be the game Jason was talking about Jeb busting out.
Prediction: A’s 9-6

Game 3:

Here is the must watch game of the series. Tommy Milone vs Andrew Heaney. Tommy gave up 5 runs in a loss against the Red Sox his last time out. Andrew will finally find his own and starting throwing like the Andrew we all saw in the Minors. Tommy will get the ND, and Heaney will get his first Major league win.
Prediction: Marlins 5-2

How right will I be? There is only one way to find out, tune in and cheer on our Miami Marlins. Let’s Go Fish!

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Tags: Andrew Heaney Marcell Ozuna Miami Marlins

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