Series Preview: @Tampa Bay Rays
By Michael Jong
Coming off the heels of one awful series against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Marlins now travel to their in-state rivals in Tampa for a three-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Fish are looking to end an eight-game skid and perhaps take their second win of the month in this series, though a sweep would be nice, as illogical as it sounds.
Live Chat, Friday 7 pm, Marlins vs. Rays here
Florida Marlins @ Tampa Bay Rays (36-33), June 17-19, Games 70-72
NL East Standings
Stadium: Tropicana Field
Five-year Run PF*: 0.98
Five-year HR PF*: 1.00
Left Field: 315 ft.
Center Field: 404
Right Field: 322
*Five-year regressed park factors provided by Patriot here
Projected Pitching Matchups
June 17: Brad Hand vs. Wade Davis
June 18: Ricky Nolasco vs. Alex Cobb
June 19: Chris Volstad vs. James Shields
ZiPS In-Season Projections
|ERA||Proj. FIP||Win%||Marlins||Date||Rays||Win%||Proj. FIP||ERA|
|Lineup||Player||Current wOBA||Proj. wOBA v. RHP||Proj. wOBA v. LHP|
|6||Greg Dobbs / Wes Helms||.342 / .245||.320||.303|
|8||Dewayne Wise / Emilio Bonifacio||— / .318||—||.301|
– Here’s your pitching matchup of the series:
This matchup isn’t great because of the quality of the pitchers so much as the potential train-wreck aspect of the matchup. Hand had an awful second start to his major league career, getting beat around at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies. He’ll look to bounce back against the Rays, but there is no way that he will do so if he doesn’t get his ground ball rate up. Seriously, how can you possibly allow only four grounders in 27 balls in play? That is simply absurd. Meanwhile, Wade Davis is probably having the worst sophomore season he could have envisioned. His strikeout rate is down to almost the single digit percentiles, and his walk rate is dangerously close to its level as well. In addition, he is continuing to allow too many balls in the air for a guy who does not miss many bats.
– Ironically enough, I think the Marlins may have actually stumbled upon one of their better lineups by moving Hanley Ramirez back to leadoff. I love Hanley in the leadoff spot, and anything that will “take the pressure” off of him as he recovers from his season-long slump would be a good thing I presume. If we switch Gaby Sanchez and move Logan Morrison up to second and Mike Stanton to cleanup, we could field what would probably be one of the team’s best possible lineups. Funny how that worked out.
– Of course, if you had not yet heard, the normal leadoff man, Chris Coghlan, was demoted to Triple-A today in favor of DeWayne Wise. I’m sure everyone here envisioned a glorious Bonifacio / Wise platoon in center field at some point this season, but I would be willing to bet no one expected it to happen as a result of Coghlan’s offensive struggles. We all thought it would be defense that sent him away from center field for a little while, but I guess the Marlins will be looking for that 2009 Ricky Nolasco regression magic from their minor league affiliate once again.
Bold Prediction: Marlins win one of three games.