Philadelphia Phillies (36-42) @ Miami Marlins (35-40) June 29th, 7 PM EST (Game 76)

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The Miami Marlins have won a grand total of 6 games in the month of June, the good news, the team is still half a game ahead of the last place Philadelphia Phillies, who come to town this weekend to square off with the Marlins. The Marlins beat the Phillies in two games of three earlier this month. The Phillies won two of three in the series before that.

This will series will mark the first time that the Phillies will have a chance to play in the Marlins new state of the art ballpark. The series will be a battle to see which teams wants last place more in the National League. This series will also feature Chase Utley returning for his just his third game of the season in 2012.

The Marlins are 2-4 on their current home-stand, only a sweep can give them a winning record for home-stand, but I am pretty sure the team will be very happy with a series win.

EastWLPCTGBL10STRKHOMEROADLAST GAMENEXT GAME
Washington4331.5815-5L120-1423-176/28 @ COL, L 10-116/29 @ ATL, 7:35 PM
Atlanta4035.5333.55-5L117-1823-176/28 vs ARI, L 2-36/29 vs WSH, 7:35 PM
NY Mets4136.5323.56-4W223-1718-196/28 @ LAD, W 3-26/29 @ LAD, 10:10 PM
Miami3540.4678.52-8W119-2216-186/27 vs STL, W 5-36/29 vs PHI, 7:10 PM
Philadelphia3642.4629.05-5L217-2419-186/28 vs PIT, L 4-56/29 @ MIA, 7:10 PM

Stadium: Marlins Park

Five-year Run PF*: N/A
Five-year HR PF*: N/A
Stadium Dimensions:
Left field line—340 ft.
Left-center field—384 ft.
Center field—416 ft.
Right-center field—392 ft.
Right field line—335 ft.

*Five-year regressed park factors provided by Patriot here


Philadelphia Phillies
36-42

Miami Marlins
35-33
BATTINGPhilliesMarlins
Batting Average.266.240
Runs341283
Home Euns7764
PITCHINGPhilliesMarlins
Earned Run Average4.124.24
FIP3.803.85
Innings Pitched701.1677.1

Looking at the stats, it becomes apparent right away that neither team has hit or pitched as well as they would have liked thus far this season. With some regression to the mean, both teams will likely fall back into line with their preseason projections as the season wears on.

The Phillies should be boosted with a healthy return of some of their players from the DL. Chase Utley is already back and Roy Halladay and Ryan Howard should join him back pretty soon.

The Marlins are going to need Emilio Bonifacio to make an effective return to help boost the offense that has not gotten much going this season.

Probable Starters


Cliff Lee, LHP

2012 stats
84.2Innings Pitched91.0
0-4Wins-Losses4-5
3.72Earned Run Average3.96
3.01FIP2.93
17Walks29
86Strikeouts77
Career vs. opponent
35.0Innings Pitched80.2
2-0Wins-Losses5-4
2.31Earned Run Average3.68

Josh Johnson

, RHP

Both pitchers have pitched well, for the most part, but their teams have not been able to pick them up and get them a win. Which is a great reason to note why the statistic of win is completely useless. A combined 4-9 record for two pitchers that are as talented as Lee and Johnson do no even come close to describing the true talent of these two pitchers. Their FIP’s are more in line with their true talents.

Recently, though, Cliff Lee has been struggling. Lee has a 5.10 ERA in his last seven starts. He has blown four leads in that span: two three-run leads, one two-run lead and one one-run lead. He has allowed five earned runs in each of his last two starts. Not a lot of Marlins hitters have enjoyed much success against Lee in their careers. Hanley Ramirez owns a .579 batting average in seven at bats and Reyes is two-for-four lifetime against the Phillies star pitcher. I expect Lee to have another strong performance against the Marlins.

Despite not earning a decision, Johnson was brilliant against Toronto, giving up just one run and two hits, both singles, over seven innings. He held the Blue Jays hitless through four, struck out seven and retired the final nine batters he faced. Johnson owns a 1.80 ERA over his past three starts, but has come out as the winning pitcher in only one of those starts. Johnson has struck out 18 hitters in 20 innings in his previous three starts. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino have enjoyed some success against Johnson, and with Rollins swinging a hot bat, JJ will have to be very careful with him. Jim Thome is one-for-one with a three run homer against Johnson. I expect JJ to deliver a strong start for the Marlins, as well.

Marlins Projected Lineup

LineupPlayerCurrent wOBAProj. wOBA (Rest of Season)Career BA vs Lee
1Jose Reyes
.321.351.500
2Hanley Ramirez
.340.351.571
3Giancarlo Stanton
.380.383.250
4Logan Morrison
.303.340.333
5Justin Ruggiano
.454.318
6Omar Infante
.339.317.133
7Gaby Sanchez.234.325.167
8John Buck
.286.297.316
9Josh Johnson
.083.000

The Marlins need to get going offensively very soon if they want to start winning and stay in contention. They have a pretty good shot against a starter that has been struggling as of late. They key for the Marlins will be their top two hitters getting on base, and then Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton driving them in.

Prediction:

The Miami Marlins will get a very strong outing from Josh Johnson. He will go 8 innings and strikeout 10 hitters for the Fish. The Marlins will also get two home runs from Hanley Ramirez, both of them off of Cliff Lee. The Marlins offense will muster up 11 hits and score 7 runs, 4 of them off of Lee in 6 innings. The Marlins win this game 7-2.

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